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  • #135378
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    The Scriptures say:
    24 A man [who has] friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend [who] sticks closer than a brother. [Proverbs 18:24 NKJV]

    Hello. My name is Brian…and I’m an alcoholic…[pause] 😊😁😂🤣

    [Mmwwahhahahaha! NO, I’m not, but I thought it might be funny to say. 😉]

    My Tag is “Gucci”…[uh…I don’t do labels]…
    Okay, start again…Take a deep breath…Be Serious. 😒🤔

    I never wanted to admit this…to anyone…but I find I must.  I need Christian writer friends.  I need you guys.

    I used to believe I could get along on my own…just me and Jesus.  After all, once I had Him, I should no longer “need” anything else, right?  Jesus is the “All Sufficient One”, so my weakness in my own humanity should be filled up, right?

    Wrong.  Jesus IS Sufficient,…but it is He who created the need in us to feel…lonely, isolated, and yes even sometimes “unloved”.  But why would He do that?!  I never understood it, until later in life and then it hit me.

    If we do not experience “need” we will not seek that which is good for us…the best for us.

    God created us to need each other.  To lift one another up, to encourage, to stand up for and pray for one another.

    As a “loner” who was make fun of mercilessly as a kid, I did not want to think I needed anybody.  I wanted to shut the world out, find a quiet place and get lost in a book.  My friends were characters that were imaginary.  I didn’t need people.  That was for the “weak people”.  I was too proud to admit that I too was “weak”, because I didn’t want to be vulnerable ever again.  I could only trust my family.  Friends stabbed you in the back, when they got around others who were part of the “in-crowd”, and I wanted nothing to do with those.  I would find other ways to be “worth something”, and one day “they” all would know it.

    I curled a stone around my feelings of rejection.  I would not let ANYONE in to see the real me.

    It wouldn’t do to let anyone know the “nerd and uncoordinated, half-blind son” of the preacher, had such bitterness in his heart, that he despised those who might judge him and find him wanting.

    It was once said that “Man is not an island unto himself”.  Well. I thought I could be, and if an “island” I was going to be Maui. 😉 [Just can’t seem to stay serious for very long…I think it’s a defensive mechanism. If I can have people laugh with me, then they may not laugh…at..me.]

    Anyway, my point is in God’s creating, even from the very beginning of all things, He did create a situation that was “not good”, and He did so deliberately. [Shocked gasps!  WHHAAATTT?!  Sacrilege! Someone shoot this heretic!  Burn him at the stake! His ill-timed humor ought to get him tied to a flaming pyre and smoked like a suckling pig.  Ham, anyone? Groan of Arc?]
    Well, He did!  Look it up, if you don’t believe me.
    18 And the LORD God said, “[It is] not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” [Genesis 2:18 NKJV]

    He said…WHAT?!

    “It is not good…that man should be alone.”

    The Perfect, Loving God, allowed and set up the conditions for a temporary “Not Good” condition, which would cause the man to realize that he had…a need.

    Many of you who come here, have that same need.  A desire to be noticed, befriended, recognized and have someone understand what similar things and challenges you are facing.  Do not be the fool that I was and am many times still tempted to be.

    Don’t wait for other to “come to you” or tag you, or look you up.  That is the quickest way to find yourself going back into the safety of your dark and brooding solitude.

    The scripture I led with says what?

    A “man” who has friends must…what?

    …Show [themselves] to be friendly.

    You may know what it feels like to be ignored, overlooked, not invited, dismissed…whatever you call it, it comes down to feeling rejected.

    But my parents, when I was a young kid, and later a brooding, reclusive teenager, hung a picture up on my bedroom wall with a simple but profound message on it.

    “God Don’t Make No Junk!”  Let that one sink in for a second. IF you know He made you, then the conclusion is clear: You Are Not Junk.  You Are Not Meaningless. You Are Not An Inconvenience.  You Are Purposed.  You Are Uniquely Designed for His Plan for You.

    Look through the many names who have profiles here on Story Embers. Reach out to one who seems to have vanished for a while or merely gone silent. Let them know they have not been overlooked. Show yourselves friendly.

    They may not know it or have come to the place of maturity where they can admit they have a need, but they do.

    God called us into community as a body with many parts who each have a unique function and work best together.

