Turtles are People too
I’m not talking about ninja turtles. I’m talking about me.
My wife Renee doesn’t like it when I withdraw into myself. We call it turtling. In fact my children don’t like it much either.
To say that it’s my personality is like saying “I’m Popeye the sailor man. I am what I am and that’s all that I am. I’m Popeye the sailor man”. That’s another mentality altogether, but the message is the same…I am me and you must accept that about me - I will not change.
But that’s not me. I will change. It’s just not easy. And turtling isn’t an option for a healthy relationship. I know that I don’t like it when I’m kept in the dark about the mood or mental state of someone that I love. I always want to know if I can be there for someone I care about, and withdrawing into a shell and not allowing anyone in isn’t good for either the turtle or the person with a handful of band aids or loving arms.
So what to do?
When I just need my time and space to wend my way through the maze or work myself free from the driveled web of daily detailed downers, how do I let someone in who is intent on applying a handful of band aid solutions that I am not yet ready for or that doesn’t fit my scene? How do I keep someone out because I need to work things out myself, understand what’s really happening, try to put things in perspective before I can let someone special in to understand so they don’t feel left out?
How do I put someone else’s need to join in before my own need to dis-include the world because I’m so overwhelmed myself that there isn’t room enough in my turtle shell for two?
KEEP OUT! Is not a sign that works in any relationship. It doesn’t work in a partnership. It does not work between two friends. Not between a married couple. Never with children. Can’t work in the work place.
It’s not a reasonable or functional option.
But I need it.
What to do? What to do?
So, I go to the gym. I golf. I fish. I take long showers. I take the time I need to be with myself and by myself to iron out the wrinkles in my day, my week, my head space. Then I rejoin the world I live in with others and smile.
Some people say that a smile is like a little ray of sunshine.
That gives me a reason to poke my head out of my shell and enjoy the sunshine.