I sometimes wonder what happened to the people I was at school and university with, the people who were indifferent to me, the people who might have been my friends if I had had more confidence and social skills and the people who bullied me. (I don’t know why they bullied me. Because I was clever? Because I was awkward and Aspie? Because I was a Doctor Who fan? Because it was easy? All of the above? I don’t know.) I think sometimes about the girls I could have asked out who might have said yes, but who probably would have said no. I can’t remember all the names or even all the faces, just a sense of not fitting in, of not being accepted.
I assume they are all happy, successful and loved, no matter how unpleasant and socially maladjusted they seemed twenty years occur. It occurs to me that this might not be true. Yet it seems pretty impossible for them to be miserable if I am miserable. Like Yaakov and Esav (Jacob and Esau), Jerusalem and Rome, if one goes up the other must surely see-saw down. If I’m miserable, they must be happy.
Sometimes I tell myself that my suffering is a kapparah (atonement) for the world. This is a lie, but it helps me to get through the nights.