Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The Confession of a Hikikomori

I think of myself as a hikikomori (shut in), which means that I think I like to shut myself inside my room, with the internet being the only connection between me and the outside world. I used to do this all the time, and only got out of my room when I want to buy food. During school, I can't wait to go back to shut myself in my room.

I wonder why I did that (do I still do that?).

Maybe because I think I don't like human interaction?
Because I don't like to meet people and interact with them?
Because I don't like having to strike a small talks with them?
Because I'm afraid of them?
Because I'm afraid to be judged?

But I know I can't shut myself inside the room all the time. Sometimes I get depressed for no reason (I think it's because of lack of human interaction, although I still have no evidence on this).

This situation is also intensified by the fact that I'm a very shy person. You know, when I was a child (around 5yo, I think), my mother took me outside to play with the neighbour children. I just kept quiet, and my mother actually had to introduced me to them. Okay, maybe I was a child, and I didn't know how to make friends, so that scenario alone is not enough to say that I'm shy. Okay fine.

But in Primary 1, when every child is still innocent and "cute", you know what I did? When the others were playing, I would only walk around near them, waiting for somebody to say "Hey! Let's play together!" and only after that I would join them.


And after that I went to Secondary school, and everything was getting better. I can't say that I was popular, but at least I had some best friends and some friends.

And then I went to Singapore to continue my study.

Being in a foreign country where you can't understand what they're saying (due to the Singapore accent) and they can't understand what you're saying (due to the Indonesian accent), my self-esteem was shot in the knee. I got scared, and the shy turtle went back to his shell.

I always thought that being in my room alone with the internet is a very nice feeling. I don't need to involve myself in troublesome relationship between humans and I don't even need to uphold my image. I have the image of a diligent student, simply because I don't want people to hate me. I always do my work (albeit last minute) because I'm afraid that if I didn't do it, the teacher will hate me. Yes, I'm actually a coward. To be honest, I'm actually a very lazy student, but I just can't be myself because I'm scared.

So I thought my room is like a safe haven for me to relax and run from interactions with other beings.

But lately, I got bored with the internet. It's like I have nothing to do except checking emails, read manga, twitter, facebook, tumblr, 9gag, and go back to checking emails. I feel that something is wrong somewhere, but I'm too comfortable in this state (it's called the Law of Inertia, people). It gives the same feeling with when you're awake from your sleep, but you don't want to get out of the bed because you're feeling too comfortable with the bed. That kind of feeling?

But this morning I drank coffee (I do believe it's the reason) and involved myself in this human interaction thing that I've been avoiding. Firstly, when I was walking to my tutorial, this bald woman asked me to help her by giving my opinion about something. So she dragged me into a room with two girls (I think they're her students) and asked me to rate their "femininity" based on appearance only. That's all. But it felt different from your normal "boring" daily life, since you don't get dragged everyday anyway.

It felt different, yet refreshing.

And then in my class, I actually told the girl beside me "You're cute ah" (in my defense, it doesn't sound as corny because I said it in Japanese) and we had this conversation about her interest in BL anime and manga and how Johnny's new group is too young and so on.

And in my other tutorial I actually asked the teacher a question (which I abashly admit, I don't usually ask questions) which was not solved, so I asked her again during lecture and I made her stay back for half an hour until quite late.

It feels new, but it feels good, to be honest.

I do blame it all on the coffee I took this morning and this afternoon, but I want to experience this again. Apparently there's something interesting in the world outside my room.


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