As an introvert, I absolutely love my alone time. Sometimes I will go an entire day without opening my mouth to say a word to another person and I’m just fine with that. It doesn’t mean I’m angry or depressed. Others just tend to wear me out. That being said, loneliness is a killer and it’s a constant battle to balance the two.
In my adult life, I made great strides to overcome my social awkwardness and open up to new people and experiences. Working in customer service and with children for years has helped immensely. Ever get a job just because of your smile? Thrice, here. But it was an outgoing trait that I had to learn. Masks are easy to put on once you get the hang of which one is appropriate for which situation. However, they’re not genuine and you can end up really screwing yourself over by relying on them.
Any time I get out of a relationship, I find myself craving alone time. I just moved into this apartment I’m in a little over a week ago and 99% of my time here has been spent completely alone. Can it get lonesome? Yes. Is it worth stepping out of my comfort zone to be around other people? Not quite sure. Fear is a powerful thing and I recognize that it holds me back but sometimes it may be necessary. The last relationship I was in screwed me up big time. It didn’t last very long but I moved in way too quickly before I discovered his Mr. Hyde side. I would try to be supportive and attentive but he valued vodka over anyone else. When it had gotten too far I decided to end it. Unfortunately, I was living with the guy so until I could get a place of my own, we had to try to coexist as roommates. I suppose respect and compromise only goes one way for people because from that day forward it was a constant game of how badly he could rile me up. There was never peace. I began to hope that I’d come home from work to him passed out drunk so at least I’d have a few hours of silence and calmness before he woke up and started to pick another fight. One night he took it way too far. He came into my bed after I told him repeatedly to get out. He put his arms around me and tried to kiss me. I was terrified. I’ve been raped before but this was someone I once loved and cared about. Somehow that made it ten times worse. When I cried, and whimpered and begged him to let me go, he only held on tighter. Eventually I kicked him off of my bed and escaped the room. I never felt safe there anymore, though. Even after he sobered up (for a couple of weeks), apologized profusely, put my door back up that he had ripped off the hinges.. I still trembled every time I heard his footsteps outside of my door. I never felt safe. I dug my old teddy bear out of storage and he’s stayed in my bed ever since. It may seem childish, but it was the only way I was able to channel my entire body tensing up every time he was near. I’d squeeze that poor teddy as close to me as I could…. I still do.
After that incident, I remember going to visit a friend of mine for the weekend to escape for a little bit. He’d always been such a comfort to me since I moved to this state. When he hugged me, I shrugged away. This is something I’ve never done. I’ve always been the affectionate girl but now touch scared the crap out of me. My personal space was violated and it left a big scar. Now I can hug loved ones without any problem, but my trust levels have sunken deeply. Maybe this was what I needed to stop being so hasty to meet and be with people. Either way, it really kind of sucks.
I still get incredibly lonely but the thought of going out and meeting anyone new scares me into staying alone. There’s other elements that play a factor as well, I’m sure. Heartache, loss, exhaustion, aimlessness, failure – When these are constant themes swimming around in your head, it’s hard to imagine that you could contribute anything decent to time spent with anyone. What do you do when you find one person that calms you, helps you through the storm, someone that actually earns your trust in such a chaotic time and wiggles their way into making you get the feelies.. and then you lose that too? Another story for another time.
I need a dog.