Cave Dwellers Unite!

Cave Dwellers 


G. Lynn 

I know this will sound strange,  but when I was little, I used to love hanging out in my closet.
Literally. I know. I was an odd child and admit, I am probably an even odder adult. But let me explain.

In my bedroom, there was a small closet which eventually became my only retreat. .

I loved the idea of having a magical closet, something similar to The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.  With that in mind, one day, I took a tv tray and used my flashlight and decorated the walls with pictures. Eventually, I would go in there to read and write. I had a small Hello Kitty diary and began writing stories. The room was my safe quiet place. There was so much arguing at my home. My parents argued constantly while my sister was showing early signs of mental illness. She would
either be playing the piano or yelling and hitting me.

Years and decades later, that same closet I once used as a hiding place is now used as a storage area for my parents who still live in the same home. I moved out and now live in another place with my own family.  Though I no longer hide away in the closet, I realize that I am really not that much different.  I am still an introvert. People who meet me have a hard time believing I am such an introvert.

Today, I have an office which my husband calls my cave (No, men aren't the only ones with caves.) I often go there a few times a week to do my writing, and my intuitive session. I need my office. Recently, I read a FB post about how authors must not only exceed at writing, but they also must have a presence on social media. Immediately, one follower posted "Oh no. I have to get out of my cave?"

Boy, do I relate. I totally get it. I get how hard it is to get out the cave, and see sunlight (perhaps we will melt). It is hard for me too. But I realize that social media for us cave dwellers isn't all that bad.

We can control it. We can sit in our caves and still communicate with the outside world. We can go it when we feel like, tweet a post, read a feed and then go back inside. Relationships, if that is what they are called, can be kept at a distance (half way around the world type of distance).
All this suits me just fine but I realize now that while caves are wonderful to have, it is good to have balance too with the outside world.  

A few years ago, I had a bad knee injury. My doctor at the time made a misdiagnosis, and despite my better judgment knowing that the injury was indeed severe, I listened to her advice and just thought it was either old age and RA. But soon the pain became unbearable and I began to limp, then hobble.

Within a year, I was in such agonizing pain, I had little patience with others and as a result,  I alienated myself. I went deep into my cave. I only came out during work and for my family. I left behind relationships/friendships, and was like that wounded animal that barked and growled when a strange presence was near... even if friendly.

Within time, I got better, and as I felt better, I thought about my deep need for isolation.

I asked myself one question: Did this all stem from a flight or hide response from childhood? 

Was I still the same girl in the closet who disappeared and hated chaos and fighting?  I truly wasn't. I
had grown up, I had received therapy, I had studied for years about self-help. I was not that same little girl who escaped to her closet.

When I did, I realized that we are not put on this earth at least I believe to be alone. Being alone is ok, but being a hermit in a cave perhaps at least for me is not the best idea. I decided to get back into society and start living again.

I know that there are cave dwellers amongst you readers. Those who prefer to be alone, those who love the solitary life. I am not here to judge. But I have chosen to branch out. To breathe in the fresh air. To say hi or at least smile to those who walk past me. I enjoy to chit chat with a friend who is like my sister and have a good cup of coffee.

I realize that my past does not have to keep me chained to it. I can break free and so can you.

If you want to get out of your are some suggestions:

1. Ask yourself 'what do you fear?'
2.  Did you long for a refuge as a child?
3.  Tell yourself "I am safe. I am ok. I'm adult."
4.  How can you integrate time alone with time with others and achieve balance?