I have not been this happy in years. While others struggle or even angrily protest self-isolation and lockdown, I fear the day it is lifted.
I don’t want things to go back to ‘normal.’
I don’t want people double parking on the street out front. I don’t want them staring into my house, examining and judging our unconventional garden and lifestyle. I don’t want the noise. I don’t want the smell. I don’t want them littering the sidewalk out front.
I don’t want to ‘have to’ go to the shops, either. I don’t want to walk down the aisles having people stare at me and judge my weight, my hair, or the clothes I wear.
As much as I love nature, I am not even sure I want to go for walks in the park and on the beach. Not if it means there are people.
Are you catching a theme here?
I *F*ing HATE PEOPLE!
I have always said that with the exception of Alan and @PanKwake I could happily live like the little old witch lady in the woods. Some eco-friendly tiny house with grow my own plants and herbs, a few chickens for protein.
I don’t even need the internet. I have not had Facebook in almost eighteen months and with the exception of being able to give away my surplus plants, I don’t much miss it. I am still on Twitter but have virtually abandoned those accounts as all I saw in my feeds were extroverts complaining about how unfair lockdown is.
Why do I stay then? My writing. No other reason whatsoever. But even then, if I was that little old witch lady, I would go into town once a month for the things I could not grow myself. I would pick up mail from the post office. And I would go to the library. Find a quiet corner…and maybe, if I was in the mood to do so, I’d share the things I had written with the world.
Then again, I might not. Readers don’t get something:
I don’t write for you.
I write because it is who I am. Because not to write for me is almost like not breathing or eating or drinking water. Being that hermit lady would not change whether or not I wrote. In fact, I very well might write more.
Why am I like this? Was I always like this? Is it tied to my autism in some way? Heck, was is a *f*ing misanthrope anyway?
I used to call myself an introvert. Sometimes even an introvert’s introvert. Then the other day, I was reading one of my trashy romance and the lady bride of this surly knight wonders, ‘is he a misanthrope?’
One thing I adore about my Kindle is the dictionary option. I can usually glean a general meaning from a word from its context. And if I am truly curious, I have on occasion been known to grab a dictionary and look up something. But the Kindle makes that incredibly easy, just highlight a word and the meaning appears in less than a minute. That is what I did this time.
It was one of those Ah-Ha moments. Suddenly, I had a word to describe me. Not unlike others such as dysphasia, proctalgia fugax, and yes, autism. I am not a huge fan of ‘diagnosing’ or ‘labeling’ people. We are all different…and the same. But sometimes, words like those just help you to understand and accept who you are. So it was with that word. I got it. I understood me a bit better.
Oh, what is a misanthrope?
If you have not looked it up already, it is best defined as…
a person who dislikes humankind and avoids human society.
The Urban Dictionary’s most popular definition went a bit further defining it, at least, for me:
Yes! That’s me. Or the way I used to say it was,
‘I like people, I just don’t like people.’
As I began to consider those other questions: Why am I like this? Was I always like this? Is it tied to my autism in some way?
I realized that yes, I have always been like this. I can remember as a child sitting happily in the backyard, spending what seems like hours just looking for a four-leaf clover. When they sent me to school with all those other people, it was living hell.
The bottom line for me is…
I like my own company. I am perfectly happy spending hours and days and weeks inside my own head. I like me…more than I do most other people.
I can manage one-on-one relationships fairly well. Most of the time. But even then, I have my limits. From ten minutes to a couple of hours. Yes, even with Alan and @PanKwake. Then I just need to be left the *F* alone. The brilliant thing is that both of them are the same way. It’s why we get along so well.
I am less good at dealing with groups of people. Though I can do…if the payoff is high enough. Our F4 (Friends, Food, Fun & Filosophy) for instance. But honestly, that has not turned out the way I planned either. It is anything but the Transcendentalist Club or the salon of Madame Roland during the French Enlightenment and Revolution. At the end of the night, I usually end up feeling disenchanted, further alienated from people, and more of an outsider. I do it for @PanKwake, our friends, and to some extent Alan.
I really, Really, REALLY hate ‘polite society.’ It is anything but. Civilization is not civilized at all. All that frivolous talk about things you don’t like with people you don’t respect or like. Why?
As for shopping and events? Crowds are overwhelming. Few are worth it to me. Perhaps my ‘old lady quilting club.’ But that was a struggle to find my legs in. And even now it takes me days to recover.
So, when they start to talk about coming out of lockdown or going back to ‘normal,’ all I can feel is dread. I like this world…with the fresh air, the sounds of birds louder than cars, and my plant babies.
The problem is people like me are ostracized and pathologized for something that is just a part of who we are. While other personality types are glorified, namely in this case, extroverts. People like me are made to feel inadequate or that something is wrong with us for not being like others.
That is where the distrust, dislike, and hatred of humanity comes from. When you are forced to be something and someone you are not that messes with your head.
I realize that some of my extroverted friends are feeling like that now. While I cannot understand the feeling itself, I can understand how that would feel.
Exactly like I have every single day of my life since they forced me to go to school.
What’s the answer?
There have been times in our human history where this world had a place for us misanthropes. I think one of the reasons that I love Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie books so much was the idea of that good isolation. I find the same thing in some of my historical romances.
Of course, there have also been times when we were labeled and persecuted – sometimes even as witches. Whether the Inquisition in Europe or the Salem Witch Trials in America, most were merely different, non-conformists.
For me, one of the greatest examples of non-conformity and perhaps the person I most identify with is Henry David Thoreau. I am always struck by the closing to his great essay Civil Disobedience:
I please myself with imagining a State at last which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor; which even would not think it inconsistent with its own repose, if a few were to live aloof from it, not meddling with it, nor embraced by it, who fulfilled all the duties of neighbors and fellow-men.
Eccentric. That was the word most often used, even by Thoreau’s friends, to describe the man. After all, he lived self-sufficiently in a cabin in the woods for two years. He spent a night in jail for tax evasion. He would have spent more had his friend’s not bailed him out, out of fear for his health.
Eccentric has been the ‘label’ applied for decades, perhaps centuries, to those who were ‘different.’ Alan boasts of his eccentricity. He actually took some test to prove it. Of course, the biggest proof of that is that he married me. Eccentric though implies that ideal about which Thoreau wrote – a society that tolerated those who were different.
Sadly, we no longer live in that world where those who are different, whether introverts, autistics, misanthropes, or others, can simply be allowed to be themselves without being ‘diagnosed’ or judged.
Understanding and accepting our differences. Not glorifying one type of behavior or personality over another. Recognizing that introverts and even misanthropes can be just as mentally healthy as extroverts…if you did not judge us, force us to be like you, or tell us how ‘wrong’ we are.
Will this time of self-isolation bring our world that kind of understanding, acceptance, and tolerance? I like to think that it will. Yet, I highly doubt it. And for me, I am simply too tired to fight for those rights any more. I simply want to retreat into my @HomeCrazzyHome to write, sew, and grow my own. Let someone else deal with the idiots.
May the Goddess grant you that tolerance,
From Our @HomeCrazzyHome to yours