When all the MS stuff was going full swing, and I was constantly going for a myriad of tests, my therapist and I had…let’s call it a healthy debate…about why I kept going to the appointments alone, instead of asking someone to go with me. She felt it would be less stressful for me to have company in the waiting room, and I felt it would actually be more so, most of the time.
True, Tim came with me to some kind of weird eye test thingy and waited for me to be done with it, and Lizz was a champion of my 8 hour stint in a lab when I took my first dose of Gilenya AND was there when I had to learn how to give myself Avonex injections, but for the most part, I don’t actually derive comfort from others in situations like that – or, it could be argued, any situations where I need to be able to think my way through something – and instead I feel like I have to make it better for them, because they are there as a favour to me.
And that is not intended as a slight against people. While I dislike people as a species, and in crowds, and on transit, or in my way or my space…while I dislike people pretty much all the time, there are a handful of you who aren’t so bad, and whose company I genuinely enjoy. Rather, this whole need to do stressful things alone is a problem with me. I’d love to claim that it’s because I am a strong independent person who doesn’t need others in my life because I can do almost everything myself. In reality, though, I’m about as needy as they come. Like Flynn, I just don’t know what I want or need most of the time, let alone how to ask for it. It’s very isolating, yet only feels like an issue when I find myself in a situation where I wish I knew someone to whom I felt close enough to share it with me.
That’s kind of the thing, really. I generally not only like being alone, but I also really prefer it. The first time I lived by myself with no roommates or family – just me and my Katie cat – it felt like the greatest thing ever. It still does. I’m worried about having to move when I can’t afford this place anymore, but I know I’ll try to find something I can afford on my own before I start looking for roommates again. When I live with other people (unless it’s someone I’m dating), I tend to spend as much time as possible in my room alone. With just Kate and I, it was okay. Three cats and a dog might force me to be more social than I’d like, though, and I will rail against that option until it’s the only one left.
I have just always needed time in my day to be alone with my thoughts, and to be comfortable in my own space, however small that space may be.
I remember even in university, I would decorate my walls with things that maybe had some meaning for me, but nothing that would hint to others much about who I actually am. Then as I got older, I’d have all of my things in my room where they would be close to me. The exception to every rule being the little house on Coxwell where I lived with Lizz and then Guy. I expanded to share in the whole house, not just my room.
I think it’s possible that Lizz is my perfect platonic other half, really. She seems to be the one true exception to everything I dislike about allowing myself to be close to people. Even when we disagree, it doesn’t hurt or upset me, because I always know where I stand with her, and we can just be our dorky imperfect selves without fear of judgement or recrimination. We just love and live and all is well. She mah sister from another mister.
Haha I am just realizing things as I type..what was I even talking about again?
Ah yes, my inability to express myself, or allow myself to be truly seen and known. If you were to walk into my apartment now (or, like, after I’ve tidied up), you would have a much better idea of who I am and what’s important to me. It’s funny to me how much has shifted since I met Hudson the polar bear, and to some extent certain other important people in my life. I can tell who has become a part of who I am now compared to those who were temporary and their influence has now passed. There are things on display from childhood up to this past week, and I am constantly building and shifting my space to continually be able to reflect my true self.
Except I very rarely invite others into said space, so I guess the “display” is really more for me; for my comfort and enjoyment. Which works, because I love being here. I love coming home at the end of the day. Sometimes I look around and imagine showing all of these things to someone – certain people who I feel like I could be comfortable letting in. People I actually know, not hypothetical ideals I make up in my head, usually. But that’s a discussion for another day.
I also of course worry all the time about things that could possibly happen that I couldn’t handle alone – what would I do? I’m the type who tries to prepare for every possibility (which likely contributes to why I’m so tired, too) from fire to zombies to the end of the world via some sort of planetary destruction. I worry about what if I wake up one day and can’t walk? What if I slip and fall in the shower and knock myself unconscious? What if some psycho killer breaks into my apartment and waits for me to come home at the end of the day? What if I have a bad dream and there’s no one around to talk to about it?
What if I just want to talk to someone – not just anyone, but someone I really genuinely wish to feel closer to – but I don’t know how?
Is it possible to protect yourself so well for so long that you actually can’t open the door to let someone in even though you really wish to?