June 1, 2022- It took a bit of processing, as I joined a meeting and was greeted with: “Someone else (meaning me) is on the space now. I don’t want to keep talking about this.” I had met one of the people in person, a few days ago, and found her to be the opposite of the individual who was now bemoaning my presence and forgotten my name. As it transpired, the topic of their conversation was nothing confidential, though I kept to the sidelines, out of courtesy.
A few hours ago, I read a post by another friend, talking about Avoidant Personality Disorder. It rang very true to who I was, as recently as 1982. Back then, it didn’t take much for me to leave a gathering, or sit silently, alone in the presence of a crowd, having made the assumption that I was not altogether welcome.
Too much has happened, during the time of my marriage and in the years since Penny’s death, for such an attitude to hold much cachet. Yes, there are times, like this evening, when some people would rather I not be present, but that happens to just about everyone, at one point or another.
There is far more to be lost, through shutting others out, building imaginary walls or by running from those who we see as hostile or overly critical, than there is by standing our ground and making an extra effort to connect with others. I stayed on the call, until it was time for me to leave and join another one. It has to be so. I can’t go back to running and hiding.