Despite appearances, this isn't just wallowing in self-pity, and the questions aren't rhetorical. I am genuinely at an impasse in how I perceive myself.
When I was younger, I honestly didn't care about being the terminally-uncool fat friendless dweeb in the corner unliked by many but simply unnoticed by most. With my books and the few even dweebier friends I had, I escaped into fantasy.
Despite the hopeful image of countless books, films and TV shows (and indeed the biography of certain captains of industry in the real world), I didn't end up rich and powerful and manage to gloat at those who refused to give me the time of day when we were younger.
No, now as I approach (!) middle age, I grow increasingly resentful of those living happy lives in the full and certain knowledge that the fact I try to be nice counts for nothing.
Three friends, each of whom individually claims to like me as a friend and is happy to call on me for favours, arrange to go out together. I am pointedly (and, as far as I can tell, deliberately) not invited. They don't hide their plans, I drop hints about my interest in attending, which are ignored.
What should I conclude?
That I am unworthy of their company?
That their friendship is just a front, that they're happy to take what I can give but offer nothing in return?
That while each of them might be happy to be in my company, they're unhappy to be seen to be in my company?
All my life I've been happy to be "used" by those around me - I derive genuine pleasure from helping others.
Is it unreasonable to expect appreciation?
What's to stop me giving in to the urge to climb the top of the nearest tall building, shouting to all the world,
NO IT DOES NOT GET ANY FUCKING BETTER
and then throwing myself into the abyss?
(P.S. I'm not actually suicidal)