Celebrating Introverts

Someone posted this on Facebook, and it certainly rang true for me.

All of my childhood and adolescence, I was made to feel ashamed for who I was. My parents would get mad at me for pulling out a book while there were other people around, said that I should be being sociable. There was something wrong with me.

They even found a name for it – Aspergers Syndrome. There was something wrong with me that made me this way.

I’ve learned to hide it; learned to cope with a world that wasn’t made for people who don’t want to be at a keg party all the time. A few drinks, and I can handle the noise and the constant chatter and madness of what people call the normal. I can even enjoy it for short periods of time, but that still usually requires alcohol to numb my senses.

Aspergers Syndrome is just the way I explain it to my family when I have to tell them I need to be left alone for a little while.

I’m blessed though, with a husband who gets it, gets me, and is also happy to curl up on the couch together reading books. He’s learned that when I start to get grumpy and snappish, that more than anything, I need to get some writing done, because that makes me feel better.

I have friends now, who accept me and like me for who I am. Not one person said a thing at the new year’s party last year when I was twenty pages from the end of an amazing book when I got there, and sat down on the couch while they played board games, and finished the book before joining the celebrations. No one made me feel ashamed, or like what I did was unacceptable. I didn’t even feel, among them, that I had to hide away in the bathroom or someplace where they wouldn’t notice. No one even tried to drag me away from it.

It’s within geekdom that I’ve found these people, which seems to be a unique place where people are accepted in ways that they are not anywhere else. On average, people who cluster into these social circles tend to be the most tolerant people in the world, from abhorring racism or intolerance of alternative sexualities, to tolerance of social quirks. Granted it does end up leaving space for some people to be jerks, especially since it tends to be dominated by males, but the females that end up there are often the women would describe themselves as usually getting along better with men than other women, and that seems to be the sort of women I get along best with.

It’s been a healthy place for me to grow, and I’d like to thank all of my friends for being exactly who they are.

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