Why I Lurk.

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.

It’s Not That Difficult to Let Go

Not anymore.

After all the times I’ve been left behind, it’s not that hard to walk away.

After all the times I’ve been lied to, it’s not hard to ignore the words.

I’m not quite sure when it happened; maybe when the promises were broken, over, and over, and over. 

Maybe when the excuses piled up so high, I couldn’t see over them to the truth, anymore.

Maybe it was when I realized that, no matter what I said, or did, they were all going to walk out and never come back.

Maybe…it was when I realized I was losing a part of myself every time one of them walked out. 

Maybe it was the self-blame I poured on myself, thinking that there must be something wrong with me, for them to all treat me as though I didn’t matter. As though my feelings were completely disposable.

Or the self-doubt that haunted me, when I was ghosted, and couldn’t get any answers to my questions as to why.

Maybe, it was when I realized that, if I kept going the way I had been…I was going to lose myself permanently.

So, I had to change a few things.

One of those things?

I can let go, now.

I can walk away, and it won’t hurt, this time.

Because I know it’ll never be what I truly need, what I’m really looking for.

You don’t love me, you never did.

You never will.

So, when the time comes…

I will let you go.

And not look back.

Starting From Zero

This time of year, I usually start to look inward, burrowing back into my turtle shell, & going even more introverted than normal.

(Yes, it’s possible, even with someone as non-social as me)

I’ve been exploring & studying more about the INFJ personality type, which is what I’m told I am.

And I’m learning that, I’m not “wrong”. I’m not “antisocial”. And I’m not something to be fixed.

I am fine the way I am. I like my space. I like being quiet, taking in my surroundings, listening to others more, when in a group setting, than in being talkative & social.

It’s not wrong that I don’t enjoy large crowds.

It’s not broken that I have a definite need to spend time alone to recharge after forcing myself to socialize.

It’s not sad, or tragic, or depressing that I have a small group of friends who I’m very close to, instead of a large contingent of “friendly acquaintances”.

There’s nothing broken, here, and I wish I could make certain people understand that. There’s no reason to try to change my personality or behaviors. Just because they don’t match what some think would be “better” for me.

The only person who knows what’s truly right for me is me.

But, these people who keep saying “You just need to get out there more”, & “Just be more friendly, smile more, be more of a morning person, you’ll feel better”.

No. I won’t.

That’s them, projecting what they want onto me.

That’s not me.

And I’m done placating them.

Be true to yourself. Whoever that is.

As long as your words & actions aren’t harming anyone else, then it’s not wrong.

This time of year, for me, is rather like starting from Zero. The year resets on Oct. 31, which is Pagan New Year, and I’m a clean slate. 

I feel as though my emotional batteries are bottomed out, which makes me want to “turtle up” even more. I need to recharge, reset my boundaries, my goals, my baselines.

So, having others tell me that they think there are things “wrong” with how I live my life…really twists the knife, right now.

I’m not having it.

I’m not broken.

I don’t need fixing, or changing.

And I won’t apologize for being who I am, anymore.

Love is…

Love is not the bonfire, blazing wildly, beckoning you to dance ’round it, colors constantly changing & flaring, entrancing you with it’s fiery passion to consume…

Love is the candle, sitting quietly in the window, lighting the way home when you are lost in the storm; illuminating your way when all is dark, flickering occasionally, but continuing to burn anyway.

Love is not the snitched chocolate chip cookie straight out of the oven, when it’s supposed to be saved for after dinner, forbidden and hidden, sweeter because of the risk of being caught.

Love is water, sustaining you when there’s no other nourishment; falling from the sky like a gift from the Gods; making everything grow, flower & fruit.

Love is not jumping out of a plane, daring to risk life & limb for the rush of adrenaline; making your eyes water as the air whistles in your ears & the ground rushes up to meet you, exhilarating though it may be, you might lose everything, including your life.

Love is falling into your lover’s arms, knowing that they’re going to be there to catch you, to hold you up when you cannot stand on your own; that they will walk beside you when you are ready to move forward; and that you will feel safe encircled within them, no matter what chaos surrounds you; and that they will raise in excitement to cheer you on when success is within reach.

Love is not the first flush of passion, the thrill of the chase, or the nervous excitement of that first, smiling glance.

Love is being there, working together, compromising in disagreements, sharing joy, laughter, tears, sorrow, drama, comedy, & contentment.

