How It Feels To Be Unwanted
Written on January 7th, 2016
You will wonder what you’ve done. What you said, how you acted, what that one thing was that made these people you loved (still love, despite everything) walk away. Because there has to be something, doesn’t there? People don’t just decide you are worthless overnight. You must have done something to deserve their absence, and you believe this with your entire being.
So you begin to kill yourself by looking for it. You dissect every interaction, every glance, every last word you have said for over a year. You recall every mistake, wondering if maybe you didn’t fix one of them well enough, if maybe some small slip-up is what caused all of this. You try to remember the worst things you have done. You invent some reason that you are an awful person who doesn’t deserve friendship in the first place, and most heartbreaking of all? You start to agree with those around you. You start to feel worthless.
You will ask someone for answers, and you will ask what you’ve done, and you will never receive a response that connects all of the dots. You will try to talk things through – you will have moments where you actually think everything is resolved – only to have your fantasies crash down days later when you still find yourself excluded despite your sincerest apologies. You will not know where you stumbled, but you will know with every nerve in your body that something is terribly wrong.
It will become a cycle. You will feel worthless time and time again and this will make you even more insecure than you already were. You will crave affirmation the way caged animals crave freedom, but you will never be given that assurance by these people you miss so desperately. The negativity will build… and who wants to spend time with someone who can barely stand to be around herself? You will push people away because someone who constantly needs to be told they have worth is someone far too exhausting to love. The cycle will go on, escalating in severity until it seems no one wants anything to do with you – though not nearly as much as you don’t want anything to do with yourself.
But all you needed was an explanation. All you needed was an answer. You needed someone to love you enough to say, “hey, you’ve been doing this and we don’t like it.” You needed someone to value you enough to call you out when you went wrong. You needed someone to pull you closer and help you change instead of just abandoning you at the first inkling of annoyance. What you needed was so simple, but no one cared about you enough to be the brave soul to do it.
So you’re left wondering. Day after day, retreating into yourself and the few people who still make you feel valuable. You will miss out on the plans you actually are invited to because you are terrified of breaking down and making everyone dislike you even more – but that will only send the wrong message that you’re blowing them off. No matter how hard you try to be positive, someone will always single out your negativity, never considering how valid that sadness really is. You will be shamed for not being perfect, for not being invincible, for trying to preserve your own mental health. You will struggle with yourself day in and day out. You will flounder over every decision, wondering if one wrong move could make the world turn against you again. You will second guess everything you see and hear and do. You will agonize for hours over one awkward interaction. You will never be able to throw yourself freely into a new friendship for fear that you will be trampled and left and discarded once again. You will overthink, you will overanalyze, you will try to overcompensate and only be left even lonelier.
And one of the worst things? These people who hurt you were people you loved, and maybe it was naive, but you thought they loved you too. They knew you. They understood you. At one time, they were there for you. And because you were close, they knew exactly how this would affect you. They knew how you would overthink – they had seen you do it before. They knew you would doubt yourself, they knew you would feel broken, they knew you wouldn’t be able to escape from your own head. They knew exactly what you needed, and exactly what their absence would do… and still, they left.
Which leaves you wondering if anyone ever really cared about you at all – or if somewhere, deep down, you are just fundamentally unlovable. That fear will never leave you. It will infiltrate your every move. You will find positivity and light and friends that make you smile, but somewhere, underneath it all, you will still be left wondering.
You will always feel unwanted. No matter how subtle it may become, you will never truly shake the feeling. You will learn to be strong and you will try to be happy and you will do your best to be brave and open once again, but you will still have nights where you shatter under the weight of your loneliness and your fear and your exhaustion.
I never knew absence could be heavy enough to break your spirit, but that’s exactly how it feels.