Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I am a loner.

I can blame genetics. Both of my parents are/were loners. Actually, compared to my parents, you would probably call me outgoing. My mom has ONE friend. I define "friend" as someone you call up on the phone and you go out and do things with. My dad...I'm not even sure he had one long-term friend. He went through people, if that makes any sense.

I can blame my upbringing for being a loner. My mom moved around a lot. I didn't have any siblings. So it was basically me home alone after school. During summers, it was me by myself almost 24 hours a day. We moved so often that I knew whatever friends I had would disappear once we moved. I wasn't a complete hermit. I talked with other kids at school, I had sleepovers occasionally, and I had a few close friends over the years. But I never had those really deep friendships as a kid and grew up closely with anyone due to moving so often.

I can also blame my personality for being a loner. My personality is probably a hybrid of genetics and upbringing. I don't really "need" people like a lot of other people seem to. I don't need to go into the minutia of my day with anyone. I can go long amounts of time without needing human interaction. I get annoyed by clingy people. I like my space. I like to do my own thing on my own terms. I don't like going anywhere in a large group because groups can only move as fast as their slowest member.

I realize that I'm an anomaly. I know that humans want to feel part of a group. They want to be wanted. I do too to a certain extent. I love when people trust me enough to confide in me. I like to problem solve OTHER people's problems with them.  But when push comes to shove, I like being by myself.

Especially after becoming a parent, I feel that I've lost part of myself. Believe me, you gain other things when you're a parent, but you can lose track of yourself for a while if you don't keep yourself in check. With a demanding schedule, I crave time alone where I can just...be. And every morsel that's taken away (whether it is for work, child's activities, parties, various meetings, etc.) makes me a bit resentful on the inside.

When I was a kid, I had so much time to just be. I think back fondly to summers as a kid, and I spent the vast majority of it by myself doing whatever I wanted. As much as I prefer being an adult over a kid any day, I miss the endless chain of lazy days doing whatever I felt like.

I worry that my child is going to be a loner like me. She must pick up on the fact that I prefer to be alone. Genetically, with two parents who are loners, she's biologically predisposed to being a loner.

After knowing my child for 5 years, I see that she's well on her way to becoming a loner. She doesn't crave bonding and friendships like other kids her age. It's not to an alarming degree. It's more that she's the kid who observes, she won't initiate contact, but rather she'll wait for others to approach her. She might play for a little bit with a new kid, but if she finds the new playmate too loud/obnoxious/irritating, she'll just walk away and not play with the kid again. She'd rather play by herself instead of with someone she doesn't like.

I feel my own issues come to light in these instances. I should urge her to play with kids even if she doesn't like them because to refuse them is snooty, right? I don't want the snooty, aloof kid. (Although I'm an aloof adult. It's not purposeful. I'm just shy and not very outgoing unless I try really hard and then I probably come across as overbearing.)  Pushing her to act differently than I myself want to/would act is so counterintuitive, but I don't want her to end up like me. I don't want her to dread invitations to do things like I do. I want her to seek out others, to form bonds. Of course, it would probably be best if I role modeled that versus just told her what to do.

It's so difficult for me to disguise the dread to her when I have to go to a party. Most of the time it's just another (uncomfortable) thing to check off the list.

I am a loner.

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