Why Am I The Way I Am

My Childhood

I can remember feeling different than others when I was in the fourth grade. My Dad had just retired from the Military and I ended up having to adjust to a civilian life. Previously while growing up in a military environment I remember having friends. Though friendships were brief as we moved often, I did have friends.

Moving a lot was not a problem with me. I am an only child and learned to entertain myself, so part of my entertainment came in the form of excitement about moving to a new location and seeing things I have never seen before.

But as I previously said, I started to see life differently after my Dad retired and I switched from going to a school where all my classmates were military brats like myself to where my classmates held a totally different outlook than me.

My school years

In grade four I attended a public elementary school. I had no friends there. I was shunned by the white kids because I would be seen talking to the black kids. I was also shunned by the black kids because I was a white kid. This was my first taste of racial prejudice. I never knew this while growing up in as a military brat. Sure, there were other kids that I didn't like, or they didn't like me, but this dislike was never based on a person's skin color. In fourth grade I was an outcast; someone not accepted by any of my fellow classmates.

From fifth to eighth grade I went to a private "Christian" school. Again, I got to see the side of good old Southern bigotry. They openly taught in their "Bible" classes that any races other than white were "cursed by God." In fact, there were no other students or faculty in this school other than white. I drew farther into myself during these years. I had one friend at this school who, like I, questioned why the staff and other students hated any other race other than whites. As for myself growing up with kids of different races and cultures, I couldn't understand the reasoning behind the hatred, especially from a "Christian" school.

For my high school years, I went again to a public school. Same story here about the racial bigotry and hatred. You were shunned if you were white and associated with blacks and vice versa. I had only one friend during these four years there. I was never invited to any activities outside of school sponsored activities; never invited to any private parties. I tried to join a few clubs to see if I could broaden my social contacts but was quickly told by these clubs that they were not taking on new members, even though people were still being accepted by these clubs after I asked to join. As far as sorts goes, in P.E class that is, I wasn't popular there either. I was never the "last" to be picked for a team, but rather had to be placed by the coach. This was usually followed by comments like, "Coach. Since he has to be on our team can we just go ahead and forfeit the game now?" I chose not to participate in team sports, but why should I knowing what the others really thought of me.

College was the same for the most part. Though there weren’t the racial issues as in the previous years, I still felt like an outcast. I wasn't invited to any social functions outside of college activities. I tried to pledge a fraternity or two but was not accepted. Also, I didn’t have any, or even one friend like I did previously. I just mainly attended classes and went home.

I did notice one thing new in college that I never experienced previously. It seems that people seemed to want to migrate away from me. For example, where ever I sat in class, people would not sit near me unless there were no other seats available. Yes, I was clean and bathed and I didn't wear any cologne; it just seemed to be a natural tendency for people not to want to sit near me. I remember being the first one in the classroom on the first day of class. I sat in the front row and it seemed that anyone coming in would sit as far as possible away from me as if I were a plague carrier. Another time I remember, again being the first one in the classroom on the first day of class. I placed my books down and went to get a soda. When I got back there was a female student sitting next to where I was sitting. When I sat down she immediately got up and move as far away from me as possible. I did nothing to provoke this unless smiling and saying "Hi" was inappropriate behavior.

When we had to team up for class projects, I was always the one that the instructor had to place in a group. I was never asked to join any group and was usually told when I asked to join a group that they had all the people they needed in their group.

My social activity in college? What social activity? While other classmates were getting together on the weekend for either studying or socializing, I was never asked to join. I would hear them chat about what they did the previous weekend and know I wasn't welcomed. I seemed to be overlooked in class as well when it came to any social interactions between classmates.

The Adult Years

I must be honest when I say that I have failed at most everything I have tried to accomplish in life. Oh, I had the small successes but have never gotten past these. Even with the proper education, training and dedication to achieving my goals, I somehow always missed that brass ring.

I failed getting into the military due to physical reasons, (heart surgery at the age of 4) even though I have met others my age with the same childhood birth defect as I did that could get in and make a career of the military.

I have failed to obtain jobs that I was fully trained for either by a college education or certification while watching others achieve their goals with less.

I have never had a successful relationship with a woman, not though I haven't wanted one or tried to have one. It seems the best I can do is to find someone that wants to use me. I have never known what it's like to have the love of a woman, and most probably never will. Oh, I've been told "I love you" before, but I must have been too naive to know that they meant, "I love you for what I can get from you." After that, it was get lost. I guess this lack of female attention was best described by two people that I went to church with many years ago. When discussing relationships, one woman told me when I stated that it was hard for me to find anyone decent and caring that "There are some miracles that even God can't perform." Another woman told me that maybe God felt that I wasn’t "worthy" of having anyone. I soon quit going to church and lost my faith, not only in a mythical God but in others.

When I ever discussed my desire to have a wife and family I have been told, mainly by women, that any woman that wanted to "have your child" should be forced to be sterilized to prevent this, and if they were already pregnant with my child, they should be forced to abort the pregnancy.

At Work

I have always prided myself on my work ethics. I work hard and am not ashamed of it. When it came to a working relationship with others I have never had a problem. I am a team player. Outside of that, on the social side of work, I again was the outcast. Outside of work related functions I was never invited to any private social activities. In fact, I remember one incident where I overheard two co-workers talking about an upcoming road trip to a nearby city. One reminded the other to keep the road trip a secret from me as no one wanted me "tagging along." How do you think this made me feel? How would you have felt hearing this from co-workers that you considered your friends? And then they wonder why I started giving everyone at work the cold-shoulder. "What's with your attitude?" they would ask. My answer was, "You know as well as I do."

Over the years working in different places I have stayed away from any social activities be it business related or other. Of course, the "other" social activities were not hard to stay away from as I was never invited to any to begin with.

In conclusion

Looking back in retrospect, I can't see really what I've done to deserve this type of treatment from others, but I must have done something, I just wish I knew what it was. I even sought out the help of a professional once while I was fighting off a case of depression. Even the professional stated that outwardly he saw nothing wrong with me and that I sounded perfectly normal, outside of being depressed. He also stated that I should just get used to being alone and learn to fully enjoy the fact that I was going to most probably be alone in life. This seems to be a strange thing to tell a client who is looking for some reason behind depression. I later learned that he was saying one thing but writing something else down. I found that he thought I had an unreasonable reaction to rejection, a false sense of failure, persecution complex and a borderline personality disorder due to perceived depression. This was the last time I ever trusted anyone in the medical profession. Not because of what he thought, but because of what he told me not knowing I would ever find out what he really thought. In other words, by lying to me instead of helping.

What's funny is that for all my life I have been told by many that I was liked, that I was a kind, caring, great guy to be around and that I would be a great catch for someone. I guess these compliments have just been one large, endless pack of lies. Oh, I still like being around people when I have to be. I can strike up a conversation with any stranger at any time. I am still friendly, kind and a nice guy when I am out in public.

And you know why I am a loner.