I came across this sentence online and it just sounds awkward to my ear at best (I am a native English speaker):
that's a problem cause i don't get along with other boys well i have always not had many friends (link)
The commenter's profile seems to suggest they at least live in the U.S. Google searches for "I have always not had many" "I have always not had much" "I have always not had a lot" don't yield many hits, barely any actually. I did find one, and only one, hit in a book on Google Books:
For pretty much 40 years, I have always not had a record, so it never stopped me. (link)
In both cases, the context makes it pretty clear the writer means they do not have many friends or they do not have a record, and it has always been like that.
Does the sentence work grammatically? If not why?
Is there a more idiomatic way to phrase "I have always not had" without removing the "always"?
I know "I have always had a few friends" and "I have never had many friends" work. What I am interested in is how to rephrase it and make it idiomatic while keeping "always" "not... many friends". Essentially, I wonder if it can sound less awkward by simply rearranging the word order.