Articles from June 2015

Introvert shaming

I was just reading an article about introversion posted to Facebook by an introverted friend: So Apparently There Are Four Kinds of Introversion

(I was split about equal across all four kinds, by the way)

…And then, of course, in the comments to this article you find mean stuff accusing introverts who post on Facebook about introversion, of looking for pity and attention-seeking.


Once again, people really don’t understand introverts.

No, it’s people posting articles they find meaningful and helpful, the same as everybody else does on Facebook.  My husband’s Aspie cousin also posts lots of things about airplanes.

No, it’s about trying to understand yourself and explain it to others, after spending a lifetime of dealing with people who accuse you of being stuck up, or rude, or all sorts of other things, simply because you are quiet and introverted.

Who have abused you for it, or rejected you for it, or teased you for it, causing deep scars.

Who have scolded you out of the blue, when you were simply being yourself.

And it happens quite often.  It starts in childhood, when you have no idea why the other kids keep rejecting you and bullying you, or why you can’t please your teachers and other adults.

Most people want the approval of others, so telling us to just “shrug it off” won’t work.  No, stuff like this works deep in your psyche, a kind of introvert-shaming.

It causes you to feel like a freak, because not only can you not behave the ways that everybody keeps telling you, you “should,”–

but oftentimes you don’t want to.

Heck, I’ve just come through YEARS of fighting to recover from the emotional damage of being traumatized by Richard and Tracy for being introverted.  The whole story, the extent of how they abused me, starts here.  I recently realized that I finally made it through the darkness and have rebuilt my life again.

Another person in college, Shawn, also psychologically damaged me by criticizing all my introverted and NVLD traits.  I was in love with him, but he rejected me because of my introversion, while also sexually using me.  You can read about him here.  I had to go to counseling to untangle myself from him.  Yet years later, things he did and told me sometimes ring in my head.

If these things happen to me, then they happen to others.  I post my experiences to help other introverts and abuse victims get through the jungle of depression and self-pity, and to the point of accepting themselves–and not accepting abuse from others.

I had no such resource to help me, so I felt all alone.  But I can provide it for others so they don’t go through what I did, so they don’t feel alone.

Finally, we introverts have found a way, through Facebook, to quickly explain to all our friends that our behavior is actually normal and common.  We hope that finally, the judgment and criticism will STOP so we can relax more in social gatherings.

This is also a way to say, “We’re here, we’re introverted, get used to it!”

A way to reverse decades of emotional trauma by realizing we are OKAY.

To begin to empower ourselves.

To rebuild our confidence and become comfortable in our own skin.

To finally have the words we need and the gumption we need to tell people the next time they criticize us, “I’m an introvert, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

To STOP taking the criticism to heart and crying the rest of the day, or however each individual introvert deals with rejection and criticism.

To STOP apologizing for how we are.

To STOP trying to change ourselves and failing, destroying our confidence in ourselves.

To realize that we do indeed have something to offer, making us more attractive to employers, mates and friends.

To have a happy life of taking care of our own needs, rather than fighting against the grain of our own natures.  And that gives us the energy to take care of others’ needs as well.

…And we get accused of “attention-seeking” or looking for “pity.”

Or, another one I’ve seen, of trying to show that we’re “better,” or smarter or whatever, than extroverts.

Um, no.  This is just more introvert-shaming.  Quit it already!

(A Psychology Today article on reversing the effects of “introvert shaming,” on feeling self-worth instead of victimized, is here.  Another blog post from a kindred spirit on introvert-shaming is here.)

My Priest has retired–and realizing my church no longer connects to my narcissist

It was sudden, even to the parish council.  And nobody has yet been found to take his place.

We hope we do not go the way of Richard and Tracy‘s church, which shuttered some time ago because of the lack of a priest.  (Note: Richard and Tracy do NOT come to mine, and I have no idea where they go, if anywhere.)

I hear and read the comments from various people, and know it’s not just me jumping to the worst possible conclusion, but that many of us worry.  Over the years, people have also grumbled about lack of support from the archdiocese.

You can’t blame our priest: The guy’s in his 80s, and lives in the next county.  He also had two near-misses with deer when driving the long way to our church, two and four months ago.  I’m sure that had something to do with it.  And he says he’s traveled 500,000 miles over the past 23 years, dealing with our church, the church in the next county, scattered parishioners, and various small Orthodox communities around the state.  You can’t expect to work your priest to death.

We could, and hopefully will, still get a new priest.  But this concern has me seriously thinking about what to do if we don’t.

The nearest Orthodox church is our sister parish in the next county.  It’s right across the street from an old and dear college friend, so we could visit.  But my husband goes to a Lutheran church, my son is going into confirmation with that church, and there is just no way I could get there more than once a month, unless I bum a ride with somebody.

