I am self-reliant.
It’s something I pride myself on, my independence, my ability to stand on my own two. It’s seen me through a lot of tough times, & shown me that I can do a lot more than I ever thought I was capable of.
But that’s also how I was raised.
My parents are strong, independent people. Born in the mid-40s, they were raised by parents who taught them that hard work was its own reward; that success was not about making millions, but was about achieving personal goals, while being a good, caring person at the same time. I’ve strived to emulate that same strength of character.
Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about myself while getting my hands dirty, too. As my dad has always said, “Shit washes off”, so I dig into a job, getting filthy in the process, waiting till it’s finished before I clean up. Then I can sit back & enjoy the results of my labors.
Of course, there are some things that are sacrificed in the process.
My clothes, for example…
I have some that are permanently stained, torn & stretched, frayed & ruined beyond redemption due to wearing them while doing this type of work.
Although skin replaces itself & heals, the scratches & calluses are there, temporarily, & the arthritis- well, that is there permanently, & vehemently objects, but I insist right back just as obstinately. And I win. For now, anyway.
I’ll pay for it later. I know.
But, the benefits I’ll reap from this are good enough for me.
I’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that I took care of my mowing myself. I trimmed the bushes in the backyard. I raked & cleaned up the trash by the fence. I was the one who started cutting down the trees by the fence with the chainsaw. (got stopped by the rain – can’t use an electric chainsaw in the rain…Right?)
It’s enough for me to know that – I am the one who can do these things.
I – don’t need anyone to do these things for me.
I might want someone to share my life with…
But I don’t need them to breathe.
I am my own selfie.
There are days when I just need to be alone inside my own head. These are the days when I seriously retreat from society. I don’t talk, won’t pick up my phone, & many times, don’t even leave my house. It’s just me, decompressing, processing, trying to work things out inside myself, before I have to interact with society at large once again.
On these days, it’s best to just leave me be.
I’m not fit company for anyone when I’m wandering inside my own head. Let it go.
I’ll be fine.
If my decompression days get disrupted, it can throw me off for yet another week, struggling to get through, because I didn’t get that time for myself.
If I’m out of touch, not answering, leave it alone.
I’m not lost, I don’t need help, I just need to recharge, regroup, & relax.
And while it might seem like mindless drivel to someone on the outside looking in, to me, it’s the little things, if not dealt with promptly, that end up becoming the largest issues for me.
I used to shove everything down, all the time, stamping on the emotions, the little hurts, the aches and pains of daily life…until they would suddenly burst forth like a volcano. And then, everyone within the blast radius would get burned.
So, when I take these days, it’s not just for my mental health…it’s to prevent Krakatoa 2.0
There is a part of me that dwells in Silence; content, quiet, serene. She is the Watcher, the one who sees – everything, and speaks nothing. When I sit in that realm of silence, I hear all the whispered words, notice the changes of mood, of feeling, and gather the minutiae into myself. I…observe and learn.
There is a part of me that dwells in Chaos. Frantic scurryings of thought, painful jumbles of words, and the ever-present hisssss of static whispers sounding in my head, too loud to shut out, not loud enough to discern a pattern. When I am in chaos, I tense, not knowing which direction to take, too much input coming in, I panic & shut down, overloaded & shaking. I…exist in constant fear and anxiety.
There is part of me that dwells in Rage. Heat courses through my veins, surging as I fight my way through the trials in front of me. Electricity rockets through my brain, lighting up the centers of pain, sending my voice into overdrive as I announce my anger, vent my frustrations at that which seeks to defeat me. When I dwell in rage, my mouth runs a mile a minute, close behind my brain, almost tripping me into inexcusable words…almost. The warrior takes the reins & lashes out, burning down all in her path. I…am fury and storm and destruction.
There is part of me that dwells in Joy. Simple, thoughtful moments become transcendent through a smile, a word, a gentle touch. Extravagance is unnecessary, for joy is little things…a hand holding mine, a secret smile, a whispered affection, watching the joy of a loved one, giving a gift for no other reason than because I can, and like seeing them happy. When I dwell in joy, I am effervescent, laughing & totally relaxed and tightly wound, all at the same time. I…am sacred.
And there is part of me that dwells in Darkness. She with no name, no face, no voice or meaning. It is the bottomless pit, with no reprieve; the crushing weight of ages presses in without relief. There is no “up” in the black, no down, no sideways, no out. When I dwell in darkness, I am alone, numb to all emotion, cut off from all, even myself. I…am Full Dark, No Stars.
Those who wish to know where I dwell at any moment must know the key to seeing.
Watch them, and you’ll know which way the sky turns.
There’s a code,
Written into the pieces of me
Mysterious and complex
It speaks in forms unknown
Turning this on, turning that off
Flipping genetic switches at seeming random
Lighting fires within, only to douse them later, with no explanation or apology
It’s a book, 50, 100, 1 million volumes thick, written in a language I cannot read
My own body and mind, a saga I cannot comprehend without another’s key.
