I did not know there was a label for “it”
The other day, someone told me how “not normal” I am. Being oblivious of the people around me when she tried to call me out in public and I, lost in my own translation never knew. She told me how passive I was when I took a table that was already “reserved”, ate like I didn’t care when they were all staring at me and left with kempt behavior. When a couple of other people chorused in agreement, I couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable. As she reiterated my behavior to me, not only once have I been perceived as a snob; lacking sensibility in their eyes and at the back of my mind I should know where they’re coming from. This hasn’t been my first time….being judged.
I am a professed Major Introvert.
I grew up with imaginary friends. By that, I don’t mean ghosts or made-up entities. I remember locking myself in my room every after school and I’d listen to my kiddie cassette tape over and over again, stare on ceilings and imagine the world of my own. A world crowded with all the arts I’ve made, stories to tell, adventures to secret passages and more. Father would just peep at the window and check if I’m still breathing. If he finds me all set with my teapots and dolls then he’d let me be. See, I have always find relief in seclusion. Even as a child, being all by myself was never considered a threat. In fact, it was a splurge. My mother worries about me all the time I know. She thinks I’m odd and that keeps people from liking me. I know she means well. She just wants me to be like the kid next door. Unfortunately, I am not. When my father died, the biggest part of me that mourned was not just the fact of permanent absence his death entailed. It was the very idea that the only person who fully understood my quirks will no longer be around. His acceptance was my shield from judgment, from taboo, from bullies, and all the indifference I get from people who knew nothing about me. Yes, boys and girls- I am a professed Major Introvert. I cave in when necessary and this happens more than 5x a day. In many different expressions and mannerisms that are often misunderstood. When I hear people saying Introversion is a gift carelessly, I cringed at the thought. They have no idea what it provokes. I mean we are already awkward individuals. We know it- it’s a struggle. It took me a while to clinically understand my psychosis. And it even took me a little while longer to accept it head-on. For a moment there (or was it years?), I keep denying it. Hiding under the reasons of rebellion from the norm or stereotypes. My roommates could probably attest my self-proclaimed abyss. Space is such a BIG WORD they don’t ever bother me with an inch. I’m aware it sends off signals of confusion and intimidation and it doubles my worries all the more.
What it means to be an INFJ?
But the one thing I hate. The common misconception people throw at me is when they label me moody. They think I hate people when I don’t. I just can’t be around them so much or else I’ll feel suffocated. When I feel I have been over my dosage of socializing, the only way for me to recharge is to fall off the grid (hidden, unheard, offline) for a period of time. I need to be alone to recover and that is not a bad thing. When I feel I have nothing substantial to say, I’d rather stay shut than pollute the air with unnecessary blabbing. So don’t feel too ignored. I maybe just fully immersed in my own thoughts I only see blurry visions around. No offense, that’s how I roll so to speak. Like most introverts or shall I say, “overwhelmed individuals”, if we are not thinking deeply about serious issues in life then we’re probably dead (relatable only to those alike). My idiosyncrasies, I reckoned might be scary to some (if not most). I truly understand them shunning away. What’s worse is faking a friendship and backstabbing. That would be unpleasant. I keep a small portion of friends whom I trust and pour my stories endlessly. So I really do not fret people coming and going. I value honesty because life is too short to pretend we can please everyone. Writing is one thing. Speaking is entirely a different dimension! What I lack in interpersonal skills, I’d like to think I make up for loyalty and fidelity towards my kinfolk. Know that when I let you in, it is not a piece of cake on my part. As deep cries out to deep, I fall high and I fall hard. Talk about my weakness huh?! I had my share of “come hell and high water episodes”. Sadly, I regret to inform that neither did contribute to the advancement of me opening up out of my shell. But that is not to say I am bitter at heart. Not anymore
With all this being said, I am not asking for sympathy or explanation. I dread every instance people trying to fix me. Sure, as a Christian, I am working towards changing my attitudes that will please the Lord. I only ask that you do not outcast me from the list just because I am weird in comparison to others. If perhaps, I am indifferent then do not judge until you walk a mile with my shoe. I shall and will always take refuge in the words written in Romans 8 (whole chapter/ my favorite bible passage) – that nothing and I mean NOTHING is able to separate me from the love of God – no principality, no object, subject, discretion, power, magic, curse, rejection, decree, loneliness, void, darkness, no one, nothing else in all creation can do that. The kind of love, which is in Christ Jesus, bridges my gap, my indifference, my flukes and twists towards the only acceptance I need to be worried about. I didn’t even have to work hard for it since God loves me just the same, just as I am.