Some people have noticed a decrease of noise coming from my direction. I haven’t updated Geeky Pleasures in almost 2 weeks and I think it has been about the same amount of time for my personal blog. My tweets stopped completely for quite a few days. I was not visible online anywhere for quite a number of days. I retreated to my cave. This is something I will do often for a number of reasons (which I will try to explain but may not make sense).
Some people are use to this as I have done this my entire life when certain things occur. In what seems to be the distant past, I would retreat to my Fortress of Solitude where nobody would hear from me at all for an undetermined amount of time as I tried to work through what is bothering me. More recently, my fortress has become more of a cave. Where as I block out most of the world, remain very introspective but I will share to an extent what is bothering me with one person. I find sharing what is bothering me to be both mentally and emotionally taxing. It does not help me at all. But for whatever weird reason, it makes others feel better when I do. Unlike most people, when I vent I have already decided how I am going to fix the problem. I have already found my solution. I do not want input or advice unless I specifically ask for it. I am just vocalizing the problem so that I can move forward. For me, the issue is not real (i.e. it is not tangible but just some abstract thought) until I turn the thought into words. I need to do that step purely out of function, not out of a need to share, in order to solve the problem.
So it is no wonder that when people ask me what is wrong, I find it to be very intrusive and it is a violation. If I wanted you to know, I would have already told you. I would invite you into my cave. Do not try and force your way into it otherwise you will be met with huge resistance. I do understand this is not the norm. However, sometimes I forget this. I forget that I am the alien who functions on a level that isn’t quite normal. I forget that is how people show they care. I forget that most people do not seek out help until it is too late. I forget that when new people come into my life, I have to re-explain the rules. Sometimes I wish I could post a list of the rules in one place where there was no chance of them being missed so that nobody can say “I didn’t know.”
I also think people get rather confused at times by my rules, even if they do know them. I see them as very clear cut. I see things in terms of either/or. There is no room for misinterpretation. I speak plain, simple English. There is no need to read between the lines. I do not have varying degrees of acceptable or unacceptable. Something is either “right” or it is “wrong”. So when people apply the normal world rules to me, the rules that tell them people never say what they mean and you have to try and find the real meaning, I get frustrated. I feel like I am invisible. I feel like I am not being taken seriously. I feel like I am wasting my time talking as people are not listening to what I am saying. It should not be difficult because I am a very literal person. I do not say something unless I think it should be heard, heard exactly as it is said with no secret layers. I forget that people are so use to doing that with others they tend to forget that I am different. However, knowing this doesn’t end the frustration I feel. If they actually *saw* me, they would not forget these things. And when they do forget, that is where I draw the distinction between this person being a friend and just an acquaintance, regardless if they think they are my friend. What they think our level of friendship is has no bearing on what category I place them in.
Now when my rules of social conduct get repeatedly broken (and it happens more and more as my life gets more and more public), it causes me to feel as if I am drowning in a sea of invisibleness. I feel as if I am trapped in a waking nightmare. I have a reoccurring nightmare where I need to say something really important, and no matter how much I try to speak or even scream, no sound comes out. It is the most horrible feeling ever and I wake up from those dreams crying and having a panic attack. When I feel that nightmare has become reality, I retreat. The noises of the world, the illogic nature of people get to a point where if I do not retreat, I will regress into my cave forever. Readers are probably still confused as to what these rules are. Hopefully I can shed some light on this in just a bit.
There were a number of small things that caused my latest episode. The straw that broke the camel’s back was me asking a question and the recipient of this question thought it rhetorical. Once again it boils down to I speak plain, simple English. I am very literal (yes I have stated this but I think it is a point that really needs to be understood). I do not ask a question unless I expect a response. The exception to this is when I state something along the lines of “I know the answer to this” or “I’m not really asking.” If I do not say that, it means I am really asking. I have a very hard time with rhetorical questions. When people ask them, I do not come to realize that maybe it is rhetorical until after I have answered the damn thing. That issue was quickly resolved with the person. And had it occurred at any other time, I probably would not have reacted the way I did. But it was just one thing too many and my brain snapped. Just another Jules quirk in a long list of Jules quirks.
I have difficulty at times finding balance. For some crazy reason, people have become interested in my life. And if I were speaking to people one on one, I would have no issue being completely open about my life. Even so I am a very private person, I really do not mind sharing… to a degree. I am trying to figure out way to be okay with doing this on a larger scale. I am trying to find a way to balance my need for privacy with my want to share in a way that works for everyone. I doubt this will ever be possible however. So something has to give and I am not yet sure what that something is, that something where I do not ever again feel the need to completely unplug from the digital world once and for all. Especially as there are many things that I have no problem what so ever sharing and will not share unless I am asked directly about it yet there are other things that if you ask about them, I will think you a nosy busy-body who has no idea what personal boundaries are.
