Sunday, January 5, 2014

I don't get lonely, or maybe I do

As an introvert, I don't think of myself as someone who gets lonely.  I enjoy solitude.  I thrive on solitude.  I need solitude to ground and center and balance myself.  I can and have spent entire days alone, entire weekends alone, reading and writing and listening to music and simply enjoying the restorative power of peace, quiet, and inward focus.

I never get lonely.  Or do I?

Yes, upon reflection, I do know how it feels to feel lonely.  When I do feel lonely, however, it is not when I am alone.

When people ridicule me and belittle me, I feel lonely.

When people treat me as a thing not worthy of respect, I feel lonely.

When I am shamed for expressing my point of view simply because my point of view doesn't "fit in" with the rest of the people in a group, I feel lonely.

When people mock my words and dismiss my ideas, I feel lonely.

When people ignore that I have spoken, I feel lonely.

When people talk around me, playing the conversational equivalent of "Monkey in the Middle," carrying on among themselves as if I have not spoken, I feel lonely.

And I feel angry.

And manipulated.

And hurt.

And violated.

And voiceless.

BUT.

I do have a voice.

I have every right to be heard, and to have my voice respected, and to be respected in speaking my truths, whether or not anyone else sees the way I do.

And when I remember my own dignity and worth, derision and shame cease to have any real power over me.

And I am no longer lonely.