Treblesteph's Blog

If you are an introvert or a multiple, this will make sense to you:


WARNING: This is long.

As I begin to enter my senior year of college (I still refuse to believe that this is about to happen) the first thing I always look back on is how these four years compare to my high school years. I can strongly say that I feel like I’m finally finding my voice after being quieted down for so many years back in high school.

However I have to say it all started back in lower school (or elementary school for those who aren’t familiar with the terminology). Small incidents here and there I recall myself and my sisters being blamed for. A broken bell. A dead fish. Writing on the bathroom wall. Breaking the classroom computer. Trivial things. From there is when I started to think that I was more different from others in my class than I thought but I couldn’t pinpoint what it was (more so than the fact that, well, they didn’t have siblings that were identical to them).

Middle school came and went but when high school rolled around and I felt myself losing more of my voice. I wasn’t Mack anymore. I was simply a “Quad” or a “Jackson” or just seen as one of four*. And even if that wasn’t the case that’s the impression I got. That’s what I felt and few people made me feel any different. How else would one feel when those who know you and know of you don’t bother to get your name right? Know your name but don’t even try to put it to your face? You feel like you don’t matter.

And, honestly, for most of high school I felt as if I didn’t matter. And that made me so frustrated. But not as frustrated as I felt when I realized that, those I’ve known for years, I couldn’t talk to. Yes, there were the normal topics like homework being due, a funny conversation we experienced, what projects were coming up. But past that I couldn’t talk to them.

And I never understood why. Part of the time I felt shut out on purpose so, after a while, I stopped trying. Another part of the time I felt as if I were nothing but a bother to them so, again, I stopped trying. But, now that I’m older, I finally figured out why I was so frustrated about it then and why I’m so frustrated now.

I didn’t know how to talk to them. Sure, it’s easy for some people to just get up and start talking to others but not me. In my mind it’s a whole five minutes of a mental prep talk just to get myself to open my mouth. I didn’t want to say something that could be taken the wrong way (which, looking back, I did a lot. I barely had a filter). I didn’t want to sound as if I didn’t know what I was talking about. I didn’t want to sound or say something stupid. So I would just sit and listen to what they were talking about, seeing what it was that got them excited and everything.

But it wasn’t until I started at Hollins that I realized that people took this as me being judgmental or coming off as I was better than everyone else. (This was told to my face. Usually people’s opinions of me don’t bother me but this one stuck). I finally understood. I finally understood that, back in high school, those people probably felt the same way.

Let me tell you, it sucks knowing things on the other end. I, for one, do not believe I’m better than anyone else. I didn’t quite understand why anyone would think that until I sat back and took the time to reflect. I didn’t like a lot of things that those in my graduating class liked i.e. tv shows, sports, music, games, etc. I had different taste. And I thought that was fine. But of course, hindsight is 20/20. What I thought was a normal response to someone’s inquiry came off as me sounding like what someone else liked was “stupid”. It’s not. I just didn’t like it.

For example, jokes that others would find funny. I just didn’t get why it was funny and, thus, didn’t laugh. Now I see that can easily be misconstrued as me thinking “I’m better than you because what you were laughing at was stupid”. It wasn’t. I, personally, just didn’t find it funny. And that should be okay. But I guess it wasn’t.

From then on I felt, deep inside, everything I did was wrong. I was constantly told/asked repetitive things: “You talk too loud.” “You’re talking too loud.” “Can you quiet down, please?” “Why do you talk so loud?” “You talk way too fast.” “You’re talking too fast.” And to others that was normal, but to me it made me slowly stay quiet. Who would want to say anything when you’re repeatedly told to be quiet/quiet down? And it didn’t stop there.

I felt blamed for a lot of goings on, things I still can’t wrap my head around. Such as those examples above and a few others that are blurry. Regardless, I and my sisters were accused of a lot of things we didn’t do (those of which would easily be cleared up if I were spoken to face-to-face). By that point my voice was practically gone and I just took it all. It almost felt normal to me to be not liked, or feel not liked anyway. I knew, by that point, there was no way I could ever talk it out and figured out if there was something I did, something we did, to be accused of countless things and get turned on because it wouldn’t matter. Opinions were made. Maybe it was just a bandwagon. A scapegoat. To this day I still don’t know what it is that was did or said that made it seem like I had a constant target on my head back then. Either way all I knew was to get through was to focus on school, my friends, and keep quiet.

I used to think there was something wrong with me for not having a clear-cut best friend. I saw others calling each other “besties” “BFFs” and other names of the sort. They’d hang out over the weekends, go on vacations, celebrate birthdays, that sort of thing. I always wondered why I never experienced that.

It wasn’t until I got to Hollins that I realized that that’s not what I want. I don’t want a circle of a lot of friends that I don’t know a lot about. I’m perfectly fine having a smaller, closer circle of friends that I know a lot about. No, I may not do things with them all of the time and I’m okay with that. I’m not the social type. I’m the sort to stay in and play video games instead of going out to recharge my batteries, so to speak. I can’t be around people all of the time. I need time to myself.

A family friend speaking about a personality test once over dinner was what started to me getting a firmer understanding of myself. I took the test and got a result of INTJ. Basically, I’m an introvert.

And figuring that out has made all of the difference. It was like I was slapped in the face with an epiphany of who I was.

And this is who I am: I’m sarcastic and have a dry sense of humor. Sometimes I’m a smartass. I find enjoyment out of a lot of simple things. I make a lot of jokes. I love reality shows and anything that has cooking involved. I absolute love video games. I still enjoy things from the 90s. I like cookie monster memorabilia (long story). I like anime and manga. I love reading and writing stories, it’s nice to be in a different world every now and then. Writing is the easiest way for me to get my feelings out, I’m not so good at public speaking or having to talk about my feelings. Sometimes I have little patience. I tend to put others before myself. Contrary to popular belief, roughly 75% of the time I don’t like the attention I get because I’m a quadruplet (it gets uncomfortable being stopped on the street or in the mall, especially with my friends around). And, above all, I love my sisters. That’s a given. (I still don’t get when people say to me they think we spend too much time together. A) I live with them so I kind of have to B) both schools I’ve gone to in my life as small so it’s obvious we’d be in the same classes and C) They’re my best friends. Nothing wrong with that. Would you rather we be at each other’s throats? No? I wouldn’t rather that, either).

So yeah, that’s me in a nutshell. You can either take it, leave it, or love it. Me, it took me a while, but I love it. Which was something I couldn’t say back in high school. It’s amazing how different you can look to yourself when you set both sections of four years of schooling side-by-side.


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