It is the quiet look from across the room that says “I see you, within and without, all the way to your soul, and I want to share my life with you.”

It is the pride in your lover’s eyes when your dreams reach fruition, knowing that they were there to support, encourage & help you reach your goals.

It is a steady hand when you stumble, helping you to stand again.

And the firm “no” when you make mistakes.

It is wanting you to be happy, even if that happy moment doesn’t include them.

And it is letting you do and be all of that for them, as well.

That’s what love is.

I have my standards, and I will not settle for less.

Life is Short

Life is too short to be mean, or cowardly.

If you care about someone, even a little, treat them with kindness and consideration, because even if they’re acting in a way you don’t understand, you don’t know the back story unless you ask.

If you care about someone a lot, you need to tell them. You never know when this moment will be the last time you get to say those words to them.

If you love someone, show them, for fuck’s sake. Prove it. Don’t just assume they know, because they might not.

And if you don’t get the same reciprocated….

Let them go.

Because if you truly meant something to them in return…they need to prove it, too.

And you deserve better.

So do I.

Living For One

I’ve never lived alone.

Oh, I’ve lived in places, and in situations, for short periods of time, where it might be said that I was alone, but even then, I really wasn’t.

Obviously, I lived with my parents for the first years of my life, till I went to college.

Then I lived with a roommate, in a dorm, for the year & a half that I spent at college.  

Then an apartment with 3 other girls for a handful of weeks.

When I left there, I went back to my parents’ home through the summer, until I moved to New Jersey for 2 months to live with a family as their nanny.

Until I found out I was pregnant with ElderDaughter, and, once again, moved home for a short span, until I could get a place of my own.

The remainder of my pregnancy, I lived in a small house that my parents owned.  That is probably the only time most would call it living alone. But even then, I wasn’t really, because I was carrying another human being around with me.

Ever since then, I’ve always had kids, and lived with 2 different husbands at different times, for the different spans of our marriages. 

Yes, my Onlyson still lives with me, at least until he graduates from high school next spring. But he spends a good amount of time with his father – most weekends, and the lion’s share of the summer.

So, you might say, this summer I’m practicing living alone.

And I can’t decide whether I like it or not.

I get to do what I want, when I want.

But I do it alone, with no one to talk to.

I can stay up as late as I want, and be as loud as I want.

But there’s no one to enjoy the fun stuff with.

I control the remote, and I can keep the house exactly how I want it.  Things don’t get up and walk away when I leave the room.  (Unless the cats decide to get ornery)

But there’s no one to share the chores with, I’m responsible for all of the work.

I can buy exactly the food I want to eat, and nothing else.

But there’s no reason to cook, because I’m eating alone.

The dog is always happiest when I come home.

But…I can’t share my day with her & have her tell me funny stories about hers. (The cats are whiners. They only bitch about the food bowl being too low, or why don’t I ever let them outside?)

I like being on my own, sometimes. No “Moooooommm! Mom. Mama. Mommy!” No demands & needs, no asking where this or that is. 

But…no one to hug. No one to smile with. No one to cry with. No one to joke around & be sarcastic with.

There has to be more than this.

Needed

After taking that Briggs-Myers personality test, and having thought about things for a while, I’ve come to a few realizations about myself.

I am a person who needs to be needed.

I am a caretaker at heart.

This is not a bad thing.

I love doing nice things for the people I care about. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I love watching people’s faces light up when I can do something for them, or give them something they’ve been wanting, or didn’t know that they wanted it.

Or when I can simply be there for them if they need an ear, or a shoulder to cry on, or a wall they can bounce stuff off of.

It makes me feel so good to be the person they think of when they need to vent, or get a good laugh, or just talk about deep, philosophical subjects.

I love caretaking.

And I don’t have much of that in my life right now, haven’t had since ElderDaughter moved out with Schnicklefritz. Youngerdaughter is off on her own, adulting, and Onlyson is at his father’s, and doesn’t really need much caretaking, anyway. 

My friends are pretty self-sufficient, but I get to do a little caretaking in the form of phone calls, occasionally.

Baking has very little point, when the baked goods just end up going stale & hardening before anyone but me eats them. And I so don’t need them. 

Of course, I do have animals to take care of, but…it’s definitely not the same.

I miss it.

Hence the depression.

My caretaking purpose is purposeless.

And that hurts.

The shine is dimmed, and it’s hard to see through that dimmed light.