Still figuring things out, but I'm getting there. A break from being so public is good.
I'd gotten used to writing to an audience. I forgot this was supposed to be all about writing for me, writing what I needed to write.
I'm having trouble. Some people don't like me.
And that's okay, right? I mean, it doesn't necessarily mean these people hate me. They just don't like me. And I don't know why that bothers me so much.
That's kind of twisted, isn't it? That I don't like them but still think they should like me because I'm just that fucking fabulous, right? That's ridiculous. I don't like them, they don't like me, the world keeps spinning and we're all okay.
In the grand scheme of everything, having only three people that I know don't like me is pretty good, isn't it? I mean, don't get me wrong... I know there are far more than only three. Just those particular three have made certain that I know they don't like me.
Before I got a chance to figure out how to say what I wanted to see, she sent another message. This one retracting her apology and reiterating that I'm a terrible person. I hadn't said a word. I had told no one in my family. Nothing. Yet I still failed.
I'm an introvert. And I don't mean that in the "OMG, I'm sooooooo introverted... hahahahaha..." sort of way. I really am. Being around more than just a couple of people at a time physically exhausts me. Thinking over every word I say, how it'll be taken, what people see when they look at me... It's all too much. I can't make small talk. Or big talk. It's so hard. And it's not that I don't care about what people have to say, or what they're thinking, or what's going on in their worlds... I do. Too much. I can't handle it.
I just want to be left alone, for the most part. It's a weird conundrum of wanting people to want me around, and also wanting them to understand that I absolutely can't. Or can only do it in very short interludes because I have to go away and regroup.
And when I do, I get this feeling of "shew, I did it!"
I'm awkward and weird and quiet and I think it comes across to people as being extraordinarily bitchy. And pretentious. And arrogant.
I'm quiet, but I'm opinionated as fuck. So when I do say something, I'm usually expressing something quite strongly. It's sometimes controversial. It's often very matter-of-fact and comes across in a tone of "fuck you, it's my opinion."
No one will ever convince me to like mesh heads. No one will ever convince me that mushrooms aren't gross, or that Brussels sprouts aren't the best damn vegetable in the whole damn world, followed closely by lima beans. Purple is the best color. I think republicans are assholes and organized religion, of any flavor, is a pox on the world.
Here's the difference, though. I can, and will, debate religion or politics. Those are important matters. And I'd be foolish to look at those things as if my opinion is cut and dry. There are layers and layers and thousands of years of history to learn about, and people to learn about.
But if someone actually wants to argue with me about those idiotic preferences or tastes for certain foods, or items, or whatever, seriously wants to argue about it and tell me my opinion is baseless or has to have some correlation or evidence behind it... oh, go fuck yourself. If you can take something like that so damn seriously that you'll just dig your heels in with a fervent need to be right... really, just go fuck yourself.
Matters of substance? Absolutely, let's fight about it. Let's have a good old fashioned debate and talk the fuck out of it. It'll be fun. Educational, enlightening, entertaining. Maybe both of us will learn something.
Depending on my mood.
Because here comes the introvert... There's a good chance I'm going to clam up, unless it's in some situation where I really have a chance to think about my words. My walls are going to go up so damn fast... and I'm going to seem like a bitch because I either won't engage, or I'll speak off the cuff and be incredibly offensive because I'm off guard.
Actually, you know what? It is right. There isn't one fucking thing wrong with being an introvert, anymore than there is being an extrovert. It's just one defining characteristic of Me. One of millions.
It's taken me 45 years to become comfortable in my own skin. In my own brain. And I like to hold up this big shield that says "I'M OKAY WITH ME" but am I? Really? I get jealous when I see really extroverted people. It's not easy.
But then, when I'm all alone again, in my comfy jammies with my two cats and feeling the stress rolling out of my body and can breathe and be at peace with my silence... I realize that extroverts are missing out on that beautiful experience. Maybe they wish they could be alone without feeling lonely, like I can?
My brain is always engaged... even when I shut down, physically and verbally, my brain is just going a million miles a second.
I've used this blog to sort out the thoughts crashing in my brain. And I've sometimes hit the "publish" button too soon, before I have a chance to temper my words.
