Truth Speak: Dorm Life, Why I Can’t Make Friends

12 May

All of the encounters we have in our day to day lives shape us into who we are. That doesn’t change as we get older; we just have more encounters under our belt.

The memory I’m about to share with you is actually a really painful memory, and unless I’ve blogged about it before (and forgotten) it isn’t something I share with many people.

I’ll start with saying that it hasn’t ever been easy for me to make friends, but it used to be easier. The biggest thing that usually stopped me was reservation and being introverted, which are pretty normal things. That also means I really value what friends I have, and I will go to the ends of the earth for my friends. I like to give as much as I can, but it is important for so many reasons – you send out positive vibes into the universe, and you’re not only happier, but you’re bound to get good back! Now, my story…

Five years ago, I was a sophomore in college living in the dorms. Things went really well when I first moved in. I met people and everyone seemed really cool and really nice. I have so many pictures from that year. I had a corner room, and we did all kinds of fun stuff in there, as I didn’t have a roommate. Life was good. It just so happens that I was living next to some really cute, really nice guys, which is the center of what happened.

I was interested in one of them, Rob. He was really nice, had a great smile, and was interested in things that I hadn’t been exposed to (which I find totally fascinating). Being the passive person I am, I was perfectly fine being friends. I knew I wasn’t going to ask him to date me, or make a move, or any such thing.

One day, we were talking, and he mentioned that he was super stressed and tired because he had so much to do for school that week. I decided to write him an encouraging note, because in college, we could all use some encouragement. I got out a purple marker and a piece of paper and wrote a simple note that said something along the lines of good luck with all your tests this week! I know you’ll do great! I stuck it under his door so he would see it before leaving for class, and went on my way.

The next day came and went, and no mention of the note. At one point, I saw it lying on the floor still, and couldn’t help but wonder why he hadn’t said anything. My question was answered by his neighbor on the other side, Marlena. I don’t remember why we were talking, or if there was a reason she brought it up, but she decided to tell me that I “needed to let up” because Rob said I was “starting to creep”.

At the time, it was hurtful, but nothing compared to how it feels now when I think back on it. I ended up grabbing the note when no one was looking, and ripping it up to throw in the trash.

The worst part? I never got to defend myself. Any attempt at the time was feeble at best, and I tried just to shake it off and forget about it. Little did I realize that 5 years later, I would hold back from attempting to make friends because asking someone to hang out made me feel like a predator. That’s real life, real time.

But I want them to know. I want them to know why, and how hurtful their words were.

Yes, I liked Rob. But I thought we were good enough friends that I could show him a nice gesture. That I could give him some encouragement in a rough time. I failed all but one of my classes that semester. I needed encouragement, and if I needed it, I knew others did, too. I wasn’t the first, though. Another girl on our floor had written at least a couple notes before, and taped them to his door. Was that my mistake? That I wanted to make sure he saw it before he went to class? I can’t figure out what made it creepy when I did it, but perfectly okay that she did. I had even heard him thank her for the nice note before, so when he didn’t even acknowledge that I reach out just made me feel terrible. I don’t even know why Marlena decided to tell me what she did, either. She wasn’t the nicest girl, but I can’t imagine someone wanting to make me feel that way when I hadn’t done anything to her. It doesn’t make sense that she would have said that to benefit me, though.

I hate that this has effected me as much as it has. I asked a coworker if she wanted to share a pizza with me after work and it caused me so much anxiety. I’m constantly worried that by reaching out to people to be friends, that they are going to label me the same. I don’t know how to get over this. I try to push myself out of my comfort zone, but even when I do hang out with these people, I still get anxiety when I think about continuing trying to be friends.

I really want this to reach these guys, one way or another. It probably won’t, but I think they deserve to know how their words affect others. I think deserve to defend myself. I think anyone could benefit from reading my story, too, because we tend to talk about others in less-than-positive ways. That can really impact someone, so spread the word.

Share so maybe it will reach these guys. Share so I can defend myself. Share so others might think twice about what they say when they talk about others. Any advice? I’m open.

5 Responses to “Truth Speak: Dorm Life, Why I Can’t Make Friends”

  1. buddy71 at 8:32 pm #

    as a guy, i dont find your giving the guy a note like that creepy. reading your story, i have the feeling that the girl who told you it was creepy might have hers eyes on the guy and telling you was a way to get rid of the competition.
    i would have and still do like it when a woman would do things like that. it shows compassion and interest, even if it was not in a romantic way, yet.
    i dont make friends easy as my interests usually do not fall in line with others, yet i feel i get along with many. but i am a quiet guy.
    i dont feel you need to defend yourself or how/who you are.
    it isnt easy putting yourself out there and being vulnerable. i can understand being gun shy. advice? i dont see you as being broken, so what is there to fix?

  2. girlforgetful at 7:02 am #

    I did something similar a few years ago, and got the same reaction from someone I thought was a friend. It devastated me, to the point that I needed professional help as after many months I went from sad and anxious to suicidal. People can be insensitive, but everyone is fighting their own battles. Letting go of the hurt needs to happen, but when it hurts like that it doesn’t just go away without work on your part. I think you should talk about it more, to take away its power to continue to hold you back. I hope this helps a little.

    • mishie1 at 6:13 pm #

      That helps a lot. That is the thing that gets me…how much it has effected me when nothing else phases me. And you’re right. It doesn’t just go away.

  3. autumnstrength at 3:45 pm #

    That sounds like a nice thing to do – I’d have appreciated it. It sounds like the problem wasn’t that you were being ‘creepy’ at all – it sounds like the problem was with him, for whatever reason.

    Just an idea, but maybe he’s been hurt by being rejected in the past, and he guessed you fancied him but he didn’t feel the same way, so he decided to become the rejecter for once, not to hurt you, but to boost his ego, especially in front of his friends, possibly why he told the girl you were getting creepy, this was possibly him getting to tell his friends ‘Look at me, I’m so desirable I have the option of rejecting women, they desire me so much they sometimes get creepy’, just trying to show off and boost his ego and reputation. I say this because I’m ashamed to say I think I’ve done this in some form or other many years ago when I was a confused teenager. It was about my insecurities, not about anything they’d said or done.

  4. April at 4:18 pm #

    (1) The next time that I wanted to call someone a raging cunt dragon, but am not in a position to use that language, I’m calling them a “Marlena.” [ ]

    (2) Way to over react much on his part? The hell? My first instinct is to agree with buddy above; it could very well be that she was, well, a Marlena… But that doesn’t explain his continuing to leave it on the floor. WTH? Just…WTH?! You’re *not* the person in this story that needs help.

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