I have been thinking again.
We all know how dangerous that can be. *Grins*
Seriously though...over the last few weeks, lots of small things have happened, and while I only gave it a passing thought at the time, I am the type of person who chews on things subconsciously, until one day it becomes this huge thing in the front of my mind and I have no choice but to focus on it.
Two posts ago I wrote about how I was struggling, but did not consider myself depressed. I still do not. I have been thoughtful, not depressed.
Over the last week, things have happened that made me take a look at myself again, which is not always a good thing, but sometimes it works out alright.
What started this particular train of thought was the fact that a "friend" decided to no longer be in my life. I understand why it happened and I am okay with it, I am not upset nor do I have any hard feelings or ill wishes towards that person...but it got me to thinking about how I came across to other people. I have wonderful and loyal true friends, who accept me for what I am, no matter what it is, even if they do not understand it. It does not matter if I am being a bitch, or an emotional wreck, or in sarcastic mode, or if I am just "normal" for me...they are there and love me anyway.
I have always been a blunt person, and until this year I was pretty brutal with it. I did not care what you thought of it, I was going to tell you either way. Now, I have a little compassion with it, and I temper it down some, depending on the person. I figured out you can not beat someone over the head with something and expect them to see things the same way you do. However, those true friends understood how I was, and while they might not have liked it when it was directed at them, they still accepted it and loved me anyway. I have been told I come across as a know it all, and that I "lecture" people. This actually surprised me. I never realized being smart would bother people, and I never realized that trying to get people to see things from other points of view ( not even MY view, just one other than their own ) was considered a bad thing. Yes, I am very (self ) educated and I know a lot about many different things. I take pride in that fact. I never thought it could be perceived in a bad way. I never spout random things out there. If I tell you something as fact, you can be damn sure I have done my homework, researched for countless hours, made sure what I said was just a true as I could, BEFORE I said it. If I am not sure of something, I will say so. I do not put my own feelings out there and try to pass them off as fact. Truth is truth. Opinion and emotion are just that, opinion and emotion, and it colors everything we think and do. I am much more comfortable dealing in cold, hard facts than I am in dealing with emotional backlash, especially in other people. I understand more now that no matter what is true or not true, there are people out there who will see any outside opinion as an attack on their own being. They take it personal. I understand why. One of the few ways to set me off instantly is to question my intelligence. It pisses me off BECAUSE I am so damn thorough about my research and when I say something as fact, you can bet your bottom dollar I have made sure beyond any reasonable doubt in my mind that what I say is true. If it is an opinion of mine, and not provable fact, I will say so. SO I understand how people can take things personal, even if most of the time I say I do not know why. I do not count on other people taking my words and using an emotional filter to process them, because I do not do that. So that was a bit of a learning process.
I better understood that sometimes people do not mesh well. This is not the first time this has happened to me, I guess I am not an easy person to be friends with at times, because I am not one to take anything at face value. I have to dig under the surface, I have to know what it behind it or under it. I over analyze things, I am fully aware of that, but it works for me. I am better able to see outside of myself than other people can. That does not make me better, it just makes me different. So for someone to say I come across as a bossy know it all who lectures people into doing what *I* want them to do threw me for a loop. Mostly because unless it directly effects me, I do not give a rat's ass what people do with their lives. All I want is for people to try to put themselves in other people's shoes, because you have no idea what life is like for that person. Do not blast someone who has something you do not have, or if they have a condition that you might also have, but they get help for it and you do not. You may have the same thing but you still have no idea how that person handles things. Take depression for instance. I have depression issues. I am bi-polar. I know a TON of people who also have depression issues and are also bi-polar. You know what? No two of us are anything alike in how we handle it. We can all relate to each other, but the truth is, not a single one of us handles it in the same exact way one of the others do. It is impossible, because we are all different. We are all unique...just like everybody else. If everyone is unique and special, does that not also mean that NONE of us are unique and special? I have my own talents. You have your own talents. Joe Blow down the street has his own talents. Does that make me better than them? Does that make them better than me? No. It means we are all valid, no matter what anyone else has to say about it. We are just different. So my talents, if you will, are that I am smart and I have the ability to see things from someone other than my self's point of view. Maybe because I do not put that emotion into it..it comes across as a lecture. It makes sense. But anyone who has known me longer than five minutes also knows that I am not an outwardly emotional person, and that logic is king in my world, and everything that comes out of my mouth probably reads like a term paper. If you really care about me, you deal with it. You overlook it, accept it, work around it, talk about it with me, whatever. But you DEAL with it. I might think you are three steps away from a straight jacket and a Thorazine drip, but if I care about you, I DEAL with it. I admittedly have a hard time knowing how to respond to people who have high emotions...I am horrible at offering condolences and outward displays of sympathy or other such emotions. I can't ever seem to find the right words to say, they sound so flat. But I still FEEL sympathy and I have compassion for what you are going through, I do my best to relate and understand. Just because I do not plaster a 3 page letter of how sorry I feel for you somewhere does not mean I do not care. That is just not the type of person I am. It does not make me WRONG, it makes me different.
