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  1. #11
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    Many interesting and helpful perspectives here, thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ene View Post
    I don't permanently isolate myself, only until I've worked through things, come to grips with them. I can't talk about deep feelings with people. I can talk about theoretical stuff and universal truth but what's going on inside me, is a whole other story. The only way I can work through it is to shut out all of the noise and opinions and business. The only way I can determine how I feel or what I need to feel, what I think, is to isolate myself from what everyone else feels and thinks.
    Your feedback and insight on this is especially helpful because this is exactly the friend's perspective.

    Hopefully, I did offer some help. I completely identify with your friend. I have been known to go into hiding before, just so I could sort out my thoughts and determine what my feelings were. For example, when my brother died, I couldnt' even write about my feelings much less share them with another human being. The greatest thing anyone did for me during that time was when this guy that I was going to school with saw me sitting alone on the steps and he walked over and took my hand in his. He never said one word to me, but he just sat there, holding my hand in complete silence. I didn't express any kind of emotion at all to him and he didn't demand any. It was the most understanding thing anyone has ever done for me.
    This is really nice. I would like to just sit next to the friend and be with them for a few moments in silent understanding, but even that isn't possible, adding to my sadness and frustration with not being able to do anything, even though all I can do is very little anyway. I'm pretty much limited to texting, which drives me crazy anyway because I'm so focused on body language and nonverbal communication.

    When I cry, I do so alone and if I am cornered by others, I may actually lash out. It's just that some of us have to shut out everybody else to keep in touch with who we are and to make sense of the change that grief often brings in our lives. I hope that makes sense. And I also think you are a terrific person for wanting to help your friend, so maybe just an "I'm here for ya, buddy."
    The friend did mention being angry too. I'd actually like to be lashed out at, and even more, because it seems like the ultimate in empathy, and I'd feel like I was taking some of burden of the strong emotions from my friend. Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrinth View Post
    People often tend to make things worse, in my opinion, so I withdraw when stressed. That, and the fact than when under intense stress I tend to become a bit... darker, so it's probably better for everyone's well being if I'm alone for a while.
    I'm not afraid or repulsed by seeing someone's darker side. I'd expect it in this situation. I understand though that most people aren't comfortable with revealing their darkest emotions. Maybe in some ways, that's the deepest level of emotional intimacy?

  2. #12
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    We all need a good amount of isolated processing time, so long as it's also tempered with a 'reality check' from the outside world (trusted people, observation, etc.)

  3. #13
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    If you cope by isolating yourself, how do attempts to communicate with you affect you? Do you just let emails, texts, and voice mail pile up ignored without it phasing you, are you annoyed/stressed, or do you appreciate the attempts to keep in touch? This is of course assuming that the contact is positive in nature, rather than an annoying friend who freaks out every time you "disappear," or a relative who tells you what you "should" be doing.

  4. #14
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    When I am in a place where I need isolation to deal with stress I have mixed feelings about others attempting to communicate. Mostly I feel mild repulsion from being contacted when I'm not ready to cope with it (sort of like you'd expect a snail to react to touch if it had lost its shell) and guilt and distress for not responding.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  5. #15
    Senior Member Abbey's Avatar
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    Definitely, like Tyrinth said: people tend to only make things worse.
    There's no winning: either they will pretend to understand/care or tell me why I'm wrong. Both of which I hate, I'd prefer to be alone with my feelings and get things sorted out in my head so all of my bones can heal in the correct shape/place.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Ene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAVO View Post
    If you cope by isolating yourself, how do attempts to communicate with you affect you? Do you just let emails, texts, and voice mail pile up ignored without it phasing you, are you annoyed/stressed, or do you appreciate the attempts to keep in touch? This is of course assuming that the contact is positive in nature, rather than an annoying friend who freaks out every time you "disappear," or a relative who tells you what you "should" be doing.
    Hey, Javo, it completely depends on the seriousness of the situation.
    A student said to his master: "You teach me fighting, but you talk about peace. How do you reconcile the two?" The master replied: "It is better to be a warrior in a garden than to be a gardener in a war." - unknown/Chinese

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...=61024&page=14

  7. #17
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    When I'm stressed, I have to isolate myself or I feel even worse. Sometimes even a couple of hours of no interruptions, just me and a book or me and my iPod make an incredible difference.
    iNtj // rlua|I|
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  8. #18
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ene View Post
    Hey, Javo, it completely depends on the seriousness of the situation.
    For discussion, let's say that it's very serious, as in an immediate family member being very sick with a limited time remaining.

    And, the isolation is long-term, maybe a few weeks to several months.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    When I am in a place where I need isolation to deal with stress I have mixed feelings about others attempting to communicate. Mostly I feel mild repulsion from being contacted when I'm not ready to cope with it (sort of like you'd expect a snail to react to touch if it had lost its shell) and guilt and distress for not responding.
    Basically what I do too.

    I don't know why I don't want to reinitiate, either, I just don't. If it was a close friend who I had a comfortable dialogue on shitty things in my life open I'd probably be better about talking back, if only to say "this sucks, but hey", but if it's someone I don't have that dialogue with, I rather make no appearance than a negative appearance.

    I've engaged in essentially no real life social activity for 3 months now. Even online, I don't really talk with people on a personal chatty level that often, but I'm alright with just talking about stuff.
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

  10. #20
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    I think isolation can be healthy for me actually.. I think I take too much of what other people say to heart and lots of stimulation can be really distracting from the matter that I need to process. I've found it unhealthy for me to try to drag myself out of isolation too forcefully or prematurely, it causes me to become irrational, scattered, and anxious. But then again it depends on how long we're talking. There is a point in a depression when the best move is to try to integrate myself back into society even if it's at a distance, (leave the house to go to a coffee shop or the dog park or something, some indirect interaction and outer stimulation.) Sometimes my brain just wants me to sit in the dark alone for a period of time, and i've come to terms with that despite the stigma.
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