I didn't have a terrible childhood. Really. But there's a lot of truth in the old saw that we remember the good old days so well because there were so few of them.
This week's writing prompt focuses on childhood memories. I'd rather not dwell on those, because too many of them dredge up old pain, especially the teenage years. The useless advice of "ignore the bullies and they'll leave you alone" is just that: completely and utterly useless. The scars run deep.
Childhood memories being a minefield, I had to learn coping techniques as an adult. Therapy wasn't all that successful in teaching me those coping skills.
My preferred coping mechanism is solitude. I'm never lonely when I'm alone. My husband and kids call me an antisocial hermit. I prefer the term recluse, thank you very much. I'm not an antagonistic recluse, though. I enjoy selected people in small doses, one-on-one. The effort of human interaction leaves me drained. It's not unusual for me to leave a family gathering to go sit in peaceful solitude in another room. It's not that I don't like them, but that I need my "alone time."
An inability to filter out background noise also contributes to a need for solitude. If there's more than one conversation happening outside my head--even in a quiet room--I have trouble focusing on either of them. (I always have conversations going on inside my head.) Add a crowd of people all conversing and machinery/music/TV in the background, and you might as well speak to me in Klingon, because I won't understand what you say no matter how loudly you shout. My ears and mind are overwhelmed.
I'm an introvert's introvert and the neighborhood's crazy cat lady.
Why is it that having multiple dogs is OK, but having multiple cats is weird?