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.

They’ve Got My Number

​I took that Briggs-Myers personality test today, and by George! I think they nailed it.

I copied & pasted my results here…

INFJ

Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging

INFJs are distinguished by both their complexity of character and the unusual range and depth of their talents. Strongly humanitarian in outlook, INFJs tend to be idealists, and because of their J preference for closure and completion, they are generally “doers” as well as dreamers. This rare combination of vision and practicality often results in INFJs taking a disproportionate amount of responsibility in the various causes to which so many of them seem to be drawn.

INFJs are deeply concerned about their relations with individuals as well as the state of humanity at large. They are, in fact, sometimes mistaken for extroverts because they appear so outgoing and are so genuinely interested in people — a product of the Feeling function they most readily show to the world. On the contrary, INFJs are true introverts, who can only be emotionally intimate and fulfilled with a chosen few from among their long-term friends, family, or obvious “soul mates.” While instinctively courting the personal and organizational demands continually made upon them by others, at intervals INFJs will suddenly withdraw into themselves, sometimes shutting out even their intimates. This apparent paradox is a necessary escape valve for them, providing both time to rebuild their depleted resources and a filter to prevent the emotional overload to which they are so susceptible as inherent “givers.” As a pattern of behavior, it is perhaps the most confusing aspect of the enigmatic INFJ character to outsiders, and hence the most often misunderstood — particularly by those who have little experience with this rare type.

Due in part to the unique perspective produced by this alternation between detachment and involvement in the lives of the people around them, INFJs may well have the clearest insights of all the types into the motivations of others, for good and for evil. The most important contributing factor to this uncanny gift, however, are the empathic abilities often found in Fs, which seem to be especially heightened in the INFJ type (possibly by the dominance of the introverted N function).

This empathy can serve as a classic example of the two-edged nature of certain INFJ talents, as it can be strong enough to cause discomfort or pain in negative or stressful situations. More explicit inner conflicts are also not uncommon in INFJs; it is possible to speculate that the causes for some of these may lie in the specific combinations of preferences which define this complex type. For instance, there can sometimes be a “tug-of-war” between NF vision and idealism and the J practicality that urges compromise for the sake of achieving the highest priority goals. And the I and J combination, while perhaps enhancing self-awareness, may make it difficult for INFJs to articulate their deepest and most convoluted feelings.

Usually self-expression comes more easily to INFJs on paper, as they tend to have strong writing skills. Since in addition they often possess a strong personal charisma, INFJs are generally well-suited to the “inspirational” professions such as teaching (especially in higher education) and religious leadership. Psychology and counseling are other obvious choices, but overall, INFJs can be exceptionally difficult to pigeonhole by their career paths. Perhaps the best example of this occurs in the technical fields. Many INFJs perceive themselves at a disadvantage when dealing with the mystique and formality of “hard logic”, and in academic terms this may cause a tendency to gravitate towards the liberal arts rather than the sciences. However, the significant minority of INFJs who do pursue studies and careers in the latter areas tend to be as successful as their T counterparts, as it is *iNtuition* — the dominant function for the INFJ type — which governs the ability to understand abstract theory and implement it creatively.

In their own way, INFJs are just as much “systems builders” as are INTJs; the difference lies in that most INFJ “systems” are founded on human beings and human values, rather than information and technology. Their systems may for these reasons be conceptually “blurrier” than analogous NT ones, harder to measure in strict numerical terms, and easier to take for granted — yet it is these same underlying reasons which make the resulting contributions to society so vital and profound.

Beneath the quiet exterior, INFJs hold deep convictions about the weightier matters of life.Those who are activists – INFJs gravitate toward such a role – are there for the cause, not for personal glory or political power.

INFJs are champions of the oppressed and downtrodden.They often are found in the wake of an emergency, rescuing those who are in acute distress.INFJs may fantasize about getting revenge on those who victimize the defenseless.The concept of ‘poetic justice’ is appealing to the INFJ.

“There’s something rotten in Denmark.” Accurately suspicious about others’ motives, INFJs are not easily led.These are the people that you can rarely fool any of the time.Though affable and sympathetic to most, INFJs are selective about their friends. Such a friendship is a symbiotic bond that transcends mere words.

INFJs have a knack for fluency in language and facility in communication. In addition, nonverbal sensitivity enables the INFJ to know and be known by others intimately.

Writing, counseling, public service and even politics are areas where INFJs frequently find their niche.

(INFJ stands for Introvert, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging and represents individual’s preferences in four dimensions characterising personality type, according to Jung’s and Briggs Myers’ theories of personality type.)