Inside the mind…… of an introvert!!

INTROVERT-  “It describes a person who tends to turn inward mentally. Introverts sometimes avoid large groups of people, feeling more energized by time alone. The opposite of an introvert is an extrovert, who finds energy in interactions with others.”

I have family and friends who believe this word does not describe me, but guess what…it’s PERFECT for me!
I don’t ignore people I talk to people, I laugh with people…. but if I had to choose to be with a group of people as opposed to being with myself, I choose ME!
I see and talk to people all day long in my work life.  It is my job to meet with students, teachers, parents, staff members and although I cringe every time a stranger graces my door, it is my job to welcome them and do what I can to serve them.  But in my carefully crafted construct of life, I would rather not meet strangers.  I would rather not be in crowds.  For instance, I’m about to have to go to active shooter training where everyone in the college will be gathered to hear how we are to stay alive.  But I DO NOT want to go because it means a crowd.  It means looking in the face of so many damn people.  I have nothing against these people at all.  But can I get the training as attachment to an email?
Because for the life of me walking into that theater and watching hundreds of heads turn in my direction when I walk in to find a seat gives me the heebie geebies of gigantic proportions!!!  I hate being the center of attention.  I hate walking anywhere late and I hate big events where I have to be around a lot of people.
So believe me when I say, I know what I am and I am OK with it.  As I go home in the evenings loving the fact that there is no bullshit at home, but me in my space, my hole if you will, But it’s mine!
I’ve never understood people that like to be the center of attention.  Those that like the limelight.  Just as people say I’m weird because I like my space, I say they are weird because they like to be put on display!  Does it go deeper than just wanted to be noticed?
I know my reticence with the center of attention is a product of my own anxiety issues.  I’ve always had anxiety issues.  Which is crazy right because I’ve been singing in some body’s choir for as long as I can remember, even leading songs.  Though my voice isn’t what it used to be, I can still hold a tune and I am still deathly still at the thought of having to get in front of a church and belt out the tunes!!!
But I digress…. yes I am an introvert and no, I do not deny it!!!

I Reflect ….. so let the record Reflect……..

So………  I have learned that self reflection is the best thing you can do for yourself.  But only when you are ready!  This is not a process that will be fun or pretty in looks, but it is much needed.

A few days ago I was on my way to work and and when I’m driving I spend time talking and praying with God.  But as I was talking the words and the realization of things started to come over me.  I have been angry with 4 men in my past.  One I’ve known over 20 years and we were like an off and on, not really dating, sex in the mix, friendship, fantasy love, and I’ve been angry with him for leading me on for 20 years.  The second is my ex-husband… he cheated on me, he was not the leader that God would have for our household, he only wanted what he wanted.  He constantly lied to me and when I finally had enough, he made it seem like I was wrong.  The third person is an older man I had fun with.  I say had fun because we never had a relationship status.  We just had sex, conversation and good times.  The fourth man was a friend, lover, and I thought perhaps he would be more one day.

I was ANGRY because I felt used by these men.  But in my conversation and realization, it came to me that the anger is mostly directed at myself because I allowed it to happen.  Each of those situation I ALLOWED myself to be used.  Because I did not put my foot down and ask for better treatment.  I didn’t realize that the 20 year relationship was going nowhere because I was entranced with the fantasy of it.  My ex-husband, I did not leave him alone when I first saw how deceptive he could be.  I could have saved myself 7 years of constant anxiety.  And with the older gentleman, I was afraid to ask for more.  I sensed his reticence because of our different races, I wasn’t sure he was ready for that exposure and instead of finding out, I took the cowards way out and just stayed silent. As for Mr. Four, he and I started on a sensuous journey that turned to deep friendship.  I thought it was going to run to it’s full completion, but I was afraid to speak of my feelings because I didn’t really know how he felt.  But I let it slide away…. then he tells me he loves me…. my feelings may not have been what they once were but I still loved him as a friend and then he disappeared on me.  I was not really angry with him, just confused.

