Wednesday, December 04, 2013

How were you born?


It got me thinking. What she said.

I'd asked her why she couldn't be all by herself in her home. She's a long term widow of perhaps 20 years. Nudging her way to 90. But very active. She has 8 children, all grown and gone. All university graduates. All devoted to her. She still misses her husband.

The odd thing is: She can't be alone at night. So if one of her daughters can't make her way out of town for the night she has different villagers stay with her.

"My goodness," I say to her, we are very free with each other in questions now. We like each other.

"Surely you must have stayed alone at least one night in your life?"

"Ah no, no," she responds, shaking her lovely head. She has one of those heads like on an old Roman coin. Regal.

"No, I never did. Not once. You see, my darling, I was born lonely."

Born lonely.

So, like I said, it got me thinking.

I was born crowded. A first grandchild. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, relatives. I was held and carried so much I didn't walk for ages. No need.

Is that why I love being alone while others crave company?

22 comments:

  1. None of us really ever know why we turn out to be the way we eventually do. No matter what shrinks may say, I am convinced that apart from the obvious couch findings of childhood influences, karmic influences play a bigger role and some of us turn out preferring solitude while others prefer company 24/7. I tend to prefer solitude but do not get bothered if I have to be in company.

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  2. Perhaps some of these things come from past lives rather than current lives and there is nothing in current life to explain it.

    I have a posh voice for no reason whatsoever. If only I could find out who I was in my last life, what I left myself and where I left it!

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  3. Always glad to read that someone else likes being alone. I am married, raised 3 girls and have lots of friends but I like being by myself, too. In fact, my body craves aloneness. Glad to hear you like it, too.

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  4. Actually, shrinks would NOT say that preferring to be alone versus with others is primarily a result of childhood influences. This shrink prefers the answers science provides and it appears to be largely temperamental, apparent even as infants. Some of us are more introverted, some more extroverted. I'm not talking about whether you enjoy being around others or not, I mean how you recharge. Some of get our energy from solitude, others from social interaction. And it's on a continuum. Me, I'm a sociable introvert - I enjoy being with friends but I also NEED time to myself. I don't do well if I can't get off to myself regularly.

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  5. She's lucky there are so many villagers happy to stay with her overnight and keep her company. I'm not sure any of my neighbours would oblige!

    I'm a bit like Agent. I like chatting to other people, but I also need time to myself or I start to feel I'm being swallowed up by others!

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  6. Ramana:

    I did a previous blogpost on my status as "gregarious loner". That description fits me to a T.
    I am more introverted than extroverted but love peace and quiet.
    I sometimes need to recover by myself when I am "peopled out".
    XO
    WWW

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  7. Laura:
    I've given a lot of thought to "cellular memory". My sister and I had a long discussion about it recently as we are both mad for the sea and feel discombobulated if it is not near. No sailors or fishers in our ancestry that we know of. Unexplainable.
    XO
    WWW

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  8. Judi:
    Yes you are a soul sister for sure.
    XO
    WWW

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  9. SAW::
    Absolutely, I recharge alone and never with others. In one of life's oddities I have a lot of people around me and often considered a bolt-hole up over the hill at the back of my place. Someone I know has done this, lol.
    XO
    WWW

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  10. Nick:

    Most people call me an extrovert but true introverts recognise a kindred spirit right away. Interesting that. I think you'd fall under the same label.

    XO
    WWW

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  11. I think I was born needing love.
    Teenage mother sick, aunts took care of this 4 lb baby who was sick. Guess that is why I nursed my 4 and rocked them until they no longer fit in my lap.
    I still seem to need a lot of affection showered on me.
    Guess at this time
    it comes from little Callie :)

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  12. I think all of us are born needing love, OWJ, maybe that's a given, but unfortunately ungiven in so many cases.

    I don't think I'll ever outgrow the need for it.

    XO
    WWW

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  13. Nice to see you posting again WWW!

    I have at times been a lone wolf that enjoys my own company.In-spite of this I enjoy very much the comfort of having my family nearby.

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  14. When I was younger, I craved the company of my mother and father, and was happiest if I knew they were around; at night too, and I slept like a log. I never felt as cared for and comfortable since then, but now I am on my own with my cat and my dog and it is almost the same. I guess the three of us were introverts who were happy in each other's company.

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  15. Goodness. Indeed. I thought I was strange that way. I couldn't sleep without the lights on and the bedroom door barricaded, with furniture or an intricate arrangement with wood planks, the door, and my bed frame. Done every night, taken down in the morning before anyone could seeit. Then when I had to leave the house I hunted for an apartment without thinking of this because of course it was coming with me, I knew at once as soon as I saw it, I had found where I must live: It's one room. From every corner of it I can see every part of it. I can open one lid a mere crack and see everthing. Of course I never turn my back when sleeping.

    Good to see you back. By the way, I'm giving your amazing "Sunshine" soup for Christmas, Solstice, whatever. Big jarsful. The best soup I've ever made and oh I've given the recipe over and over. Just as you did it. Wonderful.

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  16. GFB:
    I'm so glad to see you're on the mend and writing again.

    yes, I am a mix of both (a bit) but basically an introvert, detected by few :)

    XO
    WWW

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  17. Irene:

    After a crucial traumatic episode in hospital when I was 6 I never felt safe in my own home again. Sorted out with therapy :)
    But prior to then I had the same feeling you had.

    XO
    WWW

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  18. Thank you for the kind words, Anon and I'm so thrilled you're enjoying the soup so much you are gifting. One of those easy soups that spells love and sunshine alright!!

    As long as you are content with how you make yourself feel safe, hats off to you.

    My dog is my protector. I feel so absolutely safe with her.

    XO
    WWW

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  19. I spell introvert all in caps when referring to myself and all my life have had to force myself go out amongst them. The last time I remember being safe was achieved through hypnotic regression to the infant state while being held by my mother. Despite that, I so love being alive and with people (only a few at a time, please) that I love! I was born alone but not lonely...

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  20. I'm an absolute extrovert - I get so much energy from being with people and being busy (plus I do most of my thinking "outside of my head" - most other people would call me chatty, talkative, or "won't shut the **** up!") The only time I go anywhere near introverted (and that's a very long way from *true* introvert) is when I'm very tired.

    Interestingly enough, on the Myers-Briggs indicator, I moved steadily from mid-scale introverted as a young teen when I first took the test, through to the end-spectrum extrovert I am today.

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  21. I don't know how I was born, but I do know that if I don't have time alone sometimes, I'll go nuts! :)

    After a weekend of non-stop family chatter and activity, I smile when they all leave on Monday morning for work and school.

    Of course, I love them all, but as someone once told me, "They do come back home."

    I like the way you wrote tihs piece.

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