I thought about going back to Protestantism, into a liberal church which, these days, would probably suit me quite well.  Even the PCUSA allows gay preachers now.  In a liberal church, there would be no talk of submissive wives, head scarves, or arguments over whether women should read the Epistle in church.  Hell would diminish into nothing.  Gay would be Okay.

But a great deal of thought reminded me of how much trouble I’ve gone to, to become Orthodox.  The many books, the study, the changing of my thinking from Protestant to Orthodox–even kissing icons.  Even praying to saints and Mary.  As a Protestant, I thought that was idolatry.

I’ve even been studying Greek so I can start understanding my fellow parishioners!  I can now pick up words here and there.

As I revise my website, I see Orthodoxy all through the theological sections and the reviews of Left Behind.

It’s gotten into my blood.

Five years ago, after breaking off relations with Richard and Tracy, I was so distraught–so constantly driven to tears–because my very religion reminded me of my former BFF, Richard.  His friendship had been so dear to me that I could no longer even go on Orthodox forums.  You see, his influence led me to become Orthodox, as I describe here.  And I had deeply philia-loved him.

I struggled just to remain Orthodox.  I could barely hold back the tears during Divine Liturgy each Sunday.  Every aspect of Orthodoxy, was about Richard.  And when I saw him at church once in a blue moon, I trembled, and feared just looking at him would send me into a sobbing fit.

Then when he and his wife refused to repent of abusing me, and proved to be so callous as to threaten to come every week, because they knew it upset me, church became a battleground.

So you see, I have gone through a LOT to be and remain Orthodox, more than the typical convert, probably.

It would be SO easy, if no priest is found, to just give up on Orthodoxy.  Maybe become Methodist or UCC or return to the Presbyterian church just down the road.  I even thought about doing so, back when I feared just going to church because Richard might be there.

But I can’t.

Fortunately, God and time seem to have done a blessed miracle: I also just realized that Richard is no longer Orthodoxy to me.  Going to church no longer makes me think of him.

I don’t go on Orthodox forums, but that’s because Net ‘doxy is full of constant rehashing of the same old threads, legalism, and political conservatism that I just don’t see in my local church.  It has nothing to do with being reminded of Richard anymore.

I have a good friend at my church now, someone other than Richard, who understands what it’s like to be a convert.  (Most of the people there are born into the faith.)  I realized he is a close friend now, that I care about him and he seems to care about me as well.  (Don’t worry, there’s nothing improper: I’m much older than he is and don’t need to invite Graduate jokes.  Richard, who reads my blog, will understand what I mean.)

I have friends.  My faith is deeply ingrained in me.  I feel at peace.  I am no longer fighting the darkness.

Now, hopefully this will not be disrupted by the lack of a priest….Our church was in this predicament 23 years ago, too, and then somebody stepped up.

Or should I move back in with my parents?–College Memoirs: Life At Roanoke–April 1995, Part 6

I kept thinking how much better it would be if I would just live with my parents and get a job in South Bend, but I didn’t want to leave S–.

I hoped Catherine would ask me to live with her, but I wouldn’t ask her because it didn’t feel right.  I thought it would be imposing.

Somehow, I don’t know how, Carrie got the idea I was going to live with Catherine.  It’s strange not just because I wanted to but never spoke of it to anyone, but because our Bulgarian friend ended up living with her until she started grad school.

You can read about my confusion in my last entry in the Journal, for May 18.  I began to realize that I really wanted to go home to figure my life out and what kind of job I wanted.  You can also see I wasn’t the only one going through this:

I know what you mean, Tara–the thought of everything being final and the thought of having to leave the safety of Roanoke is frightening.

I could go back home, I guess, and live in my parents’ house and have food and utilities and everything, and maybe they’d let me get by for a while without paying them rent–but I don’t wanna.

I want to stay around here and see you guys and Catherine and be near Cugan and stay in the local SCA shire. They’re nice people and Cugan says they’re one of the best shires around here. I also love going up to W– shire for English-country dance group.

I’ve become disenchanted with modern dancing these past couple of years. At the one dance I went to last year, the most fun I had was dancing an Irish jig with Astrid. The rest of the time, I feel like I’m an oddball because I don’t just sway around. [Dancing in the early 90s meant swaying.]  That’s why English country is so appealing to me.

I may not quite have the hang of it yet, but they know I’m a “newbie” and help me out, and I have fun. You swing around and actually dance with your partner and move around the dance floor. It looks something like their dances on “Much Ado About Nothing.”

I like that they don’t hate newbies. They’ve even said it’s more fun with people who don’t know what they’re doing, because otherwise it gets boring.

One guy, Jakob, a major flirt (even flirts with Cugan), likes to grab newbies for dance partners. My life is so interesting nowadays… 🙂

…Out of school…hmm…What a prospect. No more homework again. The real world.

