Solitary Beings

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I have been spending a lot of time alone in my room lately, but it feels like a good thing. I’ve never really stayed still long enough to consider what is my true nature. Lately, I’ve come to the realisation that I’m the kind of person who needs a lot of time alone in order to cope with times of social interaction. My family have always understood this about me. If I spend a lot of time sitting in my room reading a book or hanging out by myself in front of the TV or sitting outside alone on the rare sunny days that we get in Ireland, my family don’t ask me what’s wrong. They don’t ask why I sit alone or don’t engage with them more often. I think this is because my family know me better than anyone else, better than I know myself.

I like solitude. I don’t find it lonely. I often feel more lonely among a group of people with whom I do not relate than I do when I spend time in my own company. I enjoy working from home as an editor, and I enjoy going to the cinema alone. There are a few activities that I prefer company for – eating food, going for walks – but mostly I’m happy on my own. One of the things that I try to do when I’m feeling depressed is to surround myself with people in the hope that this will make me feel better. Sometime, this works, but usually only when it involved a physical activity that lasts no longer than an hour or two. I do enjoy company, I just don’t always need it in order to feel good about myself.

I remember reading up on introvert and extrovert personalities. Contrary to what most people believe, being introverted doesn’t mean being quiet and unassuming. It simply means that the introvert gets their energy from being alone, from inside themselves. Likewise, not all extroverts are loud and confident, it’s just that they get their energy from being surrounded by people, from outside themselves. According to this definition, I am an introvert. I am a (sometimes) sociable, confident, out-spoken introvert and I am definitely not a quiet, shy and unassuming person.

When I try to balance my need for solitude with my attempt to manage my depression through socialisation, I often get it very wrong. When I get it wrong, I burn myself out, I lose the energy even to talk, and I tire of social situations much more quickly than usual. When this coincides with a dip in my mental health, I can end up in a slump for quite a long time.

I have realised that I need to be careful about who I spend time with. Some people are what I like to call ‘energy vampires’ although perhaps they’re just extroverts who aren’t spending enough around lots of people to get the energy that they need. People like this drain me completely, not because I don’t like them, but because I can’t cope with the demanding nature of their requests for my time and energy. It’s also why I’ve realised that I need to be careful about what jobs I take on. Working as a video editor suits me perfectly because much of the job is quite solitary – sitting in a room alone, going through hours of footage and immersing oneself completely in the job for hours at a time.

I’ve often felt that there was something wrong with me when I craved solitude, but I’ve realised that this attitude isn’t helping me at all. I can tell the difference between being depressed and wanting solitude. Sometimes they overlap, but I just need to trust myself and my instinct. If I want to be alone, then I’m going to allow myself that. It’s better to be alone than lonely, and I rarely feel lonely these days, so I must be doing something right.

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3 Responses to Solitary Beings

  1. I empathize with this an awful lot. In the past year I’ve had to cut out so many energy vampires and it has freed up so much time. Yet I still get this feeling….it’s not quite social anxiety, because I want to talk to people, but my brain says ‘NO!’ and I become a nervous wreck even among those closest to me. I get so caught up in my own trans journey and the seeming apathy others have towards it makes me just wanna spend lots of time alone, or rack up the bravery to go meet queerfolk. Have you come across the term Ambivert? It’s a mixing of introvert and extrovert, because I don’t think anyone can be 100% either.

    It can be really hard to find what is right for right now, especially when feeling vulnerable, but it sounds like you are making real positive steps, and for that, Kudos 😀 Xx

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  2. wibblebubble says:

    In theory, in two days I’m going to sit down with my Mother and tell her I’d been to see my G.P. about me having gender issues (enough to see a doctor about it…). Then I’ll decide whether or not to go down the medical route (which will take ages but there’ll be lots to sort out in the mean time to be honest) as telling my Mother will be a major stress gotten out of the way. I’m only telling my Mother to manage her really. I’ve been dropping massive hints leading up to it regarding my gender – she could have questioned me before now, but she’s old school – and I fear transgenderism is far too left field for her to understand. (I can’t even bring myself to think about my Dad yet who is a toned down Jeremy Clarkson, which isn’t saying a lot basically). I could do with that remote control from the film ‘Click’ to just fast forward the next three months (or even six months) as I know how my Mother is going to react. I could literally do the facial expression “Transgender? – You’re what??? (nervous shaking)” – I may do a parents and transgender son puppet show for my parents to act it all out to save them the bother of instigating it all themselves. Today I just backed up all my transgender research files onto a DVD – totalling 1GB, including 400 pages of word docs I’ve put together myself on all the gender stuff I was worried about… I’ve really cross-examined myself (the same as I’m sure most transgender people do…). I’ve really gone to town… practically writing a book with chapters, content, analysis, summaries and conclusions etc… a proper clear job, I’m really proud of it considering the amount of lows I went through putting it together – if all you’ve ever known is the binary gender and sexual identities then all you’d have to do is read what I’ve written and you just would not be able to help but understand transgenderism, you’d literally have to be blind or stupid otherwise. But I just know that all of that is not gonna help at all – no-one is going to read it (all they have to do is read the summaries totalling a few pages…)… and in the end it’ll just come down to me being taken to my emotional limit before I’ll be accepted. But it’s so predictable – the danger is that I don’t rise to occasion to engage in all the drama for it to in the end ultimately be resolved using the very arguments I have already written about. So what was the point of figuring it all out in my head before coming out if I only have to go through it all again with them as though I never have properly faced the issue? I’ve been through all the emotion already – I’ve done it, I did it all on my own thank you very much.

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    • wibblebubble says:

      I’m still getting to grips with WordPress (I am lost in the world of computers – as in confused). I saw there was a hit from someone on my blog site (that was empty at the time). So maybe someone was curious or concerned. I have spoken to my mother – I caught her at a good moment. (I think I was over worrying before hand – I shouldn’t under estimate people). She responded well (as in didn’t flip) – I dunno? She was understanding about how I felt but totally unable to understand my problem. I am giving her time… I have given her stuff to read etc in her own time (I have briefly explained eveything… y’know, to a certain extent we humans just seem to play out in a way that is predictable and can’t be rushed – human nature, pretty universal, it can’t be helped). I knew I would feel awkward and bad and all the ups and downs after telling her – so as I predict there, I am now going through that. sigh. I still have to tell my dad yet (I need my mum on side). I also have a brother too (big brother – he has recently just split from his wife… my mum has been through it already basically). I am practically writing a blog i the comments here, which I think is bad form. Anyway – I’ve posted something now on my blog… I was reluctant to – I’ve been one of these people who didn’t want to get involved with the transgender community while I was trying to figure out my gender issues (though I have asked questions and left comments.. I’ve been to a support group… but I have had minimal involvement basically – if by that you’d include leaving 40 pages of comments on a forum? :P). Anyway. I’m just commenting to myself probably here. I have left an odd post of a picture I drew of how I look now and how I’d look in 2020 say – it’s spooky to look at (how could I draw a face that doesn’t even exist yet? – my art skills are rusty but, both faces have a similar thousand yard stare expression to them :P). I also posted a summary of research I’ve done into the biology of transgender brains (pre and post HRT – MTF and FTM) and also doing homosexual brains as well. It could be accused of ‘bad science’ but I spent months doing it and it is all sourced from wiki, science articles and web pages. It is controversial I know – so maybe it is ill advised. But it helped me – helped me see transgednerism as real. I even managed to understand how gender works in the brain I think and all the various bits work together to cause gender dysphoria. I couldn’t find anything anywhere else that had done this (which is why I felt I had to do it myself). I was in the middle of pulling it all togther when Germaine Greer side kicked every transgender person in the face with her ‘theories’ about transgenderism (i.e. – that is doesn’t exist). I dunno. Fuck it – there is plenty of blogs with so called science that disproves transgenderism, so I’ve posted something that I think carves in stone proof that transgenderism is real (and how it works). I don’t think I’ve killed feminism either. The brain IS plastic – I think I’ve shown what we can change (if we can’t change our gender identities). Peace.

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