    3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5 So we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, [let us prophesy] according to the proportion of faith; [Romans 12:3-6 KJV]

    I need each of you, and whether you like it or not you need me too.

    God Bless my dear family on Story Embers!

    Many of you are so far ahead of me in skill and accomplishments, even though I may be ahead of you in life experience and years. I want to learn from each of you. Let’s be friends.

    You can also find me on my Blog at: Excavatia.Wordpress.com

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #135475
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Hello!

    Well I guess I’m a bookaholic and a talkaholic (at least to my introvert friends…actually, yeah everybody) *bowls over with a hug* 💖

    It takes a lot of courage to be the first person to open up, thank you 💖

    I have to say I’ve never wanted to rely on others either, I let myself be convinced it was selfish to ask for help and every day I constantly felt pushed and pushed to be the best, the smartest, the holiest, the kindest. And if I was vulnerable or bubbly, well then obviously I was being “selfish” “a dramaqueen” “too sensitive” “silly/girly”. As if Jesus Himself hadn’t shown a full range of emotions especially to the disciples He loved and trusted.

    Turned out though that I could make friends pretty well whenever I was actually around people and I usually was the smartest kid in the room or at least came off that way. And I hated it so much because I never learned anything or connected deeply. I actually wanted to cut myself rather frequently, I mean who cares about mental health anyway as long as your homework assignments are perfect? (:

    But apparently we’re supposed to “love your neighbor as yourself” (I personally read “test all your bad helpful advice on yourself first” 😉 So, that’s fun! Writing was actually the first thing I ever started just because it was something I wanted to do. A couple days before I turned thirteen I decided I’d write a novel. In a year. Without an outline. (genius aren’t I?)

    By some catastrophic freak accident of fate (read depression/anxiety/boredom and no other hobbies) I actually did finish the first draft a week or so after I turned fourteen. And that was about when I realized I probably needed a shrink XD. But it did force me to pull my emotions out of the freezer and actually tune into my pathetic existence (right right God don’t make no junk, never mind XD).

    I started pursuing my dreams regardless of how much encouragement I didn’t get. I started measuring criticism by “would I take advice from this person as readily as their insults?” and then really looking honestly at it to see if there was something I needed to change (90% of the time “yes, but not what they wanted to change”). I started noting dishonesty and stopped attracting manipulation and venting vampires. Or at least I started recognizing that behavior as more reflective of their pain than my failure and started being more free to try to root out that behavior in me, like twisting the truth by “being polite” or neglecting to mention “unimportant details” that might make someone upset for the sake of “keeping the peace”, every so often I’d catch myself outright lying reflexively.

    I taught myself instead I could establish proper boundaries without being “selfish” and whether I was too sensitive or not was really a matter of how ready was the other person to accept talking about emotions in a healthy way more often than not. That’s a process and I think with God’s grace, with prayer, and with perseverance I’ll probably get it. Five minutes after I die 😅😂

    But without being so insecure I was much more free to actually help and inspire others which is what I’ve always dreamed of doing.

    It was once said that “Man is not an island unto himself”.  Well. I thought I could be, and if an “island” I was going to be Maui. [Just can’t seem to stay serious for very long…I think it’s a defensive mechanism. If I can have people laugh with me, then they may not laugh…at..me.]

    [ow, owowowowowowowowowowowowowowow owwwww! I feel called out, I feel attacked! 😨😅]

    It wouldn’t do to let anyone know the “nerd and uncoordinated, half-blind son” of the preacher, had such bitterness in his heart, that he despised those who might judge him and find him wanting.

    Oh I’m blind in my left eye and I have the coordination of a dead chicken😄! I’m waiting for someone to criticize me for some silly mistake so I can yell “Blame it on the little guy how original he must’ve read the schedule wrong with his ONE EYE!!!” like that preview for Monsters’ Inc 😀

    And your blog looks awesome! What site/program did you use to design it? About how much does it cost erhm…XD?

    But it is so incredibly necessary to connect, like you said God gave us a very basic need to reach out, to love others and to be loved. So often we feel like we’re the only person who feels this deeply, that nothing we’d do would be able to convey the pain, that no one would listen or understand. We can get so caught in our own pain we don’t see our needs and we don’t see things in perspective.

