The overwhelming majority of the time, I have this under control. Tonight I was a little exposed, and it stung.
I went to karaoke with my wife as we sometimes do, and it was psychological hell. No psychotic symptoms, but more like shame. I felt shame.
The people we link up with at karaoke were there when we got there. We have our own entourage. We are friends with the DJ, and a little clique of us go and hang out with the DJ whenever he does a gig. Anyway, none of them looked up when I walked by. I stood next to the DJ’s girlfriend’s father (one of the entourage) for about 2 minutes and he didn’t look up. His wife didn’t flinch. No one looked at me, and I was suddenly hyper-aware.
I got frustrated. You see, it wasn’t just that I didn’t make the first move, but they all perked up when my wife walked by them as they sat at the table. I felt the lack of welcoming, and left the room and went outside and called a friend on my cell phone. He and I chatted for about 35 minutes. I touched base with my wife back in the room where the music was, and she said she wanted to leave soon (it was getting brisk and we forgot jackets).
As we drove home, I told her how uncomfortable I felt. I expressed to her how I felt like a fish in the desert - totally out of place. I told her I’m done with karaoke and that whole group. She asked when we should have a house warming party since we just moved in to our own place about 2 weeks ago. I said “Never, I don’t want all those people all in my face.” Went on to tell her I don’t appreciate being made to feel the pariah when I’ve been nothing but nice to these people.
I think a large part of it is they’re my wife’s friends. Her and them go back over 30 years. They barely know me. It is easy to say that they don’t know me that well, but my wife is like a daughter to them, and they’re making no effort to get to know me. I think I’m done.
That brings me full-circle. I felt ashamed of myself. I’m overweight, I can be sensitive, I’m not great in social settings, and I am not good at figuring out how to fit in with others. Maybe that’s it - I sleep half the day away, I have a lot of needs I have to meet on my own as far as answering to myself for the regressions in my life this illness causes, and I feel generally unwanted by everyone except my wife.