It is no surprise to me, being the introvert that I am, to find myself retreating. Pulling back is not only a true blessing, but can also be a very destructive practice.
Retreating is something that I have done from a very early age, and I truly believe it has much to do with being an only child. It also has to do with the fact of being within an environment of distress and fear during those early years.
Spending time alone is something that I had to do very often growing up. There were no other kids around for a vast majority of the time, outside of school. The times that I did spend with others were in the company of people much older than myself. Being around them made for an interesting, educational and fruitful life. I learned how to do many of the things that one has to do to maintain, such as housework and outdoor tasks, well before most kids were doing so. I also learned the value of my hands. The many scars upon them is a reflection of the progress that has been made and the work I have done.
I would spend time with friends during those earlier years, but many times their interests would bore me. Sports were never my forte. I suppose an uninvolved father whom I had spent little time with, and also had no interest in sports, made for a good base. I considered my grandfather, my mother’s dad, to be more of a father to me. He is the one who taught me to ride a bike, hit a ball and be a man. I did enjoy baseball and basketball, but it was never a thing that I had to have. I remember becoming disinterested quickly with the things that others kids wanted to do for hours, so I would go home. Kids would always call me names for withdrawing prematurely. When things were good between my parents, which had only been for a good four years or so, I was very involved in BMX biking, skateboarding, my saxophone playing and thoroughly enjoyed the comradery among those involved. I was happy then. As I was growing into my later teens, and as my home life was deteriorating once again, I found myself withdrawing more frequently. I also found myself interacting with a much different crowd of people.
While secluded, I would find myself alone with all of my favorite vices and sins. I would hide away from the world, utilizing the little things of it, with the intention of killing the frustrating pain within. Outside was always filled with the absence of interest, a threat, self-centered people that were only, truly, looking out for themselves and a life that was beginning to lose purpose. I was much happier being within my own bubble, away from all of that. For years, even during school and during the times of socializing, I was becoming more and more comfortable within my place of solitude.
Pulling out can be a good experience, but much like my earlier years, it can become a phantom. A haunting savage that reaches in and destroys. The mind can wander into so many places that are far from realities, and deep into the fallacies. The dark world within the mind can become a poisonous playground, giving way to the slow decay of one’s existence.