An Introvert with a Semi-Colon Tattoo.

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My husband and my semi-colon tattoos. He’s my rock and my reason.

I couldn’t breathe.  I couldn’t move.  I couldn’t talk to ask for help.  All I could feel was the sensation that my air supply had been cut off.  I didn’t know what was happening.  I thought this was the end.

I was only 13.

I couldn’t eat in the lunchroom, I hid in the bathroom until the bell rang.  How on earth could I walk up to a table and ask if I could sit with any of these kids?  Why would they want to sit with me?

20 years later.

When I go to the store, I’m the one on a mission just trying not to make eye contact.  It’s not that I don’t want to be courteous, it’s just that I don’t feel good enough compared to anybody else.  Crowds make me incredibly nervous as well.

When I take my children to school or sports functions.  I don’t make small talk with the coaches or other parents.  I don’t know how to start the conversation.  I feel silly or embarrassed if I even try to fit in.  I’ll just sit back and observe until I get to know you better.  Once I do, we’ll be chatting at the field all the time.

If we are friends, you won’t get phone calls very often from me.  It’s not that I don’t love you.  It’s just that I hate the phone and would rather be at the dentist for two hours.  I’ll text you 24/7 though.  I write much better than I speak.

If I say no to plans, please don’t take it personally.  People drain me.  Absolutely drain me.  The only ones that I can be around all day every day are my kids and husband.  It doesn’t mean I don’t want to be friends or that I don’t want to hang out, because I do.  I don’t like that I am like this.  But, I am.  And if you have been my friend for years, you know this about me.  And I appreciate the fact that you stand by me more than you’ll ever know.  Please don’t stop trying to make plans with me.

I want to be social.  I want tons and tons of friends.  I just have a hard time starting the conversations.  It’s rare for me to find friends that get me.  But, when they do, we are friends for life.  I’ll be there for them for always.

My children and husband are my absolute world.  I may be anxious, I may be an introvert, but you will see a whole other side of me if you mess with any of them.  They make me dealing with all of this so easy.  I owe them the universe.

In large crowds, I will be looking for the nearest animal to pet.  I want to socialize and be like the rest of you, but on the inside I’m trying not to go into panic mode.  Any crowd I go into, I feel like I don’t belong.  I never feel good enough.  The only time I find enough confidence to deal with the world is when it’s for my children or for work.

At work I try to hide being an introvert.  I try to hide my anxiety.  You have to be a faux extrovert to work in customer service.   I’ve learned to be pretty good at it too.  Most people are surprised when they hear that I am an introvert.  I take pride in that fact. I work very, very hard at my job.  When people complain or gossip about something I did, I probably take it more to heart than anyone else in the building.  I do that because of how much I care about what I do.  I’m really, really hard on myself.

You may call me weird, shy, anti-social, rude, selfish, odd, mad, depressed, a loner, people hater, hermit, nerd (ok that one may be true), but I promise you, I’m not really any of those things.  I’m a regular person who is just has a little more anxiety than the person next door.  I’m a little bit awkward because small talk is not my thing.  I’d rather be at home reading on a rainy Saturday with my family than at the mall or out at a bar.  But, I promise you that if you ever need somebody, it doesn’t matter the time of night, I’ll be there.  I’ll listen intently and will remember everything you say, judgment free.

So, if I am ever out and about and you feel the same way too, don’t be afraid to ask me about my semi-colon tattoo.

xoxo,

Stacy