I was told on more than one occasion by more than one person that I am to closed off, I do not reach out enough, if I am hurting I do not reach out to someone else to help so therefore I was pretty much a shitty person. Um, what? So if my way to deal with pain and hurt and such are to go within and try to figure it out for myself, that makes me a bad person? No, what is means to me is that I did not allow you the opportunity to make YOURSELF feel better by trying to help me. It means you did not get to "prove" to me ( or everyone else if it is in a public forum ) how great of a friend you are. It tells me you do not really care that I am hurting, you are just upset that you did not get to give yourself an ego boost at my expense.
If I need help, or to talk to someone, I ask. I am not a martyr. I know my shortcomings and take full responsibility for them. However, I do not apologize for them. They are what makes me uniquely me, and either you can deal with that, or you can't. No hard feelings either way. That whole " everyone can be friends with everybody" thing is crap. Some people are just not cut out to get along, they are to different and can not find enough common ground to be friends. You know what? That is OKAY! I ( or you, or him, or her ) do not HAVE to be friends with everyone. We like who we like and that is it. In a better world, everyone would be able to TOLERATE everybody...but being FRIENDS with everyone? No. There are folks out there who get along with everyone, and it not because they necessarily LIKE everyone, but they TOLERATE everyone, so they are comfortable in just about any situation, which I think is admirable and awesome. I make no claims to be that type of person though. I have types I love and types I strongly dislike. I am able to tolerate most people pretty well, and when I reach a point to where I can't, I remove myself from the situation. That is why I am not upset with those people who left my life. Because they did what was right for THEM, and when they got to a point where they could not handle it ( in this case handle ME ) anymore, they removed themselves from the situation. It might hurt, it might sting, it might piss me off, or a thousand other emotions, but I understand. I respect that.
I have also been berated ( for lack of a better word ) because I hate talking on the phone, and because I am a bit of a hermit. Okay a big hermit, but I digress. Only a couple of people in my life actually understand WHY I hate the phone and why I am a hermit, the other friends just deal with it, because they love me. Since this is not a conversation I have had with many people, I am going to tell the masses exactly WHY I hate the phone, and why I am a hermit, just in case they wanted to know but were afraid to ask, or thought they knew but really have no clue about the real reason.
First, the phone. People assume I just do not want to talk to them, or I am to busy or I am just a bitch, depending on the day. The real reason is I have a central nervous system condition. It is a lot like Parkinson's disease, but effects different parts. My hands shake often, I have no wrist strength and I have next to no grip anymore. ( No, it is not Carpal Tunnel, been there, done that ) I have problems with my fine motor skills. I can not pick things up in a pincher grasp with my index finger and thumb. Imagine the motion your hand and arm makes if you reach into the freezer to get ice out of the ice bin. You reach in, grab a handful and sort of bend your wrist as you do it, grasping the ice in a fist or in the fingertips....well, I can't do that. I will drop that ice every time, and my hand and wrist will shake so much that I look like I have focused electrocution happening. My hands are horribly weak. I cannot even open a bottle of water or soda or something most of the time, I have to have help. What does that have to do with my hating to talk on the phone, you ask? Well, I have the same problem in my jaw. I have muscle spasms due to the messed up electrical impulses that shoot through my nerves. The more I talk verbally, the worse it is. I will start to stutter in a way...not repeating sounds so much, but I get stuck in the middle of the word, and my mouth will spasm and I look like I am having a stroke. Not only is it embarrassing and stressful to try to NOT do these things when talking to someone, it is painful. My hands hurt. My jaw hurts. My legs do the same thing. They jump. Feels like a cattle prod is stuck to me. So talking on the phone is a particular version of hell I try to avoid at all costs.
