2016-2019 Shanna Lenè Hattaway- All Rights Reserved

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A Bit More Information Than You Probably Bargained For.

I’m always such an introvert. Maybe I wasn’t when I was a child, but for most of my adult life and probably my teen years too, I have been incredibly introverted.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt like I was trapped inside an invisible box, unable to fully communicate with anyone around me, worrying that I might make too many “mental leaps” forward in a conversation and the other person will have no idea what I’m talking about, and then think I’m weird. Or, not knowing what to say, and when I think of something to say, it comes out garbles and not how I intended.

I think I’m afraid to let people know me and when I create art that actually expresses how I sometimes feel, it gets really scary. I hate fear though. Fear creeps in constantly, courtesy of my intrusive thoughts OCD and my never stopping ADHD brain. My mind creates these terrible situations and scenarios that make my body tense and my heart race as if they were actually happening and then I have to remind myself that they aren’t really happening and that I can calm down, because everything is in fact perfectly fine. This usually happens while I’m lying in bed trying to go to sleep. Ah, sleep. Sleep and I have a love/hate relationship. I love it, but it hates me, but that’s a story for another time.

As I said, I hate fear. It holds me back from doing so many things, like, walking through the house in the dark, actually enjoying a robot movie, having coherent conversations with perfect strangers.

I think I’ve pretty much conquered my fear of the dark. That typically comes with age, and hanging out in graveyards as a teen. Robots still freak me out a little. I’m not sure how I would react in the presence of an android or animatronic, but I do enjoy a good sci-fi robot flick. Talking to people, that’s a different kind of fear. It’s a pretty legit fear going back to when I was a child. I was always that girl that didn’t fit in and didn’t quite get the intricate social nuances going on around me. I still don’t. Its like, when you listen to a song for the first time with a really great set of headphones that cancel out all the background noise and everything’s crisp and clear and you realize, “oh, there are violins in this song!”, only, I never hear the violins. I don’t even know they exist, and apparently, if you want friends, you need to be able to hear the violins.

I feel like, because of this social “fear”, I have a mask that I wear for every type of situation. I have a fake portrayal of myself prepared for any kind of potential social encounter possible. I have my “going to the grocery store” mask, and my “going to work” mask, and it took me a long time to realize that I did this. That I had to mentally prepare myself for what I could potentially encounter.

Since my family and I moved to Florida and I’ve found myself isolated much, much more than I’ve ever been my entire life, I’ve discovered a lot about myself. I go for long periods of time without wearing a “mask” and I’ve become more conscious of, what for so long, I did without even thinking about it. It had become second nature without me ever realizing what I was doing. It became… uncomfortable.

I’m tired of being afraid and feeling like I’m trapped inside of my head. I’m tired of not feeling like I can be my true, authentic self. I’m tired of feeling like I have to wear a mask and I want to learn how to be, how to exist without it.

This post was originally going to be one of those “25 things you didn’t know about me” bits, but instead, it turned into something much, much deeper. I’ll save the fluffy stuff for another day. Oh, and as a side note, I'm terrible at paragraphs. I know you end a paragraph when you complete a thought, but my thoughts don't end.

#abouttheartist #moreaboutme #dealingwithyourself