Monday, May 5, 2014

Casual Conversation

In the last few years, I've started to get the hang of casual conversations. They haven't come naturally to me in the past. I don't know whether to blame it on my response to being abused and bullied and made into a social outcast as a child (and thus, being behind in the conversational front), or on something neurological that got masked as part of my epilepsy and the side effects of medication.

What I know is, I was always considered "shy," but never felt shy. It was just easier to answer, "yes" and "no," and to listen.... and I Enjoyed listening anyway. I never recognized that people wanted me to explain my "yes" or "no" with details until I heard someone in college, talking about people who never say more than "yes" and "no," and realized I do that too.

What I know is, Conversations always felt like playing double-dutch. How on earth do you know when to jump in- without cutting someone off... and before it's too late, since the direction of a conversation can change like the tide.

What I also know is, I always struggled to articulate myself. The words weren't there. I remember joking in college, to my mom, that I could never remember the word, "articulate," to allow me to tell someone that I was having trouble finding the words. I finally committed that word to memory because I needed it often. When I had trouble finding the words to express myself, I could finally say, "I'm having trouble articulating myself," and that helped. With that sentence, I could let them know that I had thoughts on the subject at hand- I just couldn't get them out. It allowed me not to feel so stupid in a college setting.

Somehow, I don't struggle very much with this now. I improved first, in writing- and over time, it has spread into my conversations. Still, when I get really into the flow of a conversation, I feel excited. When someone shares an idea or a story, whether theological or scientific or just plain casual, and I draw on that to share my own idea or story, explaining the connection or application... and when I can do this in the moment, I feel like I've overcome. It's not a casual thing that I take for granted. It's a blessing.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Two Years Later

It's been over two years. First, I was so busy finishing school. Then I went through some turmoil. Then, I was afraid. I was afraid to look at what I wrote here, because I realized it came true, in a way. It was supposed to come true; I blame no-one. I didn't remember exactly what I wrote though- how I phrased it or whether it was the last thing I wrote, and I couldn't bring myself to check- until today.

Well, it wasn't my last post; it was second-to-last: The Mountain. I had said that I sensed that I might need to lose my friends, in order to draw closer to God, my master, because somehow, though I wanted to put him first, I could see that my valuation of God and friends was mixed. I said I hoped I wouldn't have to lose them completely. That terrified me. I love them. I never wanted to lose them.

I never fully lost my friends, and from their perspective, I don't know what they saw. From mine, first, I felt suddenly cut-off. Little things that happened made me feel unwanted. I clung to the hope that it was temporary, and all a misunderstanding, or me being hypersensitive. I became depressed. I felt dead inside. That's hardly a metaphor; it was so real. I like to feel- to feel intensely. Losing feeling is terrifying to me. I felt alone... and dead. I didn't want to die; I wanted to be brought back to life. I had no idea what to do except scream to my friends for help so that it wouldn't get worse. Somehow, my scream got misinterpreted; some friends definitely were offended- I think they thought I was blaming them, but honest, I wasn't.... and honest, I'm not now, because I believe it was a misunderstanding that was meant to happen. I never believed God left me; I never lost hope for the future. But I was trapped in a sea of thick, dark muck, and didn't know how to get out. Eventually, it struck me that the darkness started about the time I started a certain medication. So I stopped the medication, and within three days, felt so much better. The situation was the same, the damage already done, but my perspective and my coping skills were different. I started a personal prayer journal, and that brought me where I need to be, putting God first.

Well, when you offend your friends, it's sometimes hard to get back to normal. I had apologized sincerely, but there was still apprehension. I didn't want to downplay it, & blame it on the medication or misunderstandings, because that's not owning up to it. I really am sorry I hurt them, under any circumstance. For me, it's been a long, awkward road. I don't always know where I stand. I don't know if they all trust me. But I know they do still care about me. And it recently crossed my mind that, you know, I have time. My friends are good people. That's why I like them. We'll figure this out.

I say all this because I feel I should follow-up on what I wrote before, and because I feel secure now. God's still working on me, but I feel good about where I'm at because I'm where God wants me.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Drama and Friends

I am taking a break from my thesis right now, and thought I would write, because there is always a lot on my mind. I'm guessing that a lot of my readers (those who also are Facebook friends and therefore also see my posts) don't understand why sometimes I make such a big deal over friendship - I mean, everyone should appreciate their friends, but I'm guessing someone thinks I dramatize it.... well, I don't dramatize anything intentionally; it's just how I see the world.

I am an emotional person, and I used to be ashamed of that, but that shame is quickly fading. I am emotional, which means, yes, sometimes I cry - more-so around friends, whom I trust.... but it also means I feel, and I feel strongly, and I love that. To me, the world as God designed it, and the potential he created in it, are vastly good- overwhelmingly, even, and that is a good feeling... and friendship, well, that is probably the most beautiful gift.... and more-so when you've gone so long with out it.

I did have friends in spurts, growing up- for the most part, they were the "hang-out-when-you-run-into-each-other" type friends- as opposed to the "come-over-to-my-house-later" type friends. To me, true friendship is the latter... or when you, like me, often don't have a place to invite friends (my home is full of people already), then some sort of equivalent occurs: lets meet up, lets chat on the phone; at least lets message each other- when it feels like that's not enough (Maybe I'm not the best of friends to my own friends)....but to be real friends, there needs to be some expressed desire and effort to interact.... that, I mostly never had, growing up (with a few short-term exceptions); I moved around too much, and my medication slowed me down too much, and I never learned how to build those kind of friendships.

So now, having friends- friends who sometimes say, "Hey, you wanna come to....," or who take me up on my invitations, because they actively want to spend time with me- it means the world to me, and I end up making a big ol' dramatic deal about it when I write, and no, I'm not going to apologize.
I love comments. It makes me feel like I'm not just talking to a wall, and rids me of the feeling that this time, I said too much, or said something the wrong way.

(I review your comments first, so if you want to say something just to me, just let me know).