Sometimes, I forget "my demon" exists.
I just do.
I know that seems pretty weird to say, given the long post explaining it… but it just isn’t something I think about.
As I said in the last post, the escaping defense is so automatic, I don’t even notice that I’m doing it, or not doing it, and the triggers haven’t been that sensitive in years enough to require conscious effort to manage.
Life just doesn’t revolve around it anymore. It once did, but that seems like lifetimes ago.
But, in reality, I know that it’s not because it’s gone.
I just adapted to it, and learned to work with it.
But, I do so knowing that it changed who I am.
Most of you who read here know me offline, or at least have known me offline at some point in time.
If polled, probably almost all of you would say that I’m an introvert… a very obvious one. (The others of you, will be explained in another post.)
By definition, an introvert is one whose energy is drained by time with people, and extrovert recharges their energy by being with people.
By practical means, introverts are quiet… extroverts, well, are not.
And by both of those, I’m very introverted.
Except… I’m not an introvert naturally.
I know that sounds weird. But I’m not an introvert by birth.
One of my childhood nicknames was Mouth, due to a tendency to not shut up.
One of my first memories is the first day of kindergarten, getting put in time out on the piano bench because I wouldn’t stop pestering a boy named Kevin.
In second grade, I was given an award at the end of the year for "Miss Congeniality", and my biggest memory of that year is just a vague recollection of having my desk being moved fairly frequently to minimize chatter. (Which worked only briefly, until I made friends with my new neighbors…)
I was one of the kids who spent a lot of time around in the neighborhood… standing on trash cans outside windows to talk to friends long part the time they’d been sent to bed.
Until I became the kid who buried themselves in books 24/7… who pretended to be afraid of the dark in 4th grade to get a nightlight to read by.
I don’t know what happened between the end of second grade and fourth grade. I don’t remember any sort of dramatic trauma or anything in particular… I think it was just a gradual transition as I realized that escaping into a book worked.
Some of you who’ve spent more time connecting with me online will not be too surprised by that extroverted side. Get me in a chat room, and there is no introvert. The triggers aren’t being hit, and so the anxiety doesn’t flare up, and so the defenses aren’t in play.
But most of the rest of you may have a hard time believing it.
It’s always sort of interesting when people who I know well online meet me in person… it’s a very different impression.
Even so, sometimes I completely and totally forget.
Life is what life is, and in life, I’m an introvert. Extended time around people drains me… probably from the effort spent both maintaining and fighting against the defenses. It’s a war that goes on, and both sides are charging their energy needs to my account.
The interesting thing, is that with the meds at a certain level, that can almost be changed back. Not entirely, but close. I spent about 5 years letting them do so.
But, while it brought more happiness in the moment, it made me less happy with life in general. The best analogy I can use is the fact that I prefer having 68 facebook friends that I actually want to read and interact with than having 500 friends most of which couldn’t even name my daughter if asked (or even her nickname.)
As dysfunctional as the defenses are, they do have a purpose, and I prefer life with them to without them… those some nice happy medium would be nice.
But while acceptance is nice and good and makes life smoother… that it’s so integrated that I forget about it something is not a useful thing… because I’m not alert to when I’m being hit by parts of the demon, that they are just that.
But, when you look at the DSM criteria… what any mental health professional uses for making diagnosis…
* Is inhibited in interpersonal situations because of feelings of inadequacy
* Views self as socially inept, personally unappealing, or inferior to others
The first one is one that generally always applies with me (with a few exceptions), the second is the one that only applies with me intermittently.
Suddenly, you realize the monster is actually just the demon… just showing a different side of itself than the usual battlefront. Yeah, it’s a kind of a "Duh…" moment.
The sensitivity to rejection, I’m aware of on a regular basis, although sometimes not in the moment. The irrational inhibition I’m used to dealing with and almost always recognize when it’s at higher levels.
But somehow those feelings of inadequacy and inferiority.. of just being fundamentally messed up.. that are fueling that can attack on their own, and I totally miss it for what it is. It looks like a totally different monster, even if I’m sometimes aware that it’s somehow related.
Having that in mind would have made things a bit more understandable here… And a bit easier on myself here… Oh and it’s showing in the latter parts here… and I’ll stop there… but I know those are far from the only places it has shown itself around here, they are just the most recent big ones.
Ya know, I’ve said that knowing what I’m up against with Prince Charming has made a big difference in things… in knowing there is a reason for it…
It’s the same situation with my demon and with his on that front. Knowing why stops making it mysterious and makes it an issue of using that awareness to manage it.
But, it really doesn’t help all that much when you completely forget that reason has arms that sometimes might not look the same as the ones you deal with more often.
Ah well. Can’t change the lack of realization from the past… but, feel free to comment and point it out when I’m missing obvious arms. lol