“The Divine Mystery” some may call it, as they turn away from the puzzle to things they can digest. The depth and breadth of the conundrum too much for them to contemplate, they have no further wish to attempt the struggle.
But for me, I wish to delve deeper, to try to understand the whys and wherefores, the hows and whats of Me.
I seek, not only to understand for my own self, but to translate – to gain understanding, the internal “ah-hah!” from others. To see the light go on when they understand that I am the way I am because…THIS. And THAT. And THESE.
Logic and science dance seductively with emotion and faith, all swirling in their patterns together, intertwining in hypnotic rythmns, only to break violently & inexplicably from each other for no apparent reason. Then, quietly meeting again in the middle of the dance floor, to touch hands & make apologies, while agreeing to disagree.
Where does the dance begin? How does it end? And what is the meaning of that complicated bobble of steps in the middle? These are things I seek, words I reach for.
But first, I must decode my skin, my organs, my brain. I must Translate Me.
And that…might take a minute.
*written in response to the Daily Prompt*
I saw this on another blog, & decided to take a swing at it…
1. What’s the first thing you grab for in the morning?
My phone, checking email while I pee is good time management, yes?
2. Who is your biggest inspiration in life?
My parents. They have been through some hairy, tragic, tough shit in their lives, yet next year they will have been married 50 years, & they’re just really down-to-earth, caring, compassionate, truly kind folks who take in strays & will invite strangers to Thanksgiving if they find out they have no one else to celebrate with.
3. What do you think people notice most about you?
They probably see the humor first, because that’s how I keep my defenses safe. If I have you laughing, you won’t hurt me, right?
4. Who do you hope people notice most about you?
My humor, duh, I don’t want to get hurt.
5. What is your biggest weakness/fatal flaw?
Probably that I’m suuuper independent & refuse to ask for help with my personal problems.
6. What is your biggest strength?
Probably that I’m suuuper independent, & can MacGyver a fix for most anything.
7. What to you is the perfect, most ideal age to be?
27. Don’t ask why, just believe me.
8. High school. Awesome or terrible?
9. Cats or dogs?
Any and all, except reptiles. You name it, I’ve probably had one as a pet at some point (well, no exotics, so leave off the platypus and fennec fox)
10. Adjective that best describes you when you’re drunk?
Goofy…and usually way too fucking honest
11. Why do you love your best friend so much?
He knows who I am, warts & all, & loves me. Plus, he’s my partner in crime when I want to hit up Denny’s and mess with the wait staff by speaking the whole time with British accents.
12. Where do you want to go more than any other place in the world?
Canouan Island. For reasons.
13. Beaches or snow?
Beaches, or forests. Why aren’t forests an option here?
14. What is your absolute, number one, biggest pet peeve?
15. What is one personality trait you simply have no time for?
Entitlement. Get over yourself. We all end up wormfood eventually.
16. Zodiac, MBTI, or Birth Order? Which is the one you lean towards?
Hmm…I’ve used them all in describing & in figuring out people. I can’t choose, I’m such a Gemini, Youngest Child, INFJ.
17. Do you believe in something after death?
Yes. But that’s all you get unless you ask me straight out. I would say that we’re all going to hell in a handbasket, but I’m Pagan, & don’t believe in handbaskets.
18. How does someone instantaneously get on your good side?
Make me laugh with something intelligent AND funny.
19. How about your bad side?
Interrupt me mid-sentence. End of discussion.
20. How do you hope you’re described by people when you’re not around?
I would hope they say I’m funny, or kind, or smart, or good with duct tape.
21. What is your least favorite attribute about yourself?
My weight, but I’m working on that.
22. Is it okay to sleep with socks on?
Depends on what you’ve put the socks on.
23. Coffee or tea?
Flavored water. What is WITH these limited choices, I ask?
24. How many dates until you feel like it’s okay to have sex with someone?
Depends on the someone, & depends on my mood, honestly. Creepers, stalkers & fuckboys get an instant boot to the Auto Zone…the auto-reject zone.
25. What is your love language?
Braille. Let your fingers do the talking. On my neck & shoulders. For at least 5 minutes. Maybe with some warm oil or nice eucalyptus lotion.
26. Do you or do you not believe in ghosts?
27. What’s your vice?
Well, it’s a little red c-clamp just the right size for crafting & holding shit still. Do I need to get Google or Webster’s Dictionary in on this discussion? Why are you so curious about my crafting tools? Sicko.
28. Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram?
Fb, mostly. But I dabble on IG. Twitter I haven’t twitted in years. And even Fb has taken a dive for me.
29. Favorite artist?
Shawn Coss right now. Wicked stuff.
30. Odd numbers or even numbers?
42. 42 is always the answer.