So you see the anger is not directed at them, it is directed at me for being so passive in my own life.  For not standing up for myself and taking a stand in my life.  But I have forgiven myself.  Because I am human just like those men in my life.  They did not do anything malicious to me, except for my ex-husband because he did not have to lie and cheat, but that’s an issue with him and not my issue.  But I understand to forgive myself is to forgive them and be able to look on all these times with fond memories, because I do have great memories with them all!

Self reflection is good for the soul, mind, and spirit.  And I can do without judgement or criticism for my mistakes.  I know I made these mistakes and these results are because I did not assert myself and ask for what I wanted.  And I thought things would progress without my having to do that.  But it is a lesson and one well learned.  My next move will be to make sure I do not lay passive again and say what I want.  Make my feelings and wishes known.  It’s the only way!!

©07/16/2019 TNB

Imagine…. If you will……..

Can you imagine what it takes to survive?  Can you imagine loving a man and depending him so much that your life becomes whatever his mood may be at the time.  If he’s happy, you’re ecstatic… if he’s sad, your busy, trying to make him smile.  If he’s angry, you’re in pain.  The bruises aren’t always visible.  Some of them can be in your way of thinking…… “He doesn’t know what he does..” or “I probably shouldn’t have made spaghetti for dinner…”  “it doesn’t happen as often..”

These are the lies you tell yourself so your can be at peace with staying.  And people will ask, why do you stay?  What can you say to answer that….. when the answer is, that you’ve never been taught to leave.  How can you leave when your very survival depends on him, depends on his moods.  But I tell you one thing, it doesn’t matter how much you tell yourself, it’s the last time….. it won’t be.

What you are reading are just some of the things I face when I come to work here at the shelter.  There are a lot of broken women who have no one to turn too.  The family they were raised in was dysfunctional and so they will continue to the dysfunction with their own kids.  They come here to rest to finally make a plan.  And some will stick to that plan and others will only stick to it until the next “savior” comes along.  To a woman with kids, a man that says he will take care of her and her children, is like a desert walker with no water and then suddenly there is an ice cold cup.  He’s a predator…. and they are many like him….

So what can I do… me who grew up in a great family… me who doesn’t have kids that depend on me to survive…?

What I do, is give kindness… an ear, a empathetic ear.  Sometimes all you need to do is listen.  IF they ask, sure I impart some words of advice, but mostly I speak words of encouragement.  Words that help lift their spirits.  A lot of people do not believe in themselves and this is the most important part of survival!  You have to believe in yourself, that you have what it takes to make it.  No everything may not be sunshine and roses, but at least at the end of the day you can say “I DID THAT!!”

So a bit of advice… the next time you hear of a woman in an abusive relationship, curb the impulse to ask her “why do you stay..?”  Instead, listen, open your mind and then realize she thinks she has no choice….. but we all have a choice…. don’t we?

Motivation… when I’m down…. I’m up!!!

I don’t know where it starts, I don’t know where it comes from but all of a sudden I’m feeling like the weight of the world is on my shoulders.  I feel like I’m in pain, but not physical pain.  It all stems from inside.  Like inside my heart.  I’ve always thought I was the type of person that could withstand anything.  But I’m starting to doubt my own thoughts and feelings.  I can’t say for sure that I am unhappy.  I just know that things are not alright in my world.

I work two jobs and have been for the last 4 years as of May of this year.  And I cannot say for sure what it has really done to help me!  I’m horrible with money.  I’ll be totally honest with you on that.  And not that I don’t pay my bills because I do….. but God it would be nice to have someone else take care of these things for me.  That’s what being single is all about.  Being independent and taking care of yourself.  Making sure you pay all the bills and have enough to get gas, eat, etc.  It’s not easy and to be honest I get tired of it.

We rush to get older when we are young.  We rush to get to middle school, then rush to high school, then we are ready to leave and go to college.  Which by the way is probably the easiest time in life…. even though you don’t feel that way at the time.  But then it’s time to graduate and become a part of life.  And BOOM…. adulthood hits and life spirals out of control.  Or at least it always feel that way…. at least to me.  Am I the only one??

