The Introvert’s Lament

It’s two o’clock in the morning and I know I have to go to bed.

I have to be up at 8 a.m. so mom and I can go to the pool for two exercise classes. We need these classes, both of us. We need to move. We need to strengthen our joints. We need to improve our balance. Exercise is good for the brain.

But for an introvert, so is alone time. Mom and I are together all day. I’m allowed to use the bathroom by myself, and she does too, but how much is that of the day? Fifteen minutes cumulatively? I get no alone time. I need alone time.

So I’m sitting here at 2 a.m. knowing I need to go to bed and not wanting to. I don’t want to face tomorrow. The pool, lunch, chores, dinner, chores (because it’s the all star break and there’s no baseball on), bed, repeat repeat repeat.

I need this time alone after she goes to bed, and it’s so bad for me. I should be sleeping more consistently. I shouldn’t be depriving myself of sleep so I can have some time alone. I should be rested so I have more patience for her during the day. I’m killing myself slowly, and I need to do it for my sanity.

I am tired. But not the kind that gets satisfaction from a bed and eight solid hours. My soul is tired. My brain is tired. Mom was complaining today about being stuck in the house all day, never getting out. I suggested she do something; that if she’s bored she needs activities to do, like maybe she needs to start going to the Senior Center. She doesn’t want to do that. She doesn’t want to hang out with old people. They don’t know what they’re doing or what they’re talking about. That’s what she says, anyway. I tried to compare her to me, about how I need alone time and she needs time with other people. I told her about my dream vacation: thirty days in a room by myself, not seeing or speaking to another living soul for the entire thirty days. Doesn’t that sound like heaven? She said, “I didn’t know you were so put upon.” What? I’m not put upon. But I am different than her. I need more alone time than I’m getting. She needs me to be with her all the time. She doesn’t ever want to be alone. She’s afraid of being alone. I’m afraid of never being alone again.

I have to end this and go to bed. I don’t want to get up in the morning. I don’t want to face another day. I’m too tired, and there’s nothing I can do about it except go to bed and get up to face another day.

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