Out of place

Out of place

A Story by Troubled Robin

My heart feels out of place and I tried to figure out why.


When my best friend texted me that she had her first kiss, my heart sank. I could actually feel it sitting in my chest. It was heavy, like gravity craved to hold it. It was strange, I never expected that was an actual physical feeling. The weirdest part is that I cannot for the life of me give you a clear answer as to why I felt that way. What emotion was that? My heart felt out of place in my chest. Like it was too big for my body, and too heavy to be held in place by my ribs like it was. Maybe if I looked down, I would have caught sight of it. Would I have been able to see it beating? It felt like it. Although I don't know what exactly caused this reaction, I could easily tell it wasn't a positive emotion I was feeling. It didn't necessarily hurt. It just felt out of place.

I told her I was happy for her, although it came unexpectedly. You see, I always tell people I am a terrible liar. And in some ways I am. If I eat the last cookie from the jar, there is a 100% chance it is written all over my face. Especially if someone were to ask me if I did it. My face tends to contract, I put up this uncontrollable grin that screams "yes that was me". However, when it comes to my feelings, lying is second nature. Despite my heart sinking in my chest, I replied to my friend positively. Just as I did when she told me that she had lost her virginity. I did not like hearing that one bit. And it's continued to cause a feeling of uneasiness whenever she tells me about her bedpartners. And I can't help but to try to relive those moments, those feelings, to figure out why it makes me feel that way.

I've considered being in love with her, but I've come to the conclusion that is not it. You see, I have a tendency of asking myself: "would I risk my own life for theirs?". With most people I have met in my life, the answer is no. Call it selfish, narcissistic, self-absorbed, I don't care. The truth is that it is really difficult for me to form a strong human connection. Of course I have friends. And I undoubtedly care about them. But those feelings never exceed the love I have for myself. Which sounds like a healthy dose of self-love, but it really isn't. I'll explain.

I don't like myself. In that aspect I am a walking contradiction, because I would do anything to keep myself safe, living and happy. I am selfish in that aspect. If I could choose between saving my own life or that of a hundred other people, I'd choose myself. But I can't say that I like myself. I don't think of myself as a nice person. And if I were anyone else, I don't think I would want to be friends with me.

Back to the best friend. To be frank; if I had to choose between saving her life or my dogs life, I would choose my dog. I am aware of how rude that sounds, but please, hear me out. I have a special connection with my dogs. I feel at ease with them, I feel real. I don't have to fake anything with them. I can be lazy all day, or cry my heart out, or work on a project, or exercise all day, or eat all the s**t we keep in the kitchen, and they would not think anything of it. They love me, because that is what dogs do. Dogs just love their families, specifically their owners. And because of that I've formed this vision in my head of what love is supposed to be. We got this dog, a stray. When my mom brought it home, I thought it was an ugly dog. It is most likely a grey hound/Shepherd mutt. Her ears were too big, her chest too skinny with protruding ribs, her hips too small. She was frightened of everything and it took and excessive amount of time before we could really do anything with the dog. Just taking a walk around the neighbourhood was quite the challenge. But as the time passed she started trusting me. She started liking me. Wagging her tail when I enter the room, coming up to me for a pet and eventually even storming towards me as a greeting. Now, I love that dog to pieces. You know why? Because it decided to love me unconditionally. And it showed me what a beautiful thing that is. That dog doesn't give a s**t whether I pass my exams or not. It doesn't care whether I helped a stranger in the street or killed a man. It would love me, no matter what. And I have come to do the same thing for that dog. Matter of fact, as a result of loving it so much, I have started perceiving its physical appearance as rather beautiful. I like her head, she has a nice long snout and slender cheeks, like a real lady. I like her ears, because they follow the sound of my voice. I like her small hips, because it helps her run really fast in the dog park and I can see how much she loves to do so. I even love her slender body, as she tends to take up all of these weirdly flexible positions when she's curled up on the couch, and seeing her like that melts my heart. Yes, I have grown to love that dog unconditionally. If it were to attack a member of my family, I would still love it to pieces. Hell, if it were to bite me, I would still love it. I might be mad for a few minutes, but I can never stay mad. This dog has managed to surpass my narcissistic self-preservation. 


With my best friend, that is different. It's weird, because I say she's my best friend, yet I couldn't give two s***s whether or not I see her this week. If she stops talking to me for a whole month I never really care, let alone notice. I find myself more at ease without her bullshit. Her drama, her bad choice in men, her burnout and her depression. It tires me out, she is such a walking cliche; always choosing the negligent guys and then crying about it. Again, I know that's harsh. But despite all that she is my best friend, because she really is a nice and caring person when she's not trying to get my sympathy. 

