This was what I was thinking as I read through the discussion. I really identify with the posts people have been making and the comments. I often feel so lonely, like there is no one I can safely open that piece of myself to.It's hard to know who to open up to and who you can't. But without risking >being hurt, it'd be impossible to open up to anyone. I know you know this, >it's just a hard thing to do. Totally understandable. It's rather like a sifting >process to see who you can and who you can't open up to. And it's not >straightforward.
For me, I find one place, situation, or person where I can be open. Maybe one friend from a long time ago who still keeps trust, a calm location that charges my batteries a bit, or something. Then I can get back out there and get through the awkwardness that is social situations and me.
I had a job in dorms as an undergrad student, and while I thrived on it for the first year (I had the smallest hall of girls to get to know, and it was great for the idealist and world-shaker in me), the second year when I had to try to do it all over again took everything out of me. I had one long distance friend who I called when it just got too overwhelming, and I kind of let that get me through. But I know I had it amazingly well in that regard - I've run into a lot of serious people in my lifetime and clung to them for dear life. And somehow they don't all get scared off.
So, yeah, I try to remember to focus on the little things that are still there when I hit super-lonely-panic mode.