He tentatively reaches across the bed with a warm gentle hand and I … recoil. I just need a few more delicious moments of morning mind. I need that gauzy, thought- weaving space of nourishing idea play where I breathe fully and smile involuntarily. I need that space where I belong solely to myself.
He rolls away, stares at the ceiling and blinks back rejection. With a sigh, he heaves himself out of bed and leaves me in my space.
I am so sorry. I can’t give to you right now. I’m so sorry.
The above scene is from the end of my marriage. I appear selfish and cold but what you don’t know is that at that point I was so raw and over-stimulated from years of exposing my introverted nature to the harried, competitive demands of externally-driven living that I couldn’t bear the softest touch of a lover’s hand.I spent my days tending to the intermittent needs of three children, a house with never-ending upkeep and the demands that come with integrating into a community (school, neighborhood, social circles).
I couldn’t slow down, no one else did. I had to thoroughly care for everyone and everything. I was desperate for permission to go internal; to slough off the scabs and injuries from unnatural striving and become smooth again.
Sorry I’m Not One of Those Moms Who Lives Solely for Her Children
It’s August and I’m awake at 7AM on a Sunday in order to get writing time in. I should have until 9 before anyone needs me.
Knock, knock, knock. It’s 8:20 and my daughter is outside my office door. She comes in and starts talking. My mind goes wild as it ping-pongs back and forth between her detailed description of a Disney tween show and the unfinished work that taunts me from my Mac Book.
I’ve spent every weekday this summer with the kids. We’ve traveled, lounged and co-existed for much of the summer. I adore the relationships but desperately need time for clear-headed dreaming. I need open and untamed blocks of time in order to think, create systems and ponder my people (yes, a large part of solitude is spent thinking of others). It’s vital to me that the individuals in my life feel secure and cared for but I also have to preserve me.
Torn, always torn.
My boundaries are mushy. I feel I owe her my full attention but also have a deep desire to complete my work. I ask her to watch TV for a bit while I finish my writing. Her eyes well up, she nods silently and leaves.
I am sorry. Sorry I renew in concentration. Sorry I can’t recharge with you in the room, like you do with me.
The Receiving End of Introvert Rejection
It is not in my nature to bloom within a greenhouse. I am a wildflower, a weed perhaps. I need open and untamed spaces to sprout. I need to ask the questions and think the thoughts that others overlook. ~ Dawna Markova, I Will Not Die an Unlived Life
My ears ring, my eyes fill instantly, my heart aches deeply.
The introversion I know so well, betrays me.
I go through all the emotions I imagine others, who have been turned away by an introvert, have felt: confusion, frustration, anger, disbelief, sadness, even loneliness.
If you loved me enough you wouldn’t want time away from me.
I can be quiet in your life, give you space. You won’t even know I’m here.
And yet… I get it. I know he needs that freedom. He needs that space to return to himself. I know he is sorry for hurting me.
Have you begged for alone time lately? How do you ask for alone time without hurting someone’s feelings?
Other posts that may hit home:
- The Introvert’s Love Affair with Solitude: Will It Always Be Taboo?(space2live.net)
- Introvert Relationships: Love Me or Leave Me But Please Don’t Need Me (Too Much) (space2live)
- Video:The Space We Need: An Introvert Wakes Up, Slows Down and Starts Living According to Her True Nature (space2live)
- Confessions of an Introverted Parent (space2live)
- I Belong Deeply to Myself but I’ll Let You In: The Ebb and Flow of Introvert Intimacy (space2live)