And yet, although I have come to the conclusion of not being in love with her a long time ago, I haven't figured out why I felt what I did when she told me about her love life. So, then I considered feeling left behind. Not by her, because as mentioned above, I don't feel like I need her (or want for that matter; solitude really sits well with me) in my life. But while she was having her first kiss, relationships, sexual experience, etc. I was still sitting at home. Spending time with myself and my dogs, because I am such an introvert that my absolute favourite plans are cancelled plans. I thought about that last statement a lot. I thought I was exaggerating, but so far I haven't been able to come up with any plan I have ever made, that I preferred over staying home with myself and the dogs. None. No family holidays, no trips to amusement parks, no dates with boys, no nights out with friends. Nothing. Every time someone cancels a plan, all I feel is relief. I won't have to leave the house, make myself look presentable, watch my words and tone of voice and most of all fake feelings I don't really have.

When people tell me stories about the current events in their lives, I find it difficult to react appropriately. Why? Because I don't feel what they feel. 

Their mother is sick? "Ok." Their grandparents died? "Sucks." They are failing school? "Probably their own fault." No, it's not their fault, they went through a really tough time. "Well, then pull yourself together you little s**t."

I never care.

Today a friend of mine got a phone call that his grandmother had cancer and it had spread to her liver. He was on the verge of tears, I could see that. And I know, from experience, that the appropriate response is to ask if they are okay, tell them to stay strong and assure that it will get better. But if I were to react with my heart instead of my head, I would just shrug it off. She's old, she was going to die sooner or later. Get over it. I've lost both my grandmothers. I didn't give a rats a*s about the first one. I cried for the other one, because I spend a lot of time with her and I realised I never would be able to do that again. I was ten years old. And I might be a little scared of death. I'll get into that some other time. Point is, I got over it pretty quickly. People die. It what we are meant to do. Even now when people around me lose family members, I can't bring myself to care. Yes, I pay my respects and tell them "my condolences", but that all comes from my brain. I ask them if they are okay, because it is the socially acceptable thing to do. I don't actually care whether or not they are falling apart. Maybe I do it to feel better about myself. To be able to tell myself "see, you are good, because you helped so and so through a tough time". There are no selfless good deeds right?

Back to me feeling left behind. I truly do. All my friends have lost their virginity. They have gone out and come back with crazy party stories. They have experience. I feel lame for still being a virgin at my age. I have only once dated a guy, just because I felt like it was time for me to finally get some experience. We didn't get past kissing. I really didn't like the guy in that way. He was nice, but not the I'd-like-you-to-shove-your-tongue-down-my-throat kind of nice. We didn't even get to that part, mind you. Like I said, I always keep myself happy first. If I don't want to do something, I don't. It's a lifestyle, people.

But this does not explain why my heart sank like that when my best friend told me about her first kiss. Other friends of mine have equal experiences, and I don't feel uneasy when they tell me such things.

Sometimes I guess I just feel things without understanding why. My brain releases all sorts of chemicals but it forgets to translate the message to my consciousness.

Anyway, maybe this whole story has nothing to do with my friend and everything with me just not understanding people. Sometimes I think I may be some sort of sociopath, but it's not that I don't feel or connect to others whatsoever. I do. I get happy, sad, angry and jealous. I care for people. I am willing to go out of my way for people. It's not that I want to hurt anyone either. I just don't truly care. My care for others is very superficial. I wonder if that is something that comes forth from something in my youth or if it has always been there.

My youth was not bad, from what I remember. Mom claims I was an easy child, but the videotapes beg to differ. I seemed to be in need of quite a bit of attention, often screeching just to get a reaction. I was the youngest of four. I don't feel like nor remember ever lacking attention. Ever since I could speak and listen properly I remember my parents always calling me the easy child who doesn't need a lot of attention. Apparently I did not like hugs, or to be touched too much at all for that matter. I still don't like it when people touch me without permission. However, I definitely crave it sometimes. It's simply something I want of my own accord, not someone else’s. Another selfish trait of mine, I guess.

Perhaps I understand people just fine, I merely seem unable to understand myself.

© 2019 Troubled Robin

Author's Note

Troubled Robin
My thoughts were all over the place, my apologies.

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Added on December 29, 2019
Last Updated on December 29, 2019
Tags: understand, youth, out of place, love, unconditional, dogs, dog, sociopath, emotion, emotions, thinking, head, heart, feelings, care, selfish, self-discovery, self-help, monologue, friends, friend


Troubled Robin
Troubled Robin

I'm a troubled bird who likes to write. more..