Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Confessions of a Lone Wolf and Social Introvert


"Social Introvert"  kind of seems like an oxymoron, but it describes me perfectly.  It makes sense given my Tropical astrological leanings.  I have a Libra Sun (social butterflies) and Cancer Rising (Introversion tendencies).  I am a walking contradiction and apparently I set it up that way before I came into this physical incarnation.  People who meet me and talk to me would assume that I am always really outgoing and socially inclined.  While I can function (sometimes) in social settings, what most people don't realize is many social settings makes me very uncomfortable.  Social media is an introvert's paradise.  We can be as social as we want to be without all of those bodies in our personal space. 

I LOVE people.  Really, I do.  And I HATE people. lol  I love to get to know people and hear about their personal stories of their lives....but out in the physical world, I like to keep my distance.  At parties, I am that person that picks a dark corner to watch everyone and cringe if someone tries to engage me in meaningless chitchat.  I'm great in one-on-one, in-person conversations.  I could probably even hang with a small group of good friends comfortably.  I feel extreme anxiety out at big concerts and any setting where people are TOO CLOSE to me.  It makes me want to crawl out of my skin.  My best friend begged me to go to Lollapalooza with her one year for her birthday.  The idea of this was SO distasteful to me.  Smashing Pumpkins and L7 were performing that year.  She had to beg me to go and I finally caved.  I was still a smoker then and used my cigarette as a means of keeping people at a distance and burning people who got in my personal space and tried to dance on top of me.  lol 

I am a conflicted being.  As a small child I wanted friends desperately and yet I always seemed to be the "outcast".  Because I liked to imagine I lived in a musical, I remember vividly singing little sad songs about how lonely I felt at recess on the playground.  And the friends I did have, I liked okay, but was often secretly relieved when I could play on my own after they went home.

I have never completely understood people who have a desire to have people around them 24/7 either.  I like time alone and if I don't get enough of it I get really grumpy and start lashing out.  I dated a guy briefly who I would spend physical time with and then he would leave, get home and call me.  I would say, "Why are you calling me?  You just left my house!"  He was one of those people who like people around all the time.  He couldn't understand how anxious and suffocated it made me feel to have him around so much.  I ended up finally telling him I couldn't see him anymore.  Our needs were so different and the more he tried to hold me close, the more repulsed I was by his very presence.  That ended with him telling me I was cold and unfeeling and me laughing while he did so, which pretty much just reinforced what he believed.  It isn't that I am cold and unfeeling.  I feel a lot, but we all express our needs and feelings in different ways.

I understand now that part of my aversion to large crowds of people has to do with being an empath.  I pick up the emotions and feelings of those around me even if I am not consciously aware of it and it is equivalent to over-stimulation for a toddler.  I become overwhelmed and have inner meltdowns and feeling the need to flee whatever over crowded scene I am in.  I know other empaths experience similar feelings in crowds.  The other part of my aversion is that I am very independent by nature.  I like my own company.  I like time alone with my thoughts.  I like time to ponder all the big questions of life.  I like time alone to write all that is at the core of my being.

I had really wild dreams a couple nights in a row.  This one seemed almost like it was from a future incarnation.  I can't completely explain what it is I felt but I remember waking up and saying that "The solar poles must be shifting because I am having some really vivid weird ass dreams...almost like a tv signal is being beamed into my head."  When I went online, I discovered I was correct.  The sun's poles had, indeed, flipped.  Here is that dream:

December 29, 2013 The dream was about two kids about 17-18years old. The boy was found living in a car with his chimpanzee companion. They took the chimp away because the chimp had become senile in his old age. The boy was upset because he had been with him his whole life and wanted to care for the chimp even though he was senile. He wasn't dangerous and wasn't violent.  Anyway, the boy was sent off to a reform school. The other character was a girl. She was a hard core gamer. She had 4 of her favorite games tattooed on her right arm and at times I saw through her eyes. The boy was sullen and withdrawn. At the school the kids were mean. The girl was tough and nothing phased her. She looked at him as a challenge and wanted to see if he would let her in, so she started talking to him. He easily attached to her because she was kind to him. The girl had been found living alone and of course gaming when they found her and they threw her into the reform school. She got in trouble a lot there because she wasn't going to live by any rules. Anyway, the two hit it off and right away the boy is talking marriage. The girl thinks it is cute that he is so taken with her and goes with it and they have a relationship but she knows that she is young and there was no way in hell she was going to spend her whole life with just one person. She already was thinking ahead to her life without him even though she knew it would crush him.
I could really see myself in the girl character....glaringly so. lol 

Enter the internet age.  Being able to socialize online has allowed me the opportunity to be a social butterfly without the anxiety of large physical social settings.  I engage in multiple conversations with people regularly.  Writing is easy and second nature for me, so composing my thoughts in written form is not a hardship.  It isn't really surprising that many of the people I have gravitated toward are also writers who feel more comfortable being social online than in person.  We crave in-person interactions, just not crowds of people settings.  It is a shame so many of my "online friends" are scattered all over the U.S. and other countries.