If I decide to move into the building I’m considering, which I probably will, I’ll only have to pay $250 a month for rent and utilities, and it sounds like a little boarding-house- type thing. Or a larger form of this apartment. Eight people sharing bathrooms and probably a kitchen, in a nice remodeled building. It sounds like fun.

Hopefully the temp service will have enough jobs for me, too, because I really don’t know what I want to do, and I’d like to sample different things before I decide.

See, what I really am is a fiction writer, but I need something to pay the bills.

I don’t want that other thing to take over, though; I don’t want to be saying, “I’m a clerk” or “I’m a factory worker” or “I’m a proofreader” when asked what my career is. I’d rather say, “I’m a writer, but I do such-and-such to pay the bills.”

It really sucks that writing doesn’t pay the bills unless you’re a Tom Clancy. And I don’t want to put out just popular fluff; I want to end up in anthologies. It’s okay if it’s popular and makes me a millionaire, but I want it to be new and different, not fluff.

What should I save up for first? Car or computer? Maybe I’ll get a computer first. That’s what I want more than a car. Who knows, maybe I could find a job where you can work at home on your computer. 🙂 Though I wouldn’t mind working at Krafter’s workplace in some position, and to get out there I’d probably need a car.

Oh, gosh–second thoughts–like all my senses are telling me to go home for the summer, at least–I keep getting sooo homesick, this rooming place hasn’t called me, I have no idea what I want to do to pay the bills, I don’t have a car…

Maybe I’ll transfer my SEEK records down to South Bend, save up what money I get, figure out what I wanna do, and come back here during the school year. The problems this would solve! I don’t think my parents would mind, especially my mom.

It’s like the principle of if God closes a door–lately I’ve started wondering if I was quite ready for the real world yet. Maybe I could get a car and I’d be able to work at Krafter’s workplace after all. 🙂

I know my friend Josh (back home) will be happy if I go home for a while. It is the summer, after all; most of you guys wouldn’t be around, anyway.

What a relief. Plus I wouldn’t have college stresses pressing on me; my time could be more focused on figuring my life out.

Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Table of Contents

Freshman Year

September 1991:

October 1991:

November 1991:

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound
January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD
February 1992:

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

May 1992:

Sophomore Year 

Summer 1992:

September 1992:

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

November 1992:

December 1992:

January 1993:

February 1993:

March 1993:

April 1993:

May 1993:

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

September 1993:

October 1993:

November 1993:

December 1993:

January 1994:

February 1994:

March 1994:

April 1994:

Senior Year 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:

July & August 1994:

January 1995:

February 1995:

March 1995:

April 1995:

May 1995:


Just saw “Wall Street”: Oh, how familiar Gekko is

I just saw “Wall Street” for the first time last week.  Listening to Gekko talk, with his sociopathic concern only for money, I realized nothing has changed in the past 30 years.  Wall Street narcissists are still out for more money, still unconcerned about the human collateral damage to what they do.

I heard Gekko complain that he didn’t want the Bluestar airline because it had a powerful union–Ah, so THAT’S why Republicans keep trying to break unions, so they can come in and do whatever they want and make more money.  Stuff like that.  And hey, change his name to “Koch” and it still fits.

Then I read in the morning newspaper that Governor Walker is courting conservative Christians.  While they’re falling for his social positions, they miss the fact that his policies are causing more and more hardship for not just people in this state, but necessary institutions (schools, cities) as well.

Even Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate are bickering now, dissension within the ranks.

Wasn’t it already proven, several years ago, that the Republican Party was only courting Evangelical voters because they were a huge voting bloc, and NOT because they really believe that way?  Yet people still fall for this?

I have examined Republican policies, especially in the past decade or so, compared to the wants of fat cat sociopaths such as Gekko, and well, they match.  THIS is why I don’t vote Republican anymore.  Because my job is NOT to help the rich get richer, at the expense of the lower classes, but to HELP THE LOWER CLASSES.

Christians have been so deceived by the Republican Party.  It is NOT out for Christian interests!  While they lure in Christians through promises of making the US into a theocracy instead of a bastion of religious freedom, their true aim is to get rid of anything that hinders capitalism, so they can make obscene amounts of money while others suffer.

Just like I recall my ex-friend Richard being so capitalistic that, eventually, he seemed to lose interest in religion, and instead his new religion was Capitalism.  Even though unchecked capitalism would only make him (and untold numbers of others) even poorer than he already was.  Meanwhile, he hated Democrats for being pro-choice–and for fighting unchecked capitalism.

Even the Pope is targeted by Christians for saying this is wrong!  For saying we need to stop hurting the environment because that, too, is hurting the poor.

But the trouble with environmental policies is that they cost the fat cats money and make it more difficult for them to make more money.  So they must be fought, and fake “studies” done showing that global warming does not exist.

Well, I haven’t fallen for it.  I did once, but I finally broke free of Pat Robertson’s brainwashing years ago.


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