    We often don’t see the person who hurt us as someone too hurt to manage their own emotions, and we find it so hard to isolate the emotions from our own emotions or to understand that sometimes the best thing you can do is accept and walk away from someone who won’t change.

    Erhm, ah…awkward, unnecessary tangent XD…uh😅, God bless! (I’m gonna go throw up now…😶😫🤮 (I can’t believe there are actually emojis for that😁)

    Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

    #135487
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Thank you, Cathy!

    When I was two years old my left eye was injured.  We were attending a sunrise Easter service and some of the youth group kids wanted to take me hiking with them in the hills.  One kid was carrying me on their shoulders and pushed a mesquite tree branch back to go under and past the tree.  The limb came loose, hit me in the face, but I didn’t cry so the kids thought I was fine.  I only rubbed my face and avoided the bright lights.  A day later my parents realized something was wrong.  A mesquite tree thorn had pierced my cornea and damaged a small part of it.  I had a corneal transplant later that year and a rotation that moved the fine white scar on my iris into the blind spot peripheral.  Because it was sensitive to light they put an eye patch over it, for a while, not knowing at the time that the human eye has amazing recuperative properties.  (Something later learned in the field of optometry.) The scar tissue, which would have gone away, became permanent, but it barely visible now. I can see out of it just not very good, and it distorts my depth perception a little and reduces my peripheral field of vision.  I played football, basketball, volleyball, and ran track all in High School but never excelled in them, because my depth perception affected my coordination.  I did get an Atari game system growing up (how old is that?!) which did help me with hand-eye coordination, so I enjoyed those “therapy sessions”. 😉
    Later came the rabbit teeth, for which I had to get braces and so I went through all the teasing that goes with that.  In kindergarten, I had a punk kid threaten to kill me almost every time he saw me, just because he, like you said, couldn’t process his own pain.  My dad eventually found out and had a “come to Jesus moment” with him, and the punk never did threaten me after that, but somehow appreciated my dad because he cared enough to instruct the boy onto the right path.

    I also was “the smart one”.  In Sunday School, whenever the Teacher or Youth Leader asked a Bible question all eyes turned towards me.  I knew the answer but resented the fact that no one else seemed to even try to think about the question or answer.
    I didn’t want to “carry people” who would toss me aside when I had helped them “get the grade” or win the “Bible trivia” game.

    Writing and reading was my outlet.  I could internalize ideas and then build ideas out of them. I have always felt the need to build something, but I didn’t know what.

    So I am not saying all this to be the victim here.  I am just saying I’ve been through some of the same junk others have had to go through.  I know what it’s like to be “the loner”, “the outcast”, “the nerd”.  My path to freedom was learning how to forgive everyone I viewed as my enemy.  How to put my burdens on Jesus, because I wasn’t doing such a great job of carrying them. They crush you, isolate you, and can destroy you if you don’t let God-sized shoulders carry them.  I went through a stage of trying to people please but found out that never works and only leads to more bondage.  God won’t let us carry vengeance.  He says it belongs to Him, and if we take it up, we are effectively “stealing” from Him.  He carries both Justice and Mercy in His hands and never contradicts either.  He satisfied Justice at The Cross of Calvary when He took upon Himself the sins of the entire world and paid for them in His Own Body.  He is the Doorway to Justice and Mercy.  There is no other path that leads to freedom but through Him.  And that’s what I must tell the world about.  We don’t have to live as “less than” when He has made us “more than” conquerors.
    My writing was once an escape from the outside world.  A refuge into my own imagination where I could make sense of the world and create people I wanted to be with, but that was still an illusion.  God loves the world with all its scars.  Many Christians still live as if they must remain in the prison they were set free from, just so that the other prisoners won’t feel jealous when they step out of those bars.  Christians who still cower in the shadows of a cell with a wide-open door are doing no one any favors.  There is an abundant life outside.  We no longer have to live behind the bars that the world expects.  God tells us to go out into the highways and byways and compel others to walk in liberty and set captives free.  We cannot do that behind bars.  We Christians must demonstrate a life lived in the Joy of Our Redeemer.  That is what makes other prisoners no longer content with their four walls, but seek the One who Has earned the keys to open their cