I've never been like everyone else. I don't mean that in a "I'm soo special, I shit rainbows and have magical powers and one day I'll definitely get my Hogwarts letter" sort of way. I mean it in a I'm weird, and not in a fun helpful way sort of way.
At school I found making friends super hard. Not because I was mean or unkind. I just...don't get it. I don't get facial expressions very easily, I find nuance and undercurrents in conversation hard to follow. If you tell me something that seems outrageous and untrue to you, I'll probably believe you. If you say that horses can jump over electricity pylons if only they take a long run up, I'll believe you (yeah, thanks sis).
At primary school, I wandered round the edge of the playground, walking my imaginary dog (really), playing in my imaginary world. People looked at me weird, told me I was weird. In lessons, I hid books on my lap to read, because I really couldn't care less about algebra. I wanted to read and live in the imaginary lands between the pages. I would laugh at random- I just thought of a hilarious joke in my head, and I forgot to laugh inside.
I had a select group of 'weird' friends. I wasn't popular in the slightest. I was sometimes bullied. But not majorly- I guess my weirdness was so off putting to the bullies that they just let me be. But I felt the absence of people. I liked being alone, but I also wished I was like everyone else. I wanted to want to talk about pop stars and tv shows and boys. I wanted to find conversation easy, I wanted to be good at eye contact and netball and sleepovers. Actually, I hated sleepovers. I wanted my own bed, near my mum, with my bear and my books and my safe place.
At high school, everything went a bit wrong. I got anorexia, and I became so ill I had to go to hospital during Year 8. I ended up staying in hospital for two years. When I came out I was an upset, mixed up fireball. A hormone ridden, confused, lonely girl. I refused to go back to school. Now I truly was alone. I had no friends. I didn't know how to talk to anyone.
Fast forward to now. I'm nearly 27. I still don't know how to talk to people. The few friends I do have, have stuck around because they're the sort of folk who just don't care about my idiosyncracies. They're fine with Friends being on in the background all.the.time because it makes me feel calm, they don't mind that busy places and loud noises make me want to tear my hair out and claw my skin off. They don't bat an eyelid when I start crying at something that doesn't really merit tears, or when I believe any old lie someone tells me. They love me for me.
I came to blogging because I wanted to have an outlet for my interests, my hobbies, my writing. I wanted, yes, to try and make friends. I wanted to see if I could make friends easier over the internet. If the things I struggle so hard with still trouble me when I am on the internet. I certainly am more articulate. I love words- I have an entire universe of words swimming around in my head, ready to use, but when I'm around most people except a select few of my chosen friends and family, I don't get to use them. All of this I've just written, I couldn't say to a casual friend in the street. So that was one thing I found I got. But friends... no, I don't think the internet has solved that for me.
Because I just...don't get it. I don't get what words I should use, what endearments or phrases are best, how to approach people to make friends. That weird fuzzy block that covers my brain when I try and figure this stuff out- it's still there.
So if I approach you on Twitter, or your blog, and it seems like I'm trying to be friends. Please be patient with me. I don't get it. And I'm trying my best.