Stories from a life in progress.

Secret treehouse

All right.  Vacationing and visiting is nice and all, but it's getting a bit too much.

Last weekend was vacation time with a large chunk of family in a very small cabin.  This past weekend a different chunk of family came to stay over at our house, and some other family also dropped in to visit.

I love my family.  I really sincerely hope my family all knows unquestionably that I love them, especially because some of them read me here (Hi Family!) and more especially because of this next part:

I am tired of all the visiting.  I'd like to be left alone now, please.

Not for good.  Not even for very long, actually.  But if I could have a whole day of not talking to anybody at all, my introverted, people-sensitive heart would sing for joy.  Introversion is one thing, and many of my "I" peeps will be saying "testify, sister" over our real need for peace, quiet, and space.  But it's more than that.  I'm exceptionally socially sensitive; I can't be around a group of people and not care what everyone else is doing, not feel the energy and undercurrents, especially in a group of people I know well and care about (like my family).  I can't tune out conversations, even if I'm not an active part of them.  I can't damp down my emotional reactions to things that happen, good or bad.  I can't not care what's going on.  My antennae are always quivering when I'm around people, trying to read subtle signs and gauge mood and needs, and it's draining.  I need to have plenty of good contact with people, positive and encouraging contact.  But negative or uncertain contact is another story, and all contact (even the good stuff!) eventually becomes overwhelming.

I'm just about at that point now.  I wasn't very pleasant while visiting yesterday, I'm afraid.  There was far too much Grumpy-the-Bear showing up, and I didn't have the energy to change that or even want to change it very much.  Which makes me sad.  I don't want to be grumpy at my family.  I like my family and I don't get to see some of them very often at all.  So it's a damned shame if I don't make a pont of enjoying their company while I can, or if I do anything to make my company unpleasant.

But neither do I know how to help it.  Tired makes for cranky, and forcing pleasantness when one wants to be cranky is all the more exhausting.  Just like it's impossible to recover from tiredness without sleep, it's impossible to recover from people-overload without escaping people, and I haven't been able to.

It'd be nice to have a getaway.  I talked to a long-distance cousin last night, one who is a good bit like me in some of these ways, and suggested we need a secret treehouse which nobody else knows about.  I think it must be ordered like the Diogenes Club, so that we can both share it and still have our vital peace and quiet (but there must also be a room where talking is permitted so we can catch up with each other).  I would enjoy well-stocked bookshelves, and she would appreciate an art studio.  And please forgive us, other family and friends, because we love you very much and we'll see you soon and I hope we do something really fun together.  But nonetheless, forgive us for this:  this secret treehouse is ours, and you are not invited.