That dark secret of my life
This would have been a secret 5 years ago, but its just a story now.
I am a 27 year old guy, hailing from a tier-2 city in Maharashtra, India. I have a family with a history as old as the city we live in itself. Our family business manufactures industrial cutting tools. Although the whole family is in the same business, each member (my father's cousins) has a separate establishment and live in different localities than us. My father has 2 manufacturing concerns, with 2+ crores ($300K+) of turnover each. I never really wanted to join the family business as I had other interests.I have a severe inferiority complex and social anxiety disorder. All thanks to my father. I like to think I am privileged than most to not have any active financial problems in the family. My father doesn't agree with me. This is what I mean -
In 4th grade, I wanted a set of magic sketch/blow pens, the ones which changed colors and you could blow them to get a really sparkly effect on your drawings. Another time, there was a mechanical pencil craze in school, everybody had a mechanical pencil in addition to lead and wood types. When I asked my dad for these things his response was
DAD - This fancy stiff is for rich, high class people (my classmates and friends). Train your mind to not have any desires
ME - Okay! My brain hard coded the fact that you had to be rich to do nice stuff. All my friends were millionaires and I was not. I felt kind of intimidated by this thought but hey, why would my father say something if it wasn't true?
In 7th grade, the school hosted a book fair (with mostly children's books) and was open to all students. I wanted to go and buy Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. At the time, the book's price was Rs. 349/-. My father had this to say -
DAD - Focus on your studies. Only people belonging to high society have time to read such worthless books and pay such a high amount for them.
ME - Okay! I hard coded the knowledge that all my classmates belonged to the "elite" class to afford and read Harry Potter in my brain. Again, why would my father stop me from doing something unless it was necessary?
I used to attend birthday parties of children of my father’s friends with games and good food (not at home). Once, when we attended such a party, I requested my father to have a big party on my birthday. His response -
DAD - Shenanigans like these are for high class people only, we don’t belong to “that class”. Just invite them home for lunch
ME - Yeah whatever! I knew you'd say that but still I wanted to try.
In 8th grade I had to build a working model of scientific phenomenon as my science project. I asked my dad to come home early from from work (he's normally at work 16 hours 24x7) to build it with me. I waited and waited but he never showed up. Finally he showed me an experiment where he rolled up a piece of paper and demonstrated something regarding air pressure. I became the laughing stock of the school after I did that experiment. My faith in my father started to fade away after this.
In 10th grade, I was into music and had my own band. I didn't have an instrument of my own but managed to buy an acoustic guitar.I wanted money for an electric guitar. This is what my dad said -
DAD - Be happy with the guitar you already have. This western music stuff suits only the—
ME - —the high society and I am not good enough for it. Yeah I've heard that 367,450 times before. Just pushing my luck.
I had an interest in computers and digital art. I couldn’t have a computer because apparently we weren’t millionaires.
This will help the reader get an idea of how my childhood was. Whatever I chose to do, I wasn't good enough for it. It always suited the rich and the elite but not me. I grew up thinking everyone around me was super rich to afford annual vacations, a car, cool gadgets, a nice home, etc. They aren't even fucking millionaires or billionaires. They are just like me. One guy owns a grocery store while another owns a hardware store but they were all super rich and more deserving than me. How in hell does a fucking grocery store owner afford a nicer life? As per me, we definitely belong to the middle to upper-middle class level with a business and establishment like ours. My father obviously meant "spend the least amount of money possible" but I could not help feel inferior, small and lacking around my peers due to his choice of words. I started hanging out with the less fortunate but they had nothing exciting going on in their life. Whenever I played guitar in front of them or talked about novels or computers they would look at me like I was some kind of alien.
I had the chance to appear for an interview to be an exchange student in Germany. My parents too were supposed to sit through the interview. The other candidates were what my father always referred to as "high class and rich". My confidence was a little shaken but still I managed to go through the process. I never heard anything from them. 5 years later I found out that I had passed and was immediately supposed to secure the admission and pay fees of $2000 for visa and stuff. My father had conveniently forgot to tell me about this. They forfeited my application due to “lack of communication from my side”.
I was a loser in my own eyes. I could not figure out how people who had a smaller business than my father could have a much nicer lifestyle than us. I developed a fear of confrontation with my peers. I cannot help but feel there is no place for me among them. College was the time when my inferiority complex shot up like a rocket. I was not in school anymore. Kids had the freedom of doing whatever they wanted now. It meant sudden change in attitude, lifestyle, dressing, talking, etc. I saw them being "rich". They had nice bikes, hung out in cafes and went out to eat at nice restaurants, had nice gadgets, went on vacations, etc. It gets even worse with girls. Every girl I knew began to look like goddamn models or celebrities. A voice in my head kept telling me they are all superior to me and they probably think I am scum. Their complete lack of acknowledgment of my existence and recognition still makes it harder for me to have peace of mind. Only one thing goes through my head whenever I have to share the same space as them, - I am not good enough to be here anymore.
There are two depictions of the same woman in the above picture. I actually do not feel much inferior around the women of Category A. They usually belong to typical Indian conservative and orthodox environments. This is MY perception. Unfortunately, most girls/women I know belong from Category B. I am not able to be confident around them due to my frugal lifestyle, cheap possessions and unattractive physique. I have seen many Category B girls notice guys ("rich" guys as my father taught me) and hit it off with them. For some reason, they reciprocate with these guys but laugh at me. They would be friendly with that guy while not giving a single fuck about me. They would not mind starting a conversation with other guys while completely ignoring me.
I was browsing around in a mall one day and saw two girls (Category B) walking towards me. They glanced at me as we crossed each other. As soon they passed me, they started laughing. A little thought in my head said they were probably thinking – “Poor bastard, just looking around without buying anything. Such a cheap guy. Doesn’t fit in here, What the fuck is he doing in this mall?” That may or may not have been the case, who knows? Another time, I went to a restaurant to treat myself to a birthday dinner. As I entered the restaurant, the first thing I saw was a large group of Category B girls having a party of their own, all dressed nicely, looking rich and brandishing their iPhones. I did not stay there for another second. I ended up having my birthday dinner at a cheap, roadside restaurant where the other customers do not make me feel small on my birthday.
I still get the feeling that they are laughing at me, judging me, mocking me - “We're too good for you, you fat loser! We are richer! We have high standards! You are scum! You do not belong around us! We would rather die than make you a friend! We’d rather date an old senile man-frog than you, ugly fuck!” Is it a crime to expect a friendly gesture from a woman first, even for a guy like me? I have never had a female friend nor dated anyone and I wonder if I ever will.
Currently, I am living as a loner with minimal contact with the outside world. It does upset my work and my career but I see no other workaround to my problem other than those people acknowledging my existence and wanting to be with me. I actively avoid situations where I might run into those people like movies, restaurants, malls, etc.