I withdraw from people and places from time to time, I need space from a world that is filled with millions of mouths that talk too much, but never have anything to say.”Kaitlin Foster
Growing up, I often enjoyed playing by myself. As a teenager, I required a lot of time alone or I would become agitated and moody, overstimulated and unable to control my emotions.
My dad used to say that I was anti-social. He addressed this particular behavior frequently, as if it was a character flaw. He portrayed my desire for solitude in a very negative light, calling it unnatural, as if there was something wrong with it – or with me, for enjoying it so much.
As a young, impressionable personality, experiencing a very vulnerable and influential period of my life, it was practically impossible for me not to believe him.
As an adult, however, I now realize that the thoughts and feelings my father expressed towards me at that time were actually, in fact, a projection of his own inner turmoil.
Could it have been because he witnessed the same “anti-social” behaviors in his younger brother, who ultimately murdered a man and is now serving a life sentence in a maximum security prison?
Could the pressure he placed upon me to get out of my room and to constantly be engaged with other people actually be his projection of fear and guilt regarding his own inability to help his brother before it was all too late?
The truth is, we’ll never truly know. What I do know now though is that there is absolutely nothing “wrong” with me and I am not, in any sense of the word, “anti-social”.
It’s true, though, I do withdraw from people and places from time to time – sometimes, for quite a long time. As an adult who has become well-versed in the workings of my soul, I realize that I frequently need to detach myself from all the energies and emotions in this world that are not mine. I am not responsible for the opinions or beliefs of others and I no longer hold myself accountable for how someone chooses to perceive things, or me, because of it. I refuse to address negativity that is not mine and uncovering the root cause of this in others is not my responsibility. I am, by nature, an empathetic being – maintaining my balance requires a certain level of detachment. I am now very conscious of this, therefore, I choose to protect my energy, and doing so requires time alone – away from all the “noise”.
It’s true, there are times when I feel a bit “disconnected”- but it helps to realize that, in these particular moments, I’m actually more connected than I ever have been.