Often when I read about people's struggles with depression and (much harder to find) loneliness caused by shyness and an inability to form connections with others, I tend to find that most of those people are dealing with PTSD stemming from abuse or neglect in their childhoods. It makes sense that someone who was dealing with that type of violence, be it physical, emotional, mental, sexual or a combination of abusive behaviors, would struggle with making and maintaining cohesive relationships. Trust issues must abound and worry over triggering an outburst would make anyone overly cautious about getting involved with others.
Here's the thing with me: I did not experience any of that. When I say I had an idyllic childhood, I mean it. I would go back to being a kid in a heartbeat. My parents are the type of parents that sitcoms struggle to portray because they seem too good on paper, how can you make a 22 minute episode that's supposed to have some sort of tension when there isn't any tension to be found anywhere? I never worried about gaining their love or approval because I always knew i had it. Sure, they had to punish me when I didn't clean my room but it wasn't physical and more often than not, it was just me cleaning my room which would have fallen into such a state of disarray that cleaning it was punishment enough. My parents worked hard so that I got to attend good schools where I never had to worry about my safety or the safety of my classmates. Our teachers were mostly kind and cared for us above and beyond what most kids in regular schools here get.
Someone with that type of upbringing is supposed to go on and do well in life. No obstacles here....just my crippling shyness and inability to deal with failure that came out of nowhere. The shyness has always been part of me, I've said before that being quiet in school was mistaken for good behavior and the positive reinforcement I got most likely contributed a small bit to me continuing to be quiet later on in life. However, I can't lay my abject failure as a human being at my teacher's feet, that's not at all their fault. They thought I was a "good kid" when really, I was scared to be bad. I thought that bad kids ended up becoming bad adults and I didn't want that for myself. I was sure that I could be a success by being quiet, not knowing that eventually I would be expected to open my mouth and push out a personality. I thought my shyness was ok because I was smart and of course brains would always be appreciated even if they aren't loudly trumpeting themselves to anyone who cares to listen.
No, I can't blame anyone for how I am, I did this to myself. I crawled into being the quiet girl and couldn't stop until she became a sad, lonely adult. There is no joining a group for me (although, people, how are you joining anything now? There's a pandemic afoot.). I tried it once and it worked out with everyone else becoming lifelong friends and me commenting on their Instagrams every now and again. I don't deal well with that, I don't have anyone to listen to me cry about how I failed at yet another thing that everyone else seems to be able to do in their sleep. I know being this way isn't sustainable, when my parents die, I will be all alone and I am scared of what I will end up doing. I'm scared of being me, I'm also so tired of being me. I would be willing to do text therapy but it's not covered by insurance so I can't do it and I know that I can't talk to anyone about this. Saying this stuff out loud makes me cry and I refuse to cry in front of anyone but my mother. I never went through those normal developmental stages where one has friends that one goes to for support, which also means that I have never supported anyone through their own problems. I don't know how be an adult friend which is pathetic to say as a 46 year old.
I did this all to myself.