i've felt alone for a lot of my life. growing up was at times difficult for my brother (one year older), and we did not get along well. we had a shared interest in TV and video games but i don't remember being close. i got along better with my younger sister (4 years younger) and younger brother (5 years younger) but from age 5-10, a 4 year gap is a big difference in the kind of friendship you can have.

at age 11 the most important relationship in my life dissolved. my parents got divorced and battled for custody for many years afterwards. my mother comes from a reserved german family that was not accustomed to open displays of affection. my father has trouble with interpersonal relationships in general. the remainer of gradeschool was hell because for some reason, my brother and i were teased mercilessly.

by the time i had reached highschool, introverted patterns had taken hold and i was living with my father full-time along with my younger brother and sister. my older brother left my dad's house for my mom's, court arrangement be damned. my brother and i went to the same co-ed catholic highschool but we didn't run into each other. i had a couple friends and tried to do well. my sister went to an all-girl highschool and had friends and some positive influences from teachers. my younger brother went to an all-boy school and had no friends that i remember. the clic of 3 people (one boy, two girls) that i spend all my freetime with turned into the boy dating the other girl and me going on a date with the remaining girl and deciding i wasnt into seeing her. after telling her, the boy though i was insensitive and broke off all contact with me. the other two girls followed suit and i was more alone than ever.

my sister left the west coast right after highschool to go to college because she was a very good student and it had the side-effect of escaping the family. i went to a college that my father picked, in-town and catholic. i wasn't that interested in the selection of colleges. i felt one was as good as the other and we didn't do any pre-college visits. i had some good friends in college and through a 'business fraternity' i found many more friends. i was in a clic, again, with 3 or 4 other people. i had a falling out with the one i was closest too, and the rest followed suit. once again, the foundation of my social life crumbled.

i think i have become resilient because of these experinces. at the same time i benefit from exposure to different relationships. seeing what other kinds of relationships are possible.