Introvert Aftermath

Yesterday was the reunion. I was gone for about 12 hours, socializing & doing the expected “extrovert” stuff, by visiting the school, hanging out with classmates, making small talk with townspeople, etc.

I got home about midnight, & tried to stay up for a bit, to decompress. I wrote last night’s blog post, had something to snack on…and…crashed…hard.

Super hard.

As in – I woke up today somewhere between 12:30 and 1:00pm – hard.

I’m still exhausted, & can’t seem to gather enough energy to do more than sit upright.

My head hurts as though I were hungover, although I drank no alcohol.

My body feels as though I’d been dragged behind a truck for about 3 miles of bad road.

My phone has rung several times today, someone trying to get ahold of me to do a wedding this week, but I’ve had no energy to answer, much less the desire to be polite…considering the first phone call was placed at 8am this morning, & briefly woke me.

Who calls at 8am on a Sunday morning?

Ferfuckssake.

I’ll get back to this person tomorrow, when I have more energy, and less of a desire to snap his head off like a dandelion for being rude. (And for the short notice -he wants me to perform the wedding this week -during the week – as though I have nothing else to do – see why I’m waiting to respond? Me – cranky…)

This is what heavy socialization does to an introvert like myself.

It causes a complete shutdown, sometimes for hours, and sometimes…in severe cases, it can cause the shutdown to go on for days. 

It takes time, quiet, & space to recharge an introvert. I’ve expended every bit of my energy, reserves included, on what I did yesterday.

And I know I’m going to have to get up & go to work tomorrow – with work being handled by a skeleton crew.

*Sigh*

Early bedtime for me tonight…let’s just hope my insomnia lets me get a few hours uninterrupted so I can function.

Mindless Drivel

 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.

Please.

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

The Slow Regard of Silent Things

I just finished reading this book. The one that titles this post, by Patrick Rothfuss.

It’s a small slice of one character, a small, side character in other books he’s written, which starts with The Name of the Wind. 
Auri, the character in this story, is sweet, quiet, & broken. She hides from the world around her, flitting through shadowed places, & doing things in a way that make no sense to the “normal” world, but are totally true to herself & her perception of the world.

It reminds me a lot of Mr. God, This Is Anna, another slow, sweet, broken story about a lost girl who knows who she is, but has trouble fitting into society.

Both of these stories ring a true bell inside my heart, for different reasons, but mostly for the fact that, while these girls are completely & utterly true to their own natures, they are forever outsiders in their world at large. Each deals with this disconnect in their own way. One retreats into a quiet, safe (for her) existence, interacting only briefly & enigmatically with a chosen few… While the other is open & extroverted in her attempts to get others to understand where she is speaking from.
And I, I have found myself sliding from the extroverted “Anna” to the introverted “Auri”, retreating further & further, making fewer attempts to explain, or to try to at least get others to accept, my differences.

I’ve found that, most others either simply don’t care enough to try to understand, or fear the explanation, and what it might mean for their perceptions.  
It does no good to try to wring water from a stone… The best you can hope for, is that someday, lightning will strike, splitting a crack in the stone, & let the water trickle through.

Until then, I will keep my innermost thoughts relegated to the few who grace my closest circle, & this blog, if I feel like sharing.
Auri, I understand your yearning to stay in the Underthing, for us broken souls must stay in our true and proper place.

Almost There

I’m almost there.  

Isolating myself has been easy…almost too much so. Pulling away was silent, unobtrusive, unnoticed, unmourned.

The walls get thicker, more soundproof every day, as I brick up the path behind me. The only sounds I hear is the ticking of the clocks, the wet slap of mortar as I trowel it onto those laid before, the dull “squish” as I set the next brick into place. My defenses will not be torn loose so easily again. 

And I nod to affirm that silent declaration.

Silence is an amazing weapon of self defense.

Interactions with the outside world are accomplished masked, outwardly pleasant, and brief out of necessity. The mask smiles, even laughs on occasion, tending to the daily needs, before retreating back into silence once removed when safely behind the bastion’s walls.

And no one notices the difference.

No one in the everyday sees behind the curtain.

Not anymore.

Only those trusted most, the secret, hidden, Chosen few know that which lies, frozen in silence, floating in Purgatory, until the day that comes bringing freedom.

I’m almost there.

Waiting in Silence.

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.

Solitude

I spent today in silence.

Not completely, really, as I did talk a couple of times to my cats…but that was it.

No TV.

No radio.

No human contact.

And it was Ok. Better than Ok, it was good.

There are times when as an introvert, I feel as though I need complete solitude, just to recharge. Maybe it was an overwhelming week, or I wasn’t feeling well, or…maybe it was just one of those times when everything had built up so far, that I needed to crash & recuperate.

Yes, to all of those.

I volunteered a couple of days ago to take part in a company thing, helping with our booth at the yearly “Showcase of Businesses”, where many local businesses have what amounts to a giant PR party, always with a theme, and always busy.

I was only there for an hour & a half, but it felt like 3, between the forced (on my part) gaiety, & the pressing crowds, it blew my emotions out fairly quickly, & left me feeling like a wrung-out rag. I don’t do crowds very well, especially after a full day at work, when I’m already tired. My emotional reserves were not just spent, they were bottomed out & scraped raw.

So, I slept in today. 

Spent the day in my jammies.

Read books, and just vegged out in my chair.

Am I recharged?

Not completely.

But better than that I was.

Solitude can be very healing.

People Think I’m Joking

When I say that I’m introverted, I get rolling eyes, & scoffing laughter. Sometimes I get a full blown “HA! Yeah, right. Whatever.”

They don’t believe me, because all they see is my “business face”, or my public persona. I put on a pretty good show, for those I deal with at work & out with the public.

But for those precious few who know me outside the office, they know better.

They know that I’d rather spend an evening at home, curled up in my favorite chair, blanket snuggled, with a good book, or Netflix, and just be outside the public eye.
They know that I get overwhelmed in crowds, & have a tendency to work my way to the edges of gatherings, where the noise level drops, & there isn’t so much of the pressing of people on all sides.  The quicker to make my getaway…

They know that, given a choice, I’ll often back out of plans, citing reasons that might not make sense to anyone else, but to me, they’re the smokescreen for my real reason – I often prefer to just go home to my quiet space, rather than have to try to keep up the public image for more than the 8 hours required during the workweek.

And, those chosen few who abide within my innermost circle know…

Well, if you’re one of them, I don’t need to reiterate; and if you’re not, then I choose not to share that particular truth. 

Just because I might come off as an outgoing, sarcastic, self-deprecating, funny, blah, blah, extrovert…

Don’t get it twisted.

I’m an Innie, not an Outie.

And that’s not a problem to be “fixed”.

It’s just how I roll…like an armadillo…covered up & well-armored.