Well, yesterday, I experienced something odd. I don’t know why I thought so, but I think that it will be helpful for people, like me, to read something that they can relate to and to know that they are not alone.
At the end of every school day, the whole class of 40+ cleans the shop up and organizes and places things where they go. I was helping people with a dust pan and one of my classmates makes a motion to air-punch me. The motion was playful, I have done this with other classmates I have grown closer to. I find it to show that I can joke around with them. This classmate and I are not close but we are more acquaintances than anything else. I guess you could say that I have not had enough of an interaction with her.
In my head, I am very cautious about who I can talk to and about what. I have been in bad relationships with people who take advantage of me and I have learned to stop myself if I see any of that in myself. I am quite respectful of boundaries, maybe too much so, and I have noticed that I must seem tight lipped and serious. In college, most people go there to get an education, have fun, and make friends. I suppose you could say that my “school self” is very much focused on school and little on fun and friends. I am learning still to cope with stress by letting people in my life, it is hard.
Anyway, I think that it opened my eyes because the classmate who made the gesture to air-punch me said that she is always trying to joke with me. It has been about three months, or so, since the semester started and I am still the same in their eyes, I suppose. Her best friend, another one of my classmates joked about how this was a facade and I wondered if it was. Personally, my demeanor is a product of who I am as a person because I wouldn’t want people to be mean to me. Granted, it hasn’t always been easy to be kind or polite but it is something I keep in the front of my mind when talking with people, even friends, even my own sister.
I guess my next step would be to open up more to people since I have found that I have made friends but I still haven’t opened up to them. I would say my version of friends is what most people would consider acquaintances, but what would my acquaintances be called? Anyway, still struggling with relationships with other people. I know that this isn’t a solution but it is something that I want to document so that, hopefully, I can look back and see that i have progressed more than I have in the past.
-The Mermaid Network