AT the risk of sounding like a My Chemical Romance fan, I feel very alienated most of the time. I'm in a tricky position. I have a condition that I am advised makes it difficult for me to feel connected to others, BUT I've ALWAYS felt that way ANYWAY, even before I was informed I'm officially a mentalist.
Also my interests mark me out as someone not of the mainstream persuasion, and even within the sub-cultures I am ghettoised in, I'm in another sub-culture of a sub-culture in some cases. Boy do i make life harder for myself, hahahahaha........
The thing is that I feel little to NO kinship with the vast majority of the other people that I'm supposed to have things in common with. Which saddens me greatly. Don't get me wrong, I make attempts to communicate and join in their li'l reindeer games, but i always get the sense that they can TELL I'm only going through the motions.....people just don't seem to warm to me. I don't know what i project, or if I keep people at arms length without knowing it, or WHAT I'm doing.....but in the end, I STILL feel alone.
The major interests in my life are music, magick, comic books, art and literature. A nice broad sweep of everything that encompasses the kind of things that fucking weirdos and nerds really dig (aside from computers and games, which i have always had ZERO interest in, and roleplaying games, which I stopped doing yeeeears ago because they were no fun anymore thanks to CCGs and other people). BUT, I'm a weirdo amidst the weirdos! Oy vey.
The music that appeals to me is generally very individual, or visceral. I like it hyper-complex or caveman simple, faster-than-light or slower than a no-legged tortoise. I'm all about extremes, baby.....BUT I can spot a poser or a fad-follower a MILE away - both in art AND in real life. I hear things that others don't, make connections that others don't, and generally pay more attention to things than most. Consequently I get the impression that people view me as some kind of creepy weirdo. Whether they do or not, their reactions to my conversations or my observations make me FEEL that is the opinion directed at me. So I feel alienated MUSICALLY.
First door closes.
The world of magick is full of people who subscribe to new-age philosophies - liberal humanists, basically - borderline christians, people with a massively overinflated sense of self-worth and their own eruditition (is that a word? well, it is now!) and utterly delusional 'satanists'.....and, again, I do not fit in with any of them. Every time I come across anyone connected with magick, I find that I just flat-out don't like them. The prevalent attitudes I come across are either one of pretension, a 'stance' or 'pose', an attitude that THEY know something, or just MORE, than YOU do, and YOU are wrong and will NEVER attain THEIR level of knowledge and aptitude, OR the previously mentioned 'liberal humanist', hippy, attitude, and I do not connect with any of them. In fact, they flat-out make me want to set fire to them. I want to LEARN, I want to EXPERIENCE and I do NOT want to have my attitude adjusted or have my errors pointed out to me as a feat of mystical one-upmanship. I once mentioned this problem to the denizens of internet community Barbelith, wjho promptly told me that I NEEDED to get over it and learn to love others and work with groups, and some went so far as to suggest that I was mentally unbalanced and needed to get some help due to my lack of interest in other people - especially after I expressed a wish to make contact with a non-human intelligence. Basically I was made to feel like a failed shut-in weirdo basket case. Nice. Way to support someone asking for help and advice.
Another door closes.
The final 'community' I 'should' feel part of but DON'T is the comic book fan community.
I've been a comic book reader since a very early age, starting with typical kids comics, through to early 70's reprints of horror/mystery comics by Steve Ditko et al, through to the Claremont/Byrne X-Men and early runs of The Defenders, then on to 2000AD and then back onto the US comics right through until the early 90's. I took a break for most of the 90's and started again in earnest in 1999 with Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch's The Authority and continue to read and enjoy them to this very day............BUT.........I have never liked the company of my fellow fans very much. In fact the vast majority of them make my flesh crawl.
The general view of comic book fans as smelly autistic virgins wanking over copies of 'Tarot, Witch of The Black Rose' in their mothers basement whilst dressed as elves and cultivating a Warcraft addiction is NOT a stereotype, it is VERY much a REALITY....and it is a reality I just cannot stand. These losers obssess all day over the integrity of their collections and debate endlessly over the minutae of the continuity in whatever their book, or company, of choice is on internet forums. They have NO ability to take a step back and understand that opinions are SUBJECTIVE, and that someone disagreeing with them need not descend to the level of a personal attack.
Having spent some time working in a comic book shop I have met these people in the stinking flesh and noted more than trace amounts of autism and repressed sexuality, homo or OTHERWISE, in their behaviours, these people either CANNOT make eye contact, or else are OVERLY physically friendly to an inappropriate degree. I have seen grown men reduced to throwing a TANTRUM over the possibility that they may not get a particular issue or giveaway on the day of release, I have seen people argue to the point of TEARS over who is stronger, Superman or The Hulk. THESE are NOT people I want anywhere NEAR me...and don't get me STARTED on Anime and Manga fans.
Now, I must stress the point that I'm NOT saying that ALL comics fans are like this, BUT, in my experience (which is the only experience that I can talk from) a vast majority of them ARE. I HAVE met people who are very pleasant, but I've STILL never felt much of a connection with them for some reason or another. Maybe its ME, maybe not......
Another door closed.
SO, now you see my problem. My interests have driven me out of the mainstream into an underground populated with people I cannot stand and have NOTHING in common with aside from ONE, maybe TWO, shared interests. I have a very wide range of interests and I am constantly seeking new input, new sounds, new sights, new IDEAS, and I LOVE to communicate and throw ideas around with others.....BUT.....I just find that most people fixate on one or two subjects, and then only on one level.
I find most conversations I have soon start to bore me and I start looking around for a way to bow out without causing offence. So I tend to keep to myself now and that saddens me greatly, and I am sure that in time it WILL damage me, but i feel that its an act of self-preservation on my own part in order to protect my own self and sense of sanity.
I find people in general to be cumulatively TOXIC to me - I cannot stand to be around them for vast amounts of time, and en masse I avoid them as much as I can. I wish it wasn't that way, but I fail to see any evidence that things will improve.....if anything, people are getting DUMBER and MORE emotionally and intellectually disconnected from reality.
I'm opting out while I still have my sanity and no blood on my conscience.