I have always liked being alone. One of my favorite things to do is to go hiking in the woods by myself, far away from anyone else, then find a good rock or stump to sit on, and listen to the wind in the trees, the birds chirping, the rustles of small creatures through the underbrush. When I was a child, I liked
to hide away in my room. I would lie there daydreaming, or buried in a book, or just sitting at the window and staring out at the world.
It's a physical need. If people get too close to me physically, I edge back; I don't want them impinging on my space. If they persist, I get tense and edgy. Crowd scenes send my edginess into hyperdrive. Don't touch me unless it's on my
terms. I can, if pressed, get hostile. If I am stressed, you can multiply all of this times ten, times one hundred.
"Getting away" is how I recharge; the classic hallmark of an introvert in all the Myers-Briggs
tests. I test out as INTP
consistently, and have ever since I first took the MBTI. (Though every once in a while, I test out as INFP
OmegaDad, though very introspective, is much more of an extrovert. He is an excellent salesman. He connects with people. He does some of his best work through schmoozing and networking even though he's in the sciences.
OmegaDotter...I don't know. All I know is that she is extremely needy and clingy, and that being alone is one of the most horrible things she can experience. Whether this is innate or a result of being one-of-many in an institutional setting is a big question.
With all the discussion of attachment and bonding and attachment issues on all the various international adoption venues, I don't see much discussion about situations where the types of the primary family players are vastly different.
In other words: What do you do when you're a loner and your dotter is needy, and you are the focus of that need?
The two needs here collide. When the dotter is needy, she does everything that pushes all my "need to be ALONE
!!" buttons. She pushes. I retreat. She pushes more, because she feels abandoned. I get uptight and tense because she's pushing, touching, needing. She gets uptight and tense because I'm retreating, backing off, not wanting to be needed. She needs
me. I need
to get away.
OmegaDad functions as a buffer between us (bless you, OmegaDad!). When he's home, the ebb and flow of need is muted, bounced between the two parental units. When I need to be alone, he can take over, and vice versa.
But due to work pressures, OmegaDad has been going out in the field every other week. This leaves the dotter and I to perform our push-retreat dance all alone--with the added factor of "daddy is abandoning me, I really
!" playing a great (though unstated) role.
Add in my recent stress from work, and it turns into a pressure cooker for both of us.
Add in a sudden awareness of scary situations in previously loved movies (who woulda thunk that "Mary Poppins" could scare a child into tears all of a sudden?? It never did before!), and what you've got is a disaster.
All of this is why I'm posting at 3:30 a.m. (So I can be ALONE
Anyone got any bright ideas? Aside from, say, counseling, which is suddenly high up on my agenda?