Hi everybody, new poster so here's the obligatory intro. I think my story should be somewhat interesting at least because I went from being an loveshy/incel to married to marcel and back to loveshy/incel, go figure.
I live in the US, though I wasn't born here, and my upbringing instilled me with certain values and postulates. For example, going to see a shrink is a no-no; it's more socially acceptable to find solace in a bottle. You're either in control of your faculties, or you are not, in which case you belong in a mental institution for the rest of your life. (Not that I believe in shrinks anyway - I went to see one out of sheer curiosity and found nothing but an overpriced soothsayer with a certificate on his wall). In fact, most ways to "seek help" are unacceptable, a man should deal with his own shit on his own and not burden others... so writing this alone is a struggle... took me a few days to work up the nerve.
This will be long and rambling, so if you're a TL;DR type or just don't care for long intros, this may not be the post you want to read.
My father was a rather ineffectual individual with a well-suppressed anger problem which boiled over every so often and resulted in grandiose shouting matches with my mother. My mother, on the other hand, was self-assured, domineering and very world-is-black-and-white type of a person. She had very precise ideas what a man should be like, and what her firstborn child should be like. Naturally I didn't measure up, but it didn't stop her from trying to "fix" my shortcomings... in the end, the most I learned from her was how to hate and fear women. She mellowed out a lot when my younger brother came along... to such degree that he could almost do no wrong, and they get along famously to this day. I do not speak to either of them any longer and do not intend to.
To compound it all, I wasn't an athletic kid, and was bullied mercilessly in school. Bullied at home, bullied in school... you see the pattern. In my early life, when other boys started to tentatively approach girls, I was always "on the outside looking in". It got so bad that girls whom I tried to approach were teased by other girls - it's as if I had shit dripping off me and if I approached you, you'd get soiled as well. Part of it was my appearance - though I am not in any way impaired (mentally or physically) I was told that my facial structure is subtly similar to that of a person with Down's syndrome. I guess it creeped my peers out on a subconscious level. And it didn't help that I was awkward as all get out and displayed all symptoms of a kicked puppy in most social interactions.
By the time the school was over, I was still a virgin, not even a hug or a kiss to my name. I finished with excellent grades, and was one of the few graduates to receive a gold medal (equivalent of Summa Cum Laude). Besides me, there were 10 more people that medaled, and I remember affection being showered on them even by their classmates who never liked/hung out with them before... hugs and kisses and handshakes and high-fives all around... me? Barely anything. Congratulations mixed with looks of surprize.
Early college was more of the same, but I didn't get to experience much of it because my family suddenly pulled up roots and moved to the US. I was lucky to have learned English to a half-decent degree by then, so my problems weren't compounded by not being to communicate. My parents were as confused by the new setting as I was, nevertheless I was expected to find a job and apply to a college as quickly as possible, otherwise I was "wasting time" and at risk of becoming "like that drunkard grandfather of yours". The topic of "bad genes" was one of my parents' favorite whacking sticks which they used on me to express their mutual resentment towards each other. My father was sure that I was turning out like my mother (whose family included several bitter alcoholics) and my mother, in turn, feared that I would turn out like my father, whom she often called a "small-town yid" under her breath. Fun times.
After some trying, I got into a good US college, and at the same time started work as a night shift front desk clerk at a large hotel. The four years that followed blend into some kind of a sleep-deprived nightmare. My peers made friends, joined frats and sororities, partied, fucked like rabbits and went on spring break trips. I went to classes during the day, slept for 3-4 hours, went to work overnight (doing my homework in back office after the hotel fell asleep), then showered in the hotel gym, changed out of my uniform and went back to classes. To me, study breaks were just the weeks when I could sleep for 8 hours instead of 4. By the end of it all, my health was noticeably affected - I gained a lot of weight and the sunlight makes me sleepy even to this day, over ten years later.
By then, I had lost my virginity to a prostitute - it went surprizingly well, despite the fact that I nearly shat myself with anxiety. I found a day job, moved out of my family's home (much to everyone's relief) and started playing at "adult life". Lacking any kind of meaningful social experience, I was friendless and solidly dateless; all my awkward attempts to approach women failed. I even tried a calling "It's Just Lunch" (matchmaking service), but was laughed at and told that at my age, I should be able to meet people on my own. My life settled into a work/home pattern and my primary means of interaction were the Internet message boards. And that's where I met my wife.
It was a message board dedicated to a TV show. I hid behind a funny and cocky persona, she liked it, we started talking, then making phone calls. It turned out that she lived in the Southwest while I lived in the Northeast. I came out to visit her, and found out that her family was a very religious and repressive bunch. That didn't stop me. We long-distanced it for a while, then she moved out to live with me and we got married. Other than the two of us, nobody was happy about it and nobody expected it to last.
Happy end, right? Guy lives a lonely life, guy meets girl, girl changes everything, the happy couple lives happily ever after. Not really. I was unable to maintain a steady emotional relationship because of my lack of experience and insecurity. I was possessive one minute, dismissive the next, and then grovel in paroxisms of guilt later. Sexual side of things petered out within less than a year after we started waking up in the same bed instead of seeing each other once a month. It got to the point that she stopped using make-up, cut her hair short and started putting on weight just to make herself unattractive to me. We stopped having sex, and spiraled into mutual resentment, fights and general misery. We made several attempts to salvage things, but they all fell through, and after a year and a half she was gone. After the divorce proceedings were done and we split our possessions, I had no further contact with her, though I heard she is happily dating someone and has a successful small business.
Fast forward a few years to now. I have a good job, a nice car and a place of my own. And... no, that's actually it. I tried several times to get in shape, but failed - I guess it's the "bad genes" after all (my father went from being a top-tier amateur boxer in his youth to a fat slob in his 40s). People of both genders still regard me not as just ugly, but repulsive, despite the fact that I dress well, have good personal hygiene, and act normal apart from being awkward and shy. I am more terrified and resentful of women than I've ever been. Meanwhile the clock ticks away, and I am still as alone as I was before. This is particularly heartbreaking in the summer, when I see girls of all ages running around with barely any clothes on, and presenting, PRESENTING themselves to just about anything with a penis. I know men of my age and older that are in stable relationships, or are getting laid regularly. Some of them run around with girls who are barely of drinking age (or not even!). Supposedly, the morals are looser than ever, and it's easier than ever to hook up. When I hear that, I secretly pray for some Judeo-Christian equivalent of Sharia law to be established in the United States.
I go over it in my head again and again, and see no answers. Yes, I am ugly, but so are a lot of people. I may be fat, but I am not deformed or slovenly - hell, some of the guys I know who get the most action are jolly chubby dudes that wouldn't win any male beauty contests. I make good money. I am smart and well-read. I don't have any weird tattoos or strange habits, outside of smoking pot once in a blue moon, playing videogames and collecting wargame miniatures. (Yes, I have a bitchin' gaming PC and a display case of minis in my home office, but it's not as if I shout about it to everyone I meet and expect them to be interested). But the worst part perhaps is that even if I didn't elicit an instant negative reaction from most women I meet, I don't know what I would say, or do, to make it work and last. After all, my only experience is less than a rousing success.
So that's my story. Roundly depressing I know, but there you have it.