I tweeted just a little while ago “I think I figured out a srce of confusion. Personal things involving only me I’m very likely 2 discuss. Personal things involving others, no.” So I think this is where a list of do’s and do not’s should come in. And hopefully this will clear up some confusion and I can emerge from my cave feeling safe.
Things that are okay:
People can ask me anything about my childhood and past, my likes and dislikes, my Lupus, things I may have already discussed on my blog but only if it does not involve other people. Things directly about “me” I am more than willing to share. And as a general rule, I will not discuss them unless I am directly asked something specific. Sure I relay stories etc about my life, but I really see everything you see here in public as just the surface stuff. If I didn’t feel it surface stuff, I wouldn’t share it as openly as I do.
If you ask about my children in public, you will probably get a generic response of “they are good.” Even in private, unless you are a part of my most inner circle (which is only a couple of people) you will not get any real information on them. This is one of those things where I will share what I want to share when I want to share it and what I feel is appropriate. They fall into the “sacred” category and thus there are very few people I will trust with it.
General questions about my spirituality or systems of belief are acceptable. However, once again if you ask me this question in public, I probably will not answer it. It has to do with I do not people to impose their beliefs on me and I will not impose it on others. I do believe there are any correct answers as far as this is concerned. It is not my job to tell others what to believe in this area and I expect the same courtesy in return. I will openly speak out against any form of fundamentalism. I will openly speak out when religious beliefs harm others. This come back to, I think this is a personal thing that should not be imposed upon others unless they ask specific questions. Ask me a specific question in private, I would love to share with the understanding that I am just sharing for information purposes. I really do not care what you choose to believe or not believe and I want the same respect in return. This being said, do not be surprised if you are met with “I am not comfortable discussing this with you” as a response. As this once again falls under the category of “sacred” only a precious couple will get all questions answered.
Things that are never okay:
NEVER ask me any personal questions on my Facebook wall. You can ask questions about things I have already made public on Facebook on my wall. This even includes: “Do you want to do this tonight?” “How are you feeling?” “I heard about this job, are you intersted?” and a variety of such things. It is nobodies business what I am up to. If I want people to know, I’ll tell them. Email was invented for a reason. Use it. If you are unsure if the question is personal or public, air on the side of caution and email me. Always be prepared for a “I’m not answering this” as a response. A general guideline: if I have not discussed it anywhere, I probably am not willing to.
NEVER ask me questions about my love life unless it is response to something I have already made public. If I wanted you to know a specific detail, you probably already know. There have been many discussions about this particular point lately as certain private things have become less private. However, I am not ready for the whole world to be involved yet for a couple very important to me reasons. And that is really all you need to know about that for now.
Unless I ask for your opinion or advice, please do not share it. As I stated above, when I vent it is purely for function so that I can move forward. If I ask a general question on Twitter or Facebook, this means I am looking for your input. I wouldn’t be asking if I were not. Same goes for one on one interactions. I have no problem asking questions. I am a very curious person. But please wait until I have asked otherwise I feel like you are intruding, regardless of who you are or what role you may have in my life.
Putting things on Facebook does not make it public. 99% of the people who I am friends with on Facebook do not follow me on Twitter and vice versa. They are two different things to me. I use them for two different reasons. So if I say something on Twitter, do not ask me about it on Facebook and vice versa. My Facebook is my very personal space. My children are on there. Not only pictures of them but they are my friends on Facebook (their choice, they friended me). I am very selective about who I accept as friends on there. And even so I am very selective, that does not mean I want everyone there to know everything that is going on with me. Very few people get to know everything about me. This is my life and even so it is somewhat public, I still should have a choice of what information gets shared, how and with whom. That being said, I know people will gossip. But those people I do not consider friends, they are not in my realm of importance and people will behave as if they are the National Enquirer. This last paragraph is more for the people that consider me a friend or feel they have some form of connection with me. If this is indeed how you think and feel, then I obviously expect this to be respected. I do the same for you.
There are probably more rules. But those are the ones that have been repeatedly stepped on lately (including rules/quirks posted before I listed more). And even if nobody respects them, I had to state them again. It is the only solution I could come up with which would allow myself to be comfortable climbing back out of my cave. And if someone steps on them again, at least I have something I can point them to which explains my point of view. And it is for these reasons, because of my maybe not so normal views on things (such as personal space) when I ask someone a question that I think is violating one of my own rules, I always state “If it is none of my business, please feel free to tell me to Fuck Off. I will completely understand.” And once again, if in doubt, email me.
I feel better now. Thanks.
Edit: Just in case it is not clear, if any of this is unclear and you’d like clarification please feel free to ask.