I build a bit of a wall around myself most of the time when I go out. I can’t be dealing with everyone’s energy and thoughts seeping into me when I’m trying to enjoy myself. Especially if they are people I’m not interested in sharing those things with. The couple in the abusive relationship across the room, the person at the table who’s having a difficult time, the guy bullshitting his way into a girl’s heart. You can also miss out on the good energy of a group of friends having fun or the atmosphere of a location full of love. That’s just what you have to sacrifice to stay safe. To stop from being overloaded, dissociated, and even eventually panicked.
We sensitive people learn these skills usually after years of wondering why it is so difficult to be around groups of people and why we often seem to be able to read things that others can’t see. We also get labeled eccentric, woo woo, crazy, psychotic, delusional, and so on. But often, those who stick around long enough start to see a pattern in our intuition and will open their minds. They see that we can see usually when we see into them in ways that others often could not.
It’s lonely. It can be very lonely in fact. Watching someone who puts on a good show fool everyone around them while you know in your gut that they are dangerous or untrustworthy or simply not showing a stitch of who they really are. It’s lonely ignoring your gut to give someone a chance, only to learn later that your gut was right. It’s lonely reading people before they read themselves. And lonely when you realize that the whole world is often a mirror for what is going on inside you.
It gets even lonelier when it mixes with the mental health struggles. I’ve learned I feel anxiety and paranoia in my chest, and I feel danger in my stomach. But sometimes I feel both, and figuring out how to decipher between them can be excruciating.
“I like you,” a friend told me yesterday, “because I know I am getting part of you when I am with you. I am getting something real.” This was referenced in comparison to others. But she and I both had our guards up high, in discussions of heavy topics and intense things.
There are times when the wall is fragile. Times when something so strong can break through. “Get out of here now,” the gut may say. Or “Do not trust this person,” it may whisper. But a wall with enough holes in the bricks to see through is the best kind, as we are protected, but can still always see when danger is coming and can prepare.
Unfortunately, it’s usually not so cut and dry, and there’s a thunderstorm beating down and all you can see is moving figures coming towards you through the fog. So you do your best with the information you have.
I’ve been told much of my life by many people I am close to to get out of their heads. I wish it were so simple. In a world where many of us are not thinking but just feeling. And we don’t know why because there is no reason. So I feel with you. I know you. I know you through feeling rather than through words or actions. And actions and words can then correspond better.
And then I can go back to being alone. What a gift that is. To be lonely. To have a space where I can experience myself without the intrusion of others. Where they enter my life on my terms. Where I can read them in ways they want me to and when I am ready.
Be lonely together.