31. Do you believe in organizing or life or letting things just happen?
I like to organize, mostly. But relaxing & just going with something can be a nice change, once in a while. I’m not 27 anymore, I like a little foreknowledge so I can pack my purse or pockets appropriately. Never know when you’ll need emergency gum or a roll of dental floss, yes, I have both.
32. Are you more right brained or left brained?
I’m fully brained, it’s just not always fully functional. Like, when I’m conscious.
33. Which do you prefer, logic or creativity?
Both. Again…fully brained. You need to have both. Geez.
34. Do you think opposites truly attract?
Well, the magnets all say it works. I’m just listening to the magnets.
35. What is your Hogwarts house?
I’d probably be a Ravenclaw. I ask weird questions, too. and give even weirder answers.
36. Ask for permission or ask for forgiveness?
Neither. Are you a grownup or a malcontent? I say, do what feels right for you, as long as no one gets hurt, & it doesn’t break any laws.
37. Do you think chemistry is instant or grows with time?
I think chemistry is a class in school. I don’t want any of that shit I used to see in the beakers growing anywhere around me, thanks. I know what happens to people around growing chemistry. Radiation poisoning and burnt eyebrows. That’s what happens in chemistry.
38. Do you trust someone until proven otherwise or do you think trust has to be earned no matter who with?
Anymore? Trust has to be fucking earned with iron-clad sincerity. If you say something -MEAN. IT.
39. Are there situations in which you think lying is okay and understandable?
I have a horrible time with lies. I can’t tell them well, & hate having them said to me. Let’s just go with truth.
40. Comfortable silences or non-stop conversation?
Silence can be very good. Silence is golden. Duct tape is silver. Both get the job done. and honestly? Too much (meaningless small talk) conversation makes me want to shove red hot knitting needles in my ears.
41. Do you believe in fate or do you think we’re in complete control over our circumstances?
Little of both, actually.
42. Love or money?
LOVE. ALWAYS. Money just pays the bills. Love makes it worth living.
43. Impulsive or methodical?
Again, why pigeonhole me? I can definitely be both. Hello…Gemini!
44. Are you pro-technology/constantly connected or do you think digital detoxes are super necessary?
45. Do you think it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all?
It’s better to have loved and kept, but that doesn’t seem to work for me. They always leave.
46. Do you question things even if it will bother someone or do you try to not rock the boat?
I hate confrontation, but sometimes you have to get out of the damn boat & go looking for the shore.
47. TV shows or Movies?
A little of both, depending on whether I feel like turning on the TV at all.
48. Books or Magazines?
49. Which is more preferable — being nice or being fair?
Being fairly nice and nicely fair. But no one gets to win ALL the time.
50. Describe what would bring you the ultimate happiness in life
Finding him – the one I can Love for the rest of my life, who will love me back. But I’m not holding my breath for that, anymore. Like I said before, they leave. Right now, I’m concentrating on finding moderate to medium happiness, & on the really tough days…a chocolate covered potato chip.
My anxiety is so bad tonight, & I should have known better.
Some little time ago, I joined an internet group for introverts. I thought that maybe, if I joined, I’d find some people who truly understand some of the things I go through daily.
Fuck – was I a little too optimistic.
I normally don’t post my own queries in groups…it always seems to erupt into chaos. But, I’d been silent in this group for some time, watching others interact. I “liked” a few memes. I commented once or twice on someone else’s post. It all seemed to go well.
And I thought that maybe it was time for me to pose a query of my own.
So, I did. I asked my question, which was about me. It was concerning the effect that anxiety & introversion have on each other for me. I asked if it was possible that my introversion & anxiety seem to feed one another. I stated that I knew almost to the day when my anxiety began to present itself, & that I wondered if that was what caused my introversion to start, or if I had always been an introvert & that the anxiety simply “peeled away” the layers and revealed my introversion.
One woman immediately told me that obviously I wasn’t really an introvert, & that it was all my anxiety causing my issues.
Yeah, I got defensive. I tried to be polite, I tried to explain myself, but I hate being “diagnosed” based on a 3 or 4 sentence conversation by someone who has no knowledge of my history or circumstances.
She fired back that obviously I was wrong, she was right, & I had broken 1 of the rules of the group by not being polite.
Fuck that. I was polite. I just didn’t kiss her ass, fall down at her feet, & tell her that obviously she was the Goddess of Right, & I was a lowly Minion of Wrong.
And, she had me booted from the group.
Exit, stage right.
Shit like this is why I lurk.
I fucking hate confrontations. It makes my heart race, my stomach queasy, & my skin gets hot, I’m nauseated, angry, & anxious.
I can’t stand people who judge others, especially after only just a few words. It reminds me of the presumption that those radio “psychiatrists” could diagnose someone’s problem over the radio after just a few words, & actually help them fix their lives.
I’m so done trying to join groups. I’m better off on my own, blindly grasping around in the darkness, looking for my own answers.
Just like my love life, I’m better off not even bothering trying to connect – less chance of being hurt.
Walls up, barbed wire back in place.
Lurk Mode activated.