Introspections & Retrospections

The Pains of Isolation: Introduction

I was about to meet a couple of friends for some much-delayed catching up. Then, another group comes along— insisting I join them instead. For what exact purpose, I don’t really know. I was hesitant; but against my own logic, I gave in and apologized to my other friends.

It was the biggest regret I have over the weekend.

At the eatery, they simply forgot I was with them. I was seated on a separate, while everyone else simply had a good time. Not that I’m against them enjoying the time together. When you’re part of a group and you notice after 30 or more minutes that you don’t belong or is a part of group, you start to wonder.

What the hell am I doing here?

I tried, in my own awkward way, to at least be part of the conversation. But no. The realm of existence was limited on the boundaries of their own table. I wondered if I was just looking for attention. But why would they try to persuade me to tag along, then just forget, ignore, isolate?

So what the hell am I doing here? Why should I stay?

I left. Nobody bothered to ask why. That only reinforced the idea that I was unwanted, unnecessary.

What the hell am I doing here.

I kept asking myself over and over and over again all through the night, as I tried my best to hold back my tears— let the skies do the crying for me. I buried myself with some tasks I had committed myself to do. But it was almost morning when I was able to fall asleep.

What the hell am I doing here.

People tend to either isolate themselves or are isolated by others. But do people isolate themselves because of how others make them feel? Or do other people stay away because they think that person wants to be left alone? I kept thinking that night if I had done something that would cause them to treat me that way. Or maybe they’d just tell me I was the only one thinking about that, feeling that way. Does that mean my feelings are invalid, false? If that’s the case, then is sadness, loneliness, depression, and all these dark emotions all an illusion then? Try to tell that on a suicidal’s face.

But then I wonder: how many people felt this way? Trying to be part of a group, only to be rejected. Trying to fit in with people, find friends, only to be set aside and not prioritized. Trying to stay in church, only to be judged, or worse, church-zoned: a state wherein your presence is only appreciated for attendance purposes only. Oh, we haven’t seen you last Sunday. Then, nothing. Did we care about what happened? And if we did, did we care about them? Them, beyond the additional headcount for our church attendance. Them, beyond the ministry and service they offer. Them, beyond the tithes and offerings they bring. Them, beyond all the other benefits they potentially keep.

One thing I know: people know and feel when other people really care.

People don’t isolate themselves without reason; although at times, the reason may be far beneath your own standards. But that doesn’t make it less reasonable.

What the hell are you doing here.


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