So last weekend was Bladelands, which for reasons of hideous transport complications and non of my local friends playing the same systems I do I haven't been able to make in a while. Bladelands is such a mixed experience for me. Many of the people there I love seeing and don't get to hang out with nearly often enough, but my in character experience is often characterised by boredom and frustration, despite the fact that I find the setting one of the more interesting that I've been involved with, having an internal coherence that knocks, say, Shards or White City into a cocked hat (probably as a consequence of being largely the brainchild of a single person, to be fair to those systems).
Anyway, the point is that not for the first time, by the time I reached the middle of the event I was in tears due to frustration. It's hard to say why these things affect me this strongly, and really this is a big part of what makes the system so hard for me. I'm totally failing to pin down what I'm doing "wrong" (in the sense of what's causing me not to have fun), and my complete inability to get any sort of handle on the problem is in itself highly upsetting. To be honest, the fact that it does bother me on such a deep level suggests to me that it's somehow a deep metaphor for my inability to "win" at life also.
At its core, Bladelands always leaves me feeling like an outsider. People are polite and distantly friendly, but they never ever take me into their confidence. Funnily enough, rightly or wrongly, I feel that way about my friends at the moment. While they are happy to spend time in my company if they haven't got something more interesting to do, they simply aren't willing to put in the extra effort required to maintain a close relationship with me. As a result, I'm everyone's passing acquaintance - if I were to emigrate to the moon tomorrow I don't feel as though there's anyone (markbanang excepted, for obvious reasons) who would particularly feel that there was anything missing from their life as a result. And I don't really understand why. I work very hard at being a good friend. I'm loyal, I care deeply, and will always make myself available for a friend in need. (But no-one ever does need - it's always someone else they turn to.)
It's important to say that the above paragraph is not a fair assessment of my friends. On an intellectual level I know it's not true. That's what makes it so hard to express. The problem is that emotionally I'm very controlled, and don't allow myself to express my emotions much, particularly when they contrast with what I know intellectually to be the case. So here you have my emotional response. I'm hurt. I'm hurt that my friends don't care more about me. No matter how much I can rationalise that feeling away as unjustified, it's not going to stop the fact that I'm fighting back tears as I write this because emotionally I feel as though no-one really even wants to know the real me. For someone with self-esteem issues as big as mine, that just has to be a total killer. I'm clever, I'm funny, I'm caring, and still it isn't enough. Still it feels like everyone would rather be friends with someone else. I honestly don't know whether people just feel I don't need them or what, all I know is how I feel.
Part of the reason I don't say these things is because it's very easy for them to come across as accusatory and passive-aggressive. The problem is that not saying them doesn't stop me feeling them. Maybe I don't come across as all that vulnerable. All I know is that I feel vulnerable as hell.