When you’re sensitive and introverted, I think people often get the wrong idea. We’re not cold or even unhappy, but when we hear something or see something or experience something that makes us feel, we need to be alone. Most people, I’ve found, need to be with others to process difficult information. I need to be alone. It hurts me. It hurts me emotionally and sometimes physically to hear or read something difficult. Some people need to display their feelings outward. I rarely can. When I do, it takes a long time to recover. People say we are “cold, aloof, uncaring”, but nothing could be further from the truth.
I care to the point of not being able to function around others. I care when there’s no effect on me. I’m able to see myself in a different place and feel a sorrow many can shrug off. It’s not a gift or a super power. It’s sometimes paralyzing. Bad news derails me. I must function and I do, but the sadness never leaves my mind. It builds up like a pile of bricks. I wait for it to break me. At those times, I must be alone.
This isn’t new to me, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve begun to understand it more. As a child, I spent many sleepless nights worrying about the children who would go to bed hungry. I worried about death…not mine, but losing people I loved. My dad would come to my room and tell me to stop worrying. Everything will be ok. But it’s really not.
I spent so much of my life shrugging things off and going through the motions. But I’ve now realized it’s ok to feel. In fact, the ability to feel so deeply is a blessing. Perhaps only few of us share.
I am neither cold, nor aloof. I simply must feel in private. When I’m with you and you’re down, I can feel it–whether you want to talk about it or not. When I’m in a crowd, I can feel the sorrow of those in the crowd. I feel it through the laughter and smiles. I just know. And it’s difficult to process. If I should ever trust you enough to talk about it-by words or writing, I hope you feel trusted and loved. I’m ready to put us all “out there”. Don’t desert us if I do.