There are these women whose children go to the same preschool as Boo. They intimidate the hell out of me. They're very nice and very cool, in that casual, crunchy way that is so prevalent out here. They wear cool skirts and have funky haircuts and seem to have it all together. I realize this is probably an illusion, but still. I don't know them well enough to hear their tales of woe, so, to me, they're scary-together.
I see them hanging out after pick up, talking, arranging play dates and what have you and I know if I made a little bit of effort, I'd at least be included in the conversation. But I never do. I smile, I say hello, exchange a couple of sentences and then I scuttle to my car with the girls, mentally berating myself for not being more outgoing, for not trying harder. For being an idiot. Because the other part of my brain, the one that tells me what a dork I am, how much of a loser I am, always takes over at that point. Why would anyone want to include me? What if they didn't, what if they just clammed up when I tried to join in? What if they were just waiting for me to leave so they could make their plans? What if they don't really like me?
That's the crux of it right there. I'm pretty convinced that most people I know casually don't really like me. Sometimes, even people I do know well give me that feeling. I let every rejection eat away at me, dragging up crap that happened in high school, in college, and picking at it until it hurts again, convinced that all those people were right, that basically, I'm unlikeable. I hate that my mind goes down those paths. I wish I knew how to get it out of them.
So I'm wary. I'm afraid to make friends with people I meet, afraid that they'll turn out like everyone else, that they'll leave too. I wall myself off behind snark and sarcasm and a pose that I'm above it all, when really, I just want to be included. More than included. Valued. Appreciated for who I am and what I can offer as a friend. And yet, I'm too afraid to try.
Yes, I'm in therapy. Yes, I'm trying to work on this, but I feel so stuck on this one thing. How do you just get self-confidence? How do you not second- and third-guess every action you take? I'm not sure if it's even possible, but I need to try, before I really go bat-shit crazy.