I know I'm not. One of the reasons for my walls... and keeping most people at arm's length... is that I have a big problem with empathy. I think the world doesn't have enough of it, and I have too much.
If I let myself get too close to too many people, I take on every emotion they relay to me. The happiness, the joy, the anger, the sorrow... and, god, it's overwhelming. And it led me into a lot of years of really dark depression because I carried the weight of the world on my shoulders.
Oh, that's a pretty butterfly? But people are starving!
And I wasn't being one of those people... I genuinely couldn't see any beauty in the world knowing that a lot of it was fucked up beyond belief and people, children, were dying. Somewhere in the world, a dog was being abused and I couldn't smile at a ladybug because of it.
Eventually I crawled into bed and refused to get out because I couldn't deal with the knowledge of all that pain. That's when I went on medication, yes. Long story, but I was forced out of that bed. Best thing that ever happened to me.
I got my happy pill and things started changing in my head. It's not that I don't know about, or see, all the pain and suffering in the world. Or that I don't care about it. It was the cobwebs slowly clearing out of my head and letting me compartmentalize. I could do what I could to help the word... but I couldn't do everything. And just because something ugly was happening somewhere didn't mean that there wasn't something beautiful happening right in front of me.
And I learned to protect myself. I do not get close to many people.
Not because I don't care... but because I have to care about myself more or I won't be of any use to anyone.
So I've made choices. This segment of the world can't get into my bubble at all, another segment can only get within this distance. There is another segment that I let get pretty close, but with an understanding that there are limits to my friendship. There is the family segment that I'm really pretty separated from- I love them, they love me, but we don't know each other.
Some of my family, and even fewer of my friends, are inside a very tiny bubble where my heart is completely open to them. It's an extremely small group and I have no wish to expand it. I can count those people on one hand. And that tiny group got even smaller with the loss of my brother who is- was- one of the members of my family who really knew me. And loved me without reservation or judgement or limit.
We weren't especially close in the way that we spent a lot of time together- we didn't. But we knew each other. The Things That Matter. And I'm sent reeling every time I realize he doesn't exist anymore.
And a loss like that makes it even more difficult for me to let anyone else inside that tiny bubble. Because there is an empty ache left in my soul that can't be filled by anyone else.
So I withdraw even more. I've been kind of rotten to the other people in my tiny bubble recently. My BFF, bless her heart, has taken some snottiness from me recently, as has Hugh, but... they're in my tiny bubble for a reason. They know I'm struggling and they understand and will let me work through this in my own way.
Once someone is in my tiny bubble, I can't push them out of it. I can push them away but that bubble is strong because I'm in their bubble, too.
I have enough people in my bubble. Hugh was a surprise. I didn't expect him to find a home with me in my tiny bubble, but he did. And it's simply joy having him there, and knowing I'm in his.
My time in SL is for Hugh, or photography or shopping or just... being Beth Macbain for a while. I like knowing people, and there are some people in SL that I really do like an awful lot. But I don't want to get closer to them... my tiny bubble is full.
Not because I'm a bitch, or because I don't care, but because it's all I can handle.
And I know people don't understand me. I should be okay with that. I do like me. Love me even. But it's still hard to know that there are people who look at my weirdness as A Bad Thing.
It's a constant battle. I can't tell you how often I go into Second Life and look at the events happening, and get all glammed up and end up sitting at home, in SL, all alone. Or to know my friends are out doing something fun and I just can't join them. And I know it leaves them thinking, "Gee, she's such a bitch!" I can't help it. And I've learned when I need to push myself, and when I need to accept that I'm going to miss out on something, but I'll be more comfortable anyway.
I like you, but I want you to leave me alone. How strange is that? I don't fully understand it myself, so how can I expect anyone else to?
I'm not going to change. I'm not going to stop protecting myself, and my tiny bubble. And I'm not going to stop using this great tool I have... this blog... to express myself in a way that I love.
We're not going to be part of each other's tiny bubbles... but maybe we're in a different bubble. One where we can nod at each other and go "Oh, she gets it." Just that small hint of understanding in a world that is so hard to understand.
So here I am.