…but from a distance.
My entire life I was told I was an extrovert, and I agreed — after all, I don’t appear shy, and am usually fairly talkative.
People saw an outgoing, social person, but what they didn’t see were the after-effects. If I spent more than a couple of hours socializing, I would get home and do two things:
- I would experience a high degree of retrospective social anxiety, going over every interaction in my mind, critiquing every word I said. Did I talk too much? Did I say the wrong things?
- Then, I would crash. Exhausted from hours of masking, being “on”, and trying to read others and adapt based on their responses, I would need a full day to recover.
After so many experiences like this one, I started to withdraw. I was tired of feeling socially inept and burnt out from trying to fit in. After our son was born and I spent more time at home — because newborn — I found solace in the solitude, so I kept on with that trend…
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