Tag Archives: understand

Letter.

To the fixers:

Maybe you don’t know what else to do, so you give a suggestion. Maybe my problem seems easy to you. Maybe you can’t relate. Maybe you see an easy solution and you can’t imagine why I haven’t seen it. Maybe I have. Maybe it’s not as easy as you suggest. Maybe I can’t do what you can do. Maybe your solution is just a step in the right direction, but that same solution is surrounded by obstacles in my life. Maybe I don’t need a solution. Maybe I don’t need you to fix this. Maybe you want to help and you want to take control and fix this. Breathe. Just take a breath and be here with me. This can’t be fixed so easily.

To the challengers:

I see my flaws. I know there are many things I need to change. I’m probably more aware of them than you are. You challenge me to have perspective. You challenge me to think in different ways. You challenge me to think passed this. I can do those things. And nothing you are saying is wrong. But you’re invalidating what I’m feeling. I’m in a vulnerable place and you’re telling me, “Hey. I know what you’re feeling. But stop feeling that. Because you haven’t thought about it in this way. You just need some perspective.” I am allowed to feel what I’m feeling. You make me feel like I’m bad because I’m feeling this way. Just stop. Just hear me. Empathize with me.

To the uncomfortable:

You asked me why I was crying. So I told you. So you made a face that said you understood. Then you looked away. And you looked back and talked about something else. You tried to make me laugh. You ignored what I said. I know you’re not comfortable. I know you don’t want to help me carry this burden. Then please don’t ask. If you can’t handle it, please don’t ask me why I have tears in my eyes. Please don’t ask me how I’m doing. Because watching you see my pain and then ignore it? That’s something I can’t handle. So if you want to engage in my pain with me, then please do. But if you don’t want to–if you can’t– then leave me alone.

To the distracted:

You heard me. You not only heard me, but you said all the right things. You are the closest I’ve gotten to feeling a bit of relief from the sadness inside of me. You have gotten my hopes up that maybe, just maybe, I’m not alone. But you are busy. And the hours and the days and the weeks pass by and you seem to forget everything I said to you. When you see me, sometimes I can see you still remember, but you’re hurried. You have to move on to your next task, your next meeting. You say we’ll connect again soon as you pass by. Or you are so busy and distracted that you never follow through. In any way. You don’t even ask how I’m doing. Either be one thing or the other. Either be my friend, or don’t. But do not get my hopes up.

To the listeners:

Where are you?

-Melissa

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Ambivert.

Ambivert. It’s a new word. So new in fact that there’s a spell check line underneath it. Also because it’s a completely made up word.

Okay, so I should probably warn you, I’m a little bitter on this subject.

That being said, I’ll be as honest as I feel. ‘Ambivert’ is not a thing. It’s a word someone made up to make themselves or someone they know feel better. It’s kind of like a horoscope: you read all the information and you’re like, “oh. Well, yeah, that could be me” when really, it could be anyone. Well, almost anyone. Let me explain:

There’s kind of a spectrum of introversion and extroversion. On one side is the person who is, completely, without a doubt, an introvert. On the other side, the extreme extrovert. In between that is a scale and people fall on lots of places between the two extremes. Rarely is anyone so completely introverted that they have no extroverted qualities or so extroverted they have no introverted qualities from time to time. You can be one while demonstrating traits of the other.

People are now trying to place ambivert in the middle of that scale. They are trying to add grey to a scale that’s black and white. People can be grey, don’t get me wrong, but the scale is black and white. You can be a shy extrovert. You can be an outgoing introvert. It doesn’t make you an ambivert.

I understand the temptation to fall for this made up word; to fit yourself into a category so that you do not have to choose which one you are. I especially understand your confusion if you’re like me, falling directly on the line between introvert and extrovert; if it literally depends on the day which one you are. Yes, there is a temptation to just ignore it all together and call yourself an ambivert and get on with your life. In fact, if you want to do that, go for it. But if you’re being the life of the party with all of your friends and then decide you just want to be alone and all the people wore you out, you’re not an ambivert. You’re an outgoing introvert.