My being a hermit is also tied into my condition, but it also goes deeper than that. As far as my condition...my nerves basically misfire, or make connections they are not supposed to, and it makes my skin hyper sensitive. You know how when you get alarmed, the hair on your arms and the back of your neck seem to stand up? Mine is like that all the time. Being hugged is almost painful for me. Touching me in passing makes me just about jump out of my skin. I have also been told by a doctor that my body is negatively charged. Most people have a positive charge. I do not, therefore I "feel" things differently. Things that cause pleasure to most, hugging, cuddling, arms around the shoulders while walking or sitting, make me very very uncomfortable. It sucks. I can hug people and do, but I let go quickly...because the lingering contact is basically over stimulation and it can range from being uncomfortable to downright painful. I have personal space issue...I do not like people right up on me, or " in my face" as I call it, because it is almost like I can feel them touching me before they do. Like their electrical field ( and everyone has one ) conflicts with mine, which makes sense if you consider they fact most people are positively charged and I am negatively charged. I can't wear digital watches. They stop working, or run backwards after a while. So in light of that, being around large groups of people is kind of like someone hitting you all over your body, all the time. Some of the hits are annoying, some hurt..but when you put them all together, it is hell. I don't do crowds largely for this reason. The other reason is mental. I am able to hear people's thoughts sometimes, especially people I am around a lot. I do not do it on purpose, but Jack and I communicate a lot that way ( he can do it too, and hates crowds for the same reason ) and I have shocked Perth more than once since he has been here by responding to something he said in his head only. So put me in a large crowd and it is like I can hear 1000 people all talking at once. Sometimes I can shut it out, sometimes I can not, and when you are bombarded by all that noise, combined with the fact it feels like I have someone zapping me every time they get near me, you can imagine how NOT fun being in a crowd is. So I learned very quickly how to be happy at home. Perth got a little upset at me the other day, because I do not like to go anywhere much unless I have Jack with me. At the time, I explained I just wanted to have the time with Jack, but what I did not tell him at the time is that is goes deeper than that. Jack grounds me. Before you go "Awww how sweet", realize that I mean literally, not just figuratively. Jack does not set my "alarm system" off. He can't wear digital watches either. He is one of the very few people who can hug me and not make me hate it...but even he is not immune to tripping my wires so to speak. He just does it less than others. I have all suspicions that he is also negatively charged. He also helps me block the noise when we go out, he is much better at it than me, probably because he does not have the option to hide like I do, he has to work and therefore he is around people much more than I am, so his shields and defenses are much stronger than mine. Perth has said to me on more than one occasion that I feel safe with Jack, and he is right, but in ways he did not know about. Jack is what grounds me when we go out.
So there are the two biggest things about me that most people do not understand or have the wrong idea about. It sucks, but I have learned to deal with it, and like I said, the people who love me and want to be in my life either also understand, or deal with it anyway, and I love them for it. I know being around me and knowing me are not always easy, and I know I am not for everyone so to speak. I just want people to know that I am not just a cold bitch for the sake of being a bitch. They are defense mechanisms, to a point. The physical ones anyway. As far as how my mind works, the fact that I am logical and not outwardly emotional ( notice I did not say UNemotional, because I have very deep emotions, I just do not air them all over the place, I am not comfortable with it, not even happy ones lol ) is just the way my brain is wired, and I can not help it. I was born with most of it, conditioned from childhood to be this way ( I am so much like my Dad it is scary, I am just better at processing my emotions than he is ) and have conditioned myself to be this way, because it suits me, it works for me. Love me or hate me, this is me, and I can not be something I am not to make anyone else feel better. However, I do not expect anyone else to be something they are not just to please me either. So if you can stand to be in my life, I thank you, and chances are I love you, simply for sticking around. I know how difficult it is to BE me at times, and so I am fully aware that it is difficult to be my friend at times as well.
I have another post to write...it was supposed to be part of this one, but, as so often happens, this one took on a life of it's own and went in a different direction. So I guess I will just write it tomorrow! In fact, that post has to do with writing itself so stay tuned!