There has been a big thing on my mind this past week, and it is a particular mind trap of mine. I’ve always had a few that I find difficult to break, but this particular one is the mother of self-screw.
You see, I am an introvert. Yes, I know, I’ve said it so many times that you guys are probably rolling your eyes at me for mentioning it. I’m also a bit of a motherbear, and though I am less so to my friends now that I have my own child and family, I think most people who have been my friends and acquaintances for years would agree that I try to take care of everyone I know as a gesture of my love and affection.
Now, like all people, I am desirous of companionship and attention. That is part of the human condition – we wish to be acknowledged and appreciated. However, I speculate that a combination of my introversion and mothering tends to leave me where people forget that I too need it. Being as spoonless as I am for reaching out (another overmentioned point at this juncture, ha ha), it is incredibly stressful for me when I take my limited ability and get no response. I’m sure that such neglect isn’t intentionally rude, just like people forgetting to drop a line and say hi isn’t intended as an insult either. I think it’s a condition of being a parent that your kids (adopted or otherwise) assume that parental rocks are fine without an occasional hello or the like. Well… no… everyone needs people loving them up.
Now, here’s where it gets nasty – when I specifically hit attention deficit. I am not a showy, attention-seeking person; I absolutely can not ask people to pay attention to me. It makes me incredibly stressed out and makes said attention that could be garnered in that fashion meaningless; while I’m not asking for mind readers, I would always hope that me telling someone ‘Drop me a line because I miss and love you and want to talk to you’ would be understood as an explicit invite to have one of my non-existent spoons. It’s worth it to me to ‘squander’ in those cases, because it keeps the socialization meter filled up in a meaningful way. But because I can not be even more explicit, my invitations are usually lost in translation, leaving me increasingly isolated and in need of meaningful contact from friends. But as said – if I have to ask for it that explicitly, it loses all meaning, because it has become perfunctory, no matter how well-intentioned it is at point of absolute deficit. To quote myself explaining to a friend last week:
‘Acknowledgment of my existence goes a long way, actually; to know that people see that I am reaching out and respond reassures me that I am not in a vacuum. I can admit that’s part of the problem equation – while I do quite well on my lonesome and enjoying of my own company, it is easy for friends and acquaintances to forget that, I being human as well, want companionship and acknowledgment of my existence as much as anyone else. When I hit deficit, it’s too late for people to suddenly go, ‘Oh hey, you exist and need affection too.’ It just flat-out doesn’t count, ’cause it should’ve happened -before- I hit the point where I’m hurting so bad that such a response from friends and such feels knee-jerk and guiltily compulsory. Add in the fact that I flat-out refuse to/am unable to ask people to pay attention to me outside of saying, ‘Please – drop a line sometime’ also helps build that particular cage. ‘Please – drop a line sometime’ – that is my version of begging and pleading!’
Now, I am sure there are some people reading this and rolling their eyes, perhaps thinking me a little drama queen. That’s fine – I’m glad that your mind is so healthy that you don’t have to fight yourself to function. I wouldn’t wish this particular mind trap on anyone, friend or enemy. It is not fun, and it’s been something I’ve been picking at for the better part of a decade to try and solve. The lack of spoons for socializing (which I used to override and destroy myself by way of booze and drugs and smokes) makes it look even more attention-seeking drama llama to some – obviously, I must be incredibly self-centered and obnoxious to ask people to come to me, right? No… I’m just asking for help, for friends to try a tiny bit harder; I bust my ass trying to reach out in spite of the fact that I do.not.have the resources for it – a tiny little email isn’t going to kill anyone I know. I will happily use up what I do not have to reciprocate to people who try to make the effort, so what is there to lose? Nothing for y’all, that’s for sure, especially as I am not in deficit right now. ;D
Anyhoos, take that all on board not just for me, but for anyone else you guys might know with mental or physical disorders. Very few of us are trying to be attention-seeking or neglectful – we’re working with half a deck at best for this game of life, and it sucks. I am constantly amazed by how hard so many of us manage to fight on in spite of this, and I hopefully can continue to amaze myself by keeping a positive outlook in spite of a mental condition that is, by all reports, rather degenerative. But that’s just life – it’s not fair, and I accept this. I don’t accept my mind traps as an absolute future for me though – I’ll try my best to pick those apart and free myself as much as I can.
So yeah… there’s that. 🙂