Thank you for an insightful review. I must say: you've dissected my words thorougly.
I feel like you may be misunderstanding the purpose of this post, because you put much attention on the worse traits that I've described about myself. To show them, to talk about them with honesty was the entire purpose of the post: not to show how good or bad I am, but to show how I am. It has been my problem for years not to be able to talk about what I feel, especially the darker stuff, and as I do, I feel like I'm liberating myself.
If it still sounds self-absorbed, it might very well be because it is: I do put much attention to what I feel because this is what this post is all about. It may not be pleasant to hear, but I won't issue an apology for speaking up about my self rather than being bullied by my own mind again. It's a struggle I want to talk about, for it is important. I want to let my thoughts be known, and it matters not if it appears selfish to some: after 20 years of staying silent and serving others I must finally allow myself to be frank - with myself, foremost. If you're not interested in hearing it - by all means, don't give it a read; I just want to put my thoughts into words for it helps with visualising the ideas.
Why do you claim to know how your writing sounds to us readers?
Because I've studied human behavior and others' reaction enough to understand what it means to others. I know often enough what's normal to others and what's not to understand where the border lies. Just because I can't speak your language fluently, doesn't mean I can't speak it at all.
Which one are you, a telepath, or an alien?
I don't understand the purpose of this question.
Who are you referring to, other than your parents? You've mentioned friends and the groups of people you can't seem to fit in. What is selfish about them? Excluding you?
I'm referring to the general population I happen to see most of the time. It can be daunting at times to see just how uncaring, entitled and judgemental people can be. It used to have a much bigger influence on me as a child when a concept of free will and personal responsibility were not known to me. I absorbed stuff from around me as if that was what I had to do, as if I'm not supposed to have a personal opinion.
Do you feel entitled to being approached spontaneously by people, when you don't approach them spontaneously yourself?
I'd like to say that I don't now, but that would be a lie, for the feeling is still lingering despite me knowing full well that that's not how the world works. This is how my anxiety of contacts manifests itself: through wishful thinking. It's not to say it's a good thing, but it's what I have. I realise, too, that I must make an effort myself before asking something of others, but it can be a hard choice to make. Like I said, it's something I'm terrified off, and deep down, I wish everything worked towards me - don't we all? - but I know it won't, and so I'm making one step at the time.
It seems disturbing to apply the law of supply and demand to personal relationships. Friends are no commodity.
It's clear to me that you haven't been lonely often. Not having many friends means that I spend my time absorbed into other, less than healthy behavior because there's no one around to share thoughts and emotions with most of the time. It's not a desired state to be in or a very happy one. As such...
Isn't the fact that they are your friends reason enough for you to care about them, regardless of how many they are?
...I became obsessed with having friends. It's how every obsession works: you don't have enough of something for long enough, so you develop a dire craving for it to "save" yourself from the "deficit". It's not a good thing, either, but that's what I had. It's true that friends ought to be cared about regardless of how many of them there are for you, but for me-at-the-time, it looked differently. I've gathered so much craving for friendship that I'd become overly protective and controlling of my friends (which is exactly what happened and it's why I learned my lesson), which for me looked like "more caring than any other person could give". I was... friendshipstruck, if you wish.
This strikes me as dishonest, desperate and manipulative. What is so valuable about their company that you keep it despite not enjoying it?
It was exactly that, for I never wanted to be alone. It terrified me - because, I believe, the thought of not having someone to validate me and my feelings was unbearable, so much I have depended on others' opinion of myself.
How have you been controlled?
I was raised by a narcissistic mother and a father - otherwise splendid, hard-working man - who got into my mother's nets shortly before they got married and, with time, succumbed to her nasty behavior. So did I: as a child, you don't have either the will or the knowledge necessary to resist manipulation (especially that from own mother) or sustain oneself: she was a helicopter parent and prevented me from learning how to stand on my feet, figuratively speaking, so that I'd always be under her control. She did the same to my father: he has to work in a mine and has almost no personal finances - my mother took almost everything to herself, sometimes to spend it all to spite us. Sounds like fun, doesn't it?
Until I was 18 - a year into university already - I had no idea how to deal with personal responsibility and was desperate when under pressure of the exams and the academic debts that followed soon. If someone was to have such a life by choice, it would sound utterly pathetic. Yet, kids under narcissistic parents don't even get a choice; a few friends of mine had such parents, and from the few glimpses into their private life that I happened to get, it ranged from very bad to fucking horrible.
It's a terrible childhood to have, and no person deserves it. Because of it, people grow indifferent to others' feelings, cheerful of others' suffering, manipulative (because in their house there was no other way to gain what you wanted) and utmost unhappy, with the weight on their shoulders that's often too hard to throw off. For some reason, I was lucky enough to grow as a person under the rock, and I can only wish for others in the similar situations to have enough bravery and strength to grow as well.