Tuesday, April 17, 2012

it's all in my head

I sip my coffee and delve in to this morning's tasks. Neon page markers and writing; long lists of changes and a looming afternoon. My hastily chosen outfit and madly swept up hair feel out of place, as if I'm not at home in my own body. I sit here and shuffle a stack of paper, listen to the clicking keys, and it hits me; I feel...alone. I actually feel it.

It was Buddha who stated, "Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else.” But then, one might speculate whether Buddha was referring to people or trees. As I write this, I can not help but wonder if I was made for the latter: quiet forests, solitude, and oneness. I do like people, and even crave the company on occasion. But in truth I'm not that good at keeping up. Somehow, I always feel a little bit out of step, even when I don't want to be.

Maybe this comes from force of habit. I've been single for far more time than I've been in any sort of relationship, and I've been a recluse as long as I can remember. While my sisters played games in the other room, I would sit on my bed and read.
My classmates played tag with each other...and chased me away from the game. I have better friends than most are blessed with, but none of them live close to me, so even my best relationships are experienced through distance.  As I've grown older, my attempts at deep communion with others, when they have ended, have ended poorly. During the deepest expressions of my heart came the worst forms of rejection. I learned self sufficiency as a young girl because I had to, and over time it became subconscious and automatic. A little while after that, it became my preference. Solitude is strength for me, so even when I am not alone, I feel it, because at the end of the day: I am. Happy for the most part, comfortable all the time, and lonely on occasion, I make more sense to me when I am by myself. I do not know how to react to most relational situations, because almost all of them are new to me. This is an easier reality to talk about than to experience. Especially because my fine line between craving people and solitude sits as an invisible trip wire for others. I hurt people a lot.

I have come to realize something about myself. I am not unlikeable, I'm bad at relationships. Sure, my elementary school rejections have effected my current behaviors, but my long-chosen patterns have restricted me as well. Ask anyone who knows me: I keep people out. Perhaps I am my name after all. Of the ash tree forest; meant to stand quietly between sky and earth.


Ry said...

So powerful. You've been able to produce words to explain my conclusions the past couple of years. These struggles I/we fight of hurting people, while longing to be in a close friendship, and craving to just be alone.

I wish we could be friends, together, yet apart.

afterthoughtcomposer said...

Humbled and thankful to read your response. Let's get better at experiencing the two,

SCMartens said...

" Especially because my fine line between craving people and solitude sits as an invisible trip wire for others. I hurt people a lot. "

Poetic and so very true.

Alone as you feel, relationships are the toughest battle- friend, family or other- I think we all have those moments where we shake our heads and curl up into a ball of confusion. Those times where we just wanna disappear.

In those feelings, you could never be alone. We're all just trying to get a flippin' clue. But the giant walls thing. I totally get that. I think people are either hyper guarded or they are are the "lacking filter" type. I think it depends on how much of your heart you put out there with your words- and i think those "walls up" people are constantly butting heads with the "zero filter" people. Maybe there's just no way for those 2 types to be friends...

Mama said...

I love your lovely friends comments above.

You are much too hard on yourself and, I hate to admit, you come by it honestly. No one is "good" at relationships. They need to be worked at, always. But they are beyond worth it.

Everyone needs solitude, more than most realize. The Bible instructs us to make sure we go off by ourselves regularly.

There's nothing worse than being in an oppressive relationship with someone who demands that you be whatever they expect. You'd be better off as a Cat Lady. But there's nothing better than being with someone who encourages you to be who you are and admires you for it.

It's wonderful to enjoy our own company. But it can grow old after a while. Enjoy your own peace and quiet and also enjoy who is in front of you.

I don't happen to believe that you hurt people "a lot". If that's true then we all do.

I feel like an awk in pretty much all public situations. At a ladies retreat last year I learned that an outgoing, very funny woman I know thinks the opposite to what I ever would have assumed about her. (You know her actually). When she walks into a public situation she assumes that no one will want to be around her. I was shocked. But we all have masks. I feel the same way she does. But I also learned to know that God sees me...and He's fine with me. I think we often don't realize that.

And do try to forget about Elementary School. It was a nightmare for me as well. I was shy, awkward, called names and made fun of. High school was just lonely and, again, awkward. I read that the worst thing for a child's self esteem is school and it is absolutely true.

You are kind, compassionate, loving and so very funny.

And, keep this is mind: No man is an island. Keep looking up and...enjoy...both others and yourself.