Maybe this all stems from the fact that people still are confused on the definitions of introvert and extrovert. Let me just clear that up. Introverts need to ‘recharge’ by themselves. They need time to themselves to feel well rested. For extroverts, the opposite is true. They need time with people to feel rejuvenated and recharged. That’s all it comes down to. Just because you’re quiet does not mean you’re an introvert. The exact opposite could be true.

And, while I’m on my soapbox that no one reads, let me just say this: if you think someone is an extrovert and they swear they’re an introvert, for crying out loud, just believe them! Unless you’ve crawled inside their body, lived a life in their shoes, and felt what they’ve felt, you have no idea what they are. Some of the most outgoing people I’ve met are introverts. Just let people figure themselves out- don’t do it for them.

As for me, I said I was directly on the line. That’s pretty true, though I’m probably 52% extrovert and 48% introvert. For me, it depends on my stage of life and, honestly, how healthy I am, if I’m an introvert or an extrovert. But I charge either way. Sometimes people energize me, sometimes they drain me. Sometimes I relish in the peace of being by myself, sometimes I get restless. And people argue over which one I am and then tell me which one I am. And now they’ve started to call me an ambivert. But let me assure you: I am both an introvert and an extrovert.

And I’m no more an ambivert than I am a unicorn.

I think my main point is this: tell yourself you are whatever you think you are. But don’t put other people in a box just because they don’t fit the mold in your mind. We’re all created in a unique way and you won’t always understand the person sitting next to you. And you know what? That’s okay. Personality tests were made to help us better understand ourselves and, while they’re fascinating, I think they can hold us back sometimes. You don’t always fit the mold, or in my case, you never do. But introvert, extrovert, or unicorn, just be you.

-Melissa

Missing you.

So… I still miss you.

That shouldn’t surprise me anymore. But it’s been a long time since I’ve had a conversation with you. It’s been a long time since you’ve looked me in the eye… Even longer since it wasn’t followed by quickly looking away when you realized I was looking back. Goodness, it’s been years since I’ve heard your laugh. Years. But I still miss you.

I never want to stop. So maybe that’s why I haven’t. But I never expected that it would still be this strong. That the pain would still be so real.

Then again, I never expected that, by now, we wouldn’t have become friends again. I never thought your silence would last this long. I always thought our reunion was just around the corner.

Now, part of me wonders if I was delusional.

But, when I was at my worst, those delusions gave me hope. And God used that horrible experience to teach me what hope was. And I’m forever grateful for that.

But that was years ago too. It’s been so long. And there’s a very large part of me that thinks if you and I tried to be friends again today, it wouldn’t even work. Because too much time has past. There’s been too much space, and my pain has completely filled it. And your walls have successfully kept me out. And, though I’m sure you’ve changed, I’m not sure you could even remove a single stone from one of the walls.

And that’s the other thing. Missing you is mixed with worry for you. Because I worry you’ve kept everyone else out. I worry you’re alone and lonely. I worry you’re in pain and too afraid to let anyone see the utter goodness you hold inside of you. I just… I worry.

And you would tell me to stop. And you would say you were fine. And you would say that you like living just the way you are.

And I would be able to see through your lies just as clearly as you saw through mine.

I don’t know why you did what you did. It doesn’t make sense, Tyler. You and I had a friendship that most will never understand. Didn’t you realize that? Didn’t you see how well we understood each other? Didn’t you feel the comfort that came from our friendship? Didn’t you know that I would love you, literally no matter what you did? Didn’t I tell you that on more than one occasion? Didn’t you promise you’d never leave?

And was all of that what scared you and sent you running?

We’re less than two months away from it being four years. This is why I’m convinced that, though there may be stages of grief, grief never actually ends. Because, if it did, would there still be tears in my eyes? If it did, would my heart still ache at the thought of you?

I love you, best friend. Haven’t I proven you can’t change that?

Missing you.

-Melissa