It's that feeling of something that isn't quite right but you don't know what it is. Relationships feel shallow in comparison to how they used to be. There's no way to explain this accurately without sounding like I am full of myself, full of self-pity and grandiosity. Something just feels wrong.
I searched the internet randomly for years. When someone behaved in a way that I did not understand, I scoured websites for psychological terms that describe that behaviour. At first, I thought this was normal since I used to be a psychology student, but now I see it is more than a professional interest. I'm not in school anymore, I don't even work in that field, yet I'm still doing this.
I begin to analyse myself instead of others. I look up the worst traits that I can think of, all the mental disorders and emotional disorders that I fear the most. Maybe I have Asperger's Syndrome, or perhaps I have Avoidant Personality Disorder. Reading the checklist of symptoms, I reassure myself that that's (probably) not what's wrong with me. I tried several different counsellors, hoping that they would diagnose me with something (they didn't).
I found the term tonight on a blog. I'm spending new years eve at home alone with my laptop heating my lap uncomfortably warm and I'm glad that I don't have balls. The heat would surely reduce the sperm count significantly right about now, but that's just my brain redirecting my attention to something safer to think about.
I smoked a fair amount of weed tonight in an attempt to stop myself from thinking about anything. Clearly, it's not working.
A friend at work told me I'm crazy, but he won't say why when I ask him. It makes me wonder how bad his answer must be.
I did not bother to ask anyone what they're doing for NYE until two days beforehand. I'm somewhat relieved that the one person I asked isn't holding a party again this year. No need for me to go over there and attempt to rebuild friendships. I won't feel bad about not going because it's not like I never tried.
I look at myself and wonder how I got to this point. A woman from work invited me out and I told her no. She asks too many personal questions. She wants to know what I do with my time and she won't stop asking. It feels like she's digging at me with a spoon. She may as well stick a straw in me and suck me up. I'm buried under dirt. I'm liquid and consumable.
No wonder I'm alone so often by choice. My own friend sometimes isn't sure if I like him. Maybe we aren't such good friends after all, if he views me with such ambiguity. I lash out with hurtful comments against the people who start to include me in their teasing. How dare they cross that line! They need to back off! In hindsight, I might have pissed them off so badly that they won't talk to me next week. I don't know if I should feel relieved or upset. Mostly, I just feel ashamed.
My newest internet search yields me an entry from The Not Built to Be Broken blog. It defines emotional walls as a state of mind "where you literally erect an emotional wall around your feelings, thoughts and behaviours as a means of protecting yourself from the possible rejection, hurt and abandonment coming from someone else." I'm not sure if I agree with the "literally" part of that sentence, but the rest of it makes perfect sense.
This part wasn't mentioned, but it's also when you have a vague feeling that you may have screwed something up with someone you care about.