There are people that are natural introverts and there are some introverts that are made through environmental processes that are different depending on who you are. Some people are born quiet, reflective and thoughtful. They do not like noise and distraction or crowds and some do not even like much physical contact.
I understand this. I have been there and done that so to speak. But I am not a natural introvert. I was made and damn it, I'm kind of mad about it. Kidding....
Growing up, I was a socializer. I could not be shut up. I was also a fat kid though and I had a considerable vocabulary for my age and it put a lot of the other kids off, especially the other boys. I can remember thinking how dull witted most of them were and that would come out in conversation and sometimes those conversations would not end well. A Cub Scout den meeting could be pure hell for me. I would always end up getting beat on. I think that's where I developed my love of being man handled.
All right. Now I'm embarrassed.
Anyway, I got so I would withdraw rather than deal with the inevitable failure of the social waltz. It was just easier. Puberty was not fun either. I was not a very good looking kid, still kind of porky and getting progressively zitty...is that a word? Anyway, kids can be cruel and they were sometimes cruel to me. This is not to say that I was never cruel. I was. Engaging me in a duel of insults was never a good idea. Physically, I had become a bit more intimidating too, so I didn't get beat on as much...I kind of missed it. Even negative attention can be fun.
There was also my pending sexuality and my epilepsy. All of this combined to make a toxic soup of introversion. Mind you, I am not saying that introversion is bad. I would go so far as to say it is wonderful, especially for those of you that come by it naturally, but this was not the case for me. I was someone built for leadership and I was being repressed and forced to introvert because I am bent in so many different ways.
That being said, I continued to shrink away, to withdraw. I segregated myself during the college years. I did socialize with fringe groups. I went to a Christian college. You might not think so, but there were closet cases (like me at the time), drug users, boozers, fornicators and petty thieves. We all hung out together. Partied together. Socialized. We were the rebels. We were not ashamed...well we were...but we did not let on.
I really enjoyed that brief time in my life. I may not have repented properly because of my enjoyment. I don't live that way anymore, but I really do not feel all that bad about it either.
When I moved into the real world, the working world, the adult world and all the fun slowed to a snail's pace as it's supposed to, I began to withdraw again. I worked all the time. I had two jobs for a little over two years. I buried myself in work. I socialized with no one and it went on that way for decades. I just could not bring myself to go through the pain of explaining who I was to anyone. I never had more than one or two close friends and they were seldom where I was. We always communicated by mail or phone. I was a hermit living among millions of other normal people by choice. I had crawled into a hole that I only peeked out of occasionally to see what was going on, hence the ground hog imagery...yes, now you understand.
Thankfully God came to get me. He is working on getting me out of my hole more often. He had to shuffle me around quite a bit and it has taken years to get me here, but I think it's working. At almost 59 years old, I am feeling alive again. There is still no one to man handle me, but I don't think there is supposed to be. It's been a considerable adventure. Introspection can be both good and bad. I have had both versions.
I'm still not what you would call a social butterfly, but it's getting better. You might have to nudge me a bit to get me to talk, but if I start you might be sorry. Kidding. I try not to be to be too obsessive. I am what I am just like my Father before me. The difference is that I seem to be changing and that is as it should be. My Father does not change and praise His name for that!
So, fear me not. Talk to me even though I might seem distant. I am an adventure in humanity. Broaden your perspective. You might like me. I might try to escape. Don't let me.