I used to think they were. I would pour my heart and soul into Facebook statuses and I would get real conversation, but these days there are only crickets.
It didn’t used to be this way. When I first joined Facebook I only added people I actually knew and I saw those quite a lot, so my communication with them was face to face. I rarely put anything of import on it, because those who cared would already know what was going on.
When my marriage ended I was too ashamed to talk to anyone about it. It felt like a personal failure, a character flaw. So I began a blog. It was really an attempt to reconnect with my then husband and to tell my friends what was going on in my head, because it was too painful to do in person. Since then, I’ve used Facebook as a friend substitute, especially as IRL friends moved away and communication in person became too hard. As our kids got older and they went back to work, it became harder and harder to have personal contact.
Not that I really tend to open up much to people. The only people I’ve been really open with are my therapists, my ex and friends I met through my PND journey. It’s as if I’m afraid to show any cracks in the facade, show my weaknesses and faults. I began covering up who I really was in niceties, after years of being called a bitch and a hard woman by people who knew me. I’ve become bland to the point of non-existence. If I really am an Aspie, this is very typical behaviour for women with ASD – we mimic others in order to fit in. We learn not to show the more “diffiicult” parts of ourselves so that we are accepted by society and that’s why so many women are never diagnosed.
When I don’t pour my heart out on this blog, I tend to use Facebook as an outlet, but it is a very disheartening one. Most people use it as a highlights reel to record the good moments in life only and they stay clear of anyone who dares to post something different. Most people probably aren’t as attached to Facebook as their main means of communication as I am. Most of my “friends” are too busy for face to face catch ups. My sister is too busy with her life and my parents have never been able to provide me with any emotional support. I don’t like talking on the phone and really don’t know what to say in the moment. Being introverted and shy makes talking to people really hard. It is so much easier to let my fingers do the talking, whether it’s here or on Facebook. Sometimes, I don’t know what I want to say, or how I’m feeling, until the words appear on the screen.
And you know those times during the day, that you just want to share with someone? You know, the small little things, good and bad. funny and sad. Being home alone all day means I don’t have anyone to share these with.
Sometimes I wonder if I really matter to anyone apart from my children. My life feels so insignificant and small. It used to be so much bigger. I used to do yoga regularly, make mosaics, learn belly dancing, garden and even made a quilt once. I do nothing now. My days are filled with the occasional attempt at running, keeping my family fed and keeping the house somewhat clean. In the evenings I watch Netflix or Stan and crochet.
I am bored with myself, but I don’t have the energy or motivation to do anything more. It is probably the depression and my psychologist and I do have a plan for trying to bust through the block that is keeping me locked away from myself, but in the meantime, it feels like a slow death.
I went to a funeral today. My friend, she was so loved. She gave so much to everyone around her. She gave so much to me. And I can barely give enough of myself to my children. Depression – she is a sly and vengeful beast. She attacks you by stealth, disguising herself as other things and before you know it, she is on top of you, with her fangs bared, dripping with venom, ready to bite into your jugular. I don’t know if I can ever beat her. I don’t know if I can even keep her at bay.
So, Facebook friends, I know now that you’re not real. I know that you’re too busy to find time for me, whether to talk to me online, or meet me for coffee. I know your lives are busy. I guess it’s my fault mine isn’t, but depression and poverty will do that to you.
I don’t know why I can’t make my life work properly. I never really had to try very hard, things just had a way of falling into place. They just haven’t for the last four years.
Actually, that’s a lie. Things didn’t just fall into place. I worked hard at lining things up so that they would fall as they were meant to. But these days hard work just doesn’t seem to be enough.
Maybe I will blog more, now that I know Facebook isn’t real. Maybe I will stop second guessing myself about being too depressing, too sad and too boring. I guess you will either read or you won’t. But at least I will have said what I need to say.
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