We think life is all about the fun things, but it’s more than that.  It’s about learning how to care for ourselves and others.  It’s about trials and tribulations that come and go.  It’s about trying to keep our heads above water.  And atheist and others that don’t believe in God surely can’t understand how we bear it all.  We bear it because God helps us.  If you have faith in God then you know just like you go through periods of despair, we surely go through periods of enlightenment and joy!

This is not a blog about religion, it’s about blog about life and how God allows us to have free will to shape our lives.  In the end, he knows about our beginning and middle and he  helps to shape our end.  We may believe that we aren’t getting anywhere, but we also know that things could be worse.  I could be homeless with no family and friends.  Just self-pity and loathing.  But I am NOT those things.  I am blessed beyond measure.  I wish that others could understand what that means.  We are all blessed in our tragedies and our triumphs.  No one ever said it would be easy, this road we travel, but with God in front of me anything is possible.  All things are possible.  I lift up mine eyes and Thank you God for what you have bestowed upon me.  I will not sit and moan about what I do not have.  I will not sit and complain of my hurts and troubles.

I will stand tall in the knowledge that God’s got me.  He’s got my back.  And I know that in his infinite wisdom, things will work out for my good.  That person that is no longer in my life, that bill that just came in, or that sudden joy that creeps into my heart at times, I know it is God who has provided!!  I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me……Philippians 4:13

06/19/2019 TNB©

Dirty Deeds……come clean…..

There is one question that has always raged in my mind… over and over but an answer never seems to come.  What makes a man/woman want to cause turmoil and hurt in the lives of those that they claim to love?

Now before you say anything, I know that hurt is not a part of love so it really isn’t love.  But why pretend?  Is your comfort more important than the feelings of those that are now laid waste in your path?  I would say the answer to that is yes!  People like this know how to talk a good game, in other words lie, but at the same time, they aren’t that good at it!  Because they always…. ALWAYS… get caught!

See this is what happens when you deal with women who are intelligent and independent.  They may be momentary swayed by your charms…but eventually their brain will connect the dots and their foot connect to your ass!  But I digress, this is not a blog entry in anger.  It is a declaration to all the men and women who keep playing with other people’s feelings….

You cannot continue forever, despite what your ego tells you.  Either your life will come to an end at the hands of the hurting or perhaps before that happens, you will finally grow up and be the man or woman that God created you to be.  Is that not what you want?  Why don’t you want that?  To be independent and take care of yourself instead of sidling into other people’s life and sucking them dry……

We were all put here for a purpose…. keep letting selfishness be your purpose and your ending will not be sweet.  I don’t mean death, I mean the dirty deeds that will finally eat you from the inside out……

*names were withheld to protect the innocent men and women who were only looking for love……. ❤

05/26/2019 ©TNB

10……… or the heart made of tin…..

This is the month of May!!  The month of my birth and this month will be 10 years since I have been single.  I separated from my husband in May 2009.  At the time I didn’t get the gist of what that meant.  I just knew that it was time to take control over my life or it would be one miserable year after the other.  I’m not here to bash my ex-husband.  Believe it or not I wish him all the happiness!  He is re-married and I hope that she is everything he needs and I hope that he is the man she needs!  I carry no bitter taste in my mouth from him, but marriage, well let’s just say me and marriage have an understanding of sorts.. I won’t look for it and it won’t look for me!

But I digress…. as I said it has been 10 years of being on my own.  Now as I explain to people just because I was single doesn’t mean I’ve been “single” as in a single being in sexual gratification.  I am no angel!  I’ve been on my own for so long, I can’t even imagine being with another person for more than a couple of hours… well the couple of hours it takes to get the groove going and to it’s peak! I have been able to fully grow into my introverted self and realize that I can only do a couple of hours of being with others… which family doesn’t count and really close friends… just people in general.  So how am I supposed to let myself get close to another person who isn’t family or a close friend and be ok with the result of opening myself up?  I know what people are going to say.  “The only way you’ll know is if you do it.”  “Don’t be afraid to open your heart.”  “Don’t let fear keep you from finding someone who loves you” …. blah blah blah…..And really it’s good advice, but who am I kidding… this heart of mine is locked behind concrete ice… yeah it’s that solid!!

And this is why I always shoot my shot for the unattainable or emotional unavailable persons, because I guess I am emotional unavailable in some ways.  It’s amazing what you can figure out just by letting your fingers loose on a keyboard.  I’m learning about myself as I type these words.  It’s not that I don’t want to be emotionally available, it’s just that I’m not sure I know what that means…. I know that when I first talk to a guy…. I get caught up in the should I text him or wait till he text me…but isn’t that playing games… or is it trying to hard… I have no blessed IDEA!!!  See what I mean… In a lot of ways I am like a 16 year girl with her first crush and no idea what to do!!!  It’s embarrassing……it is!  But what can I do but be honest to myself if no one else.  I have the freedom to what I want to do…. no matter what I decide, it’s to be my decision.  But it would be nice to have a manual that teaches you how to be emotionally available, or how to handle a relationship in the first 10 weeks.  But alas there is no book forthcoming…. tell me… how do you all do it?  Help your girl out….. 🙂

 

Fish, Chips, and a bit of Guinness stew on the menu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well I’ve gone and done it!!!  On my birthday next year, I will be in another country!!  I will be in Ireland!!  Then on to Wales and then England!!

Can you believe it… I can’t… but I’ve enrolled and there is nothing left to do but GO!

If you know me then you know I love all things British!  I love to watch their TV shows and the accent is absolutely beautiful to me.  And the chance to taste real Irish and English Ale!??!!!!!

It’s a scary and exciting thing!!  I have never been on a plane for longer than 4 hours and now I’m going to the British Isles!!!!!!!!

It is an opportunity I cannot pass up!  I’m single, no children and there is absolutely no reason for me not get out and enjoy life!  I work 7 days a week, but when do I get to enjoy it?  I don’t… so here I am….. about to embark on this trip of a lifetime. I have a year to wait…. but it will be well worth it indeed!!!

05/05/2019 © TNB

Media of the Social………Social is not the Media……….but is it??

I think back to when I was in high school and college.  The most popular thing then was a beeper!!  I still have one of my beepers as a matter of fact.  But I digress, today we have what is called social media.  That’s your Facebook, Instagram Twitter, Tumblr.  These are the avenues for which we discuss the things that make us happy, hurt us, make us angry and brings us joy.  We can’t wait to share a meme that is funny as hell and it may apply to our life and it may not.  But we just want to share it!  When your children have done something cute you share it, when your grandparent does something funny, we share it.  I guess it is a good thing it wasn’t around when I was younger because I would have meme after meme of my mom sleeping while sitting up!!  Because these are the things that make us happy.  Then we he finally says yes, let’s do this… the “in the relationship” statuses start being posted.  When she comes to town and allows you to wine and dine her, the “I love how he loves me” posts begin…..

But when is to much, too much??  We have started using social media for a lot of things.  But when is 5 selfies a day too much?  I am guilty of selfie thing…. especially with Snapchat!  I can’t help it that some of those caricatures are funny and cute!  But it is too much is when it is affecting self esteem if you don’t get enough likes.  When women and men feel like they have to reveal skin in order to get those lost “likes” back.  Or if you feel like your life is not worth anything  because you aren’t constantly sharing good news on social media?  Or if you feel like you have change your “status”  every time you meet someone.  Let me tell you, it’s not worth it.  Life is too precious to worry about what people you don’t know, never met, probably never will meet, has to say to you or about you!

Love and relationships have become something all together different from what it used to be.  From what it used to mean.  It is no longer between two people, it’s between two people and world.  If you love her, awesome, if you adore him, awesome…. but don’t let telling the world be your goal.  Let it be adoring her, loving him.  You don’t have to share every detail of your relationship.  If you want to announce to the world that you are together…. do so, please!  But don’t let social media be the guiding light of your relationship!

white and red led signage with love family laughter text

Let’s go back to using it for what is important.  Conversations with family and friends that are far away from us.  Memes of funny situations in life.  Debates about what is left or right.  Let’s keep posting pictures of family gatherings.  Let’s keep showing the funny videos of our pets.  We cannot let an invisible entity destroy our self esteem and self worth!  Life is too short to allow that!  Allow us to remember what is most important in life and it damn sure isn’t Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr!!!!!!

04/23/2019 TNB©

youmaysay

Bodied…..

His mind is like a maze full of twist and turns.  The alleyways are darkened yet filled with light.  I cannot for the life of understand why other don’t see what I see.

The world has polluted our way of thinking saying that different is wrong or made for scorn when it should be glorified when it should be looked at with reverence

only in my interpretation do I feel the need to try and explain him, to try and understand him. but it is impossible and he needs no introduction….

if you cannot sense his aura spilling out of his body then perhaps you are dead to what is real because he is bodied!

03/28/2019 TNB ©

“Innocence Perdue, Innocence Retrouvèe….” (Innocence Lost, Found!)

SO…… I had a conversation with a friend this weekend.  It was deep and personal, so I won’t get into too much detail, but we talked about the effects of molestation of young children and how we move through it as adults.  Yes, I said we.  I was molested at the age of 8 by a cousin.  Not a close one, but it was devastating.  Because before that moment, I was a normal, healthy, outgoing child.  But from that moment, I retreated into myself and never wanted to be that child again.  It took 5 years for me to tell my mom what had happened.

When it happened, I ran out of the room and ran straight to my mother.  But I couldn’t tell her what had happened.  I couldn’t open my mouth to tell her my shame.  I was ashamed and my innocence was lost.  I cannot describe the feeling that went through me as I tried to wrench myself for his grasp.  All in all, it was just touching, but a touching I knew was wrong!  I could not face myself, let alone anyone tell them how he had just killed that little girl and she died right inside of me.  But she wasn’t dead, she was hiding and hiding I continued to let her do so because she was supposed to be protected.  And no I don’ blame my mother or anyone but who the blame belongs to… him and who ever touched him as a child.

Innocence lost is so complicated and easy to understand at the same time.  Food became my comfort.  It became the balm that soothed that wounded child.  And in some ways, I guess it still is.  Because nothing is more comforting then ice cream at 1:30 in the morning!!  And that is the adult me talking… the one who loves ice cream!! LOL!  But I digress.  When something like that happens to a child all of who you were, is killed.  All of who you were supposed to be, is killed.  Unless you can work through it and overcome it.

Have I overcome it, only in slow degrees.  But I have overcome it!!  My life has moved in one direction or another and still that outgoing child has wanted to be free and by working on myself and working with my therapist, she is!!  The intelligent, sarcastic, funny, giving, kind, dependable woman I have become has held out her hand and allowed that child to began to come alive and be who she was meant to be!!

I tell you this not to gain pity for myself or spread gossip, but to help anyone else out there that had their childhood snatched from them in the same way.  You can overcome it.  And as Betty Heck, a woman who helped me tremendously once said, “it is not your shame.  That person who touched you or assaulted you transferred their shame to you, but it is NOT yours to carry!!”  It is not yours lug around!!

So remember, let go of the shame, it is not yours to carry.  That shame is holding that child/teen back from breaking free and being the person they were meant to be, you were meant to be.  My mom believed me, she hurt for me and she was angry.  I don’t know what she said or did but I never saw this person again.  And believe me, I have been grateful for it!  But if I could see him now, I would let him know how what he did, almost destroyed me.  But it did not!!  God, my mother, and my family would not let that happen!!  So again I say, let go of that shame…. it is not yours to carry!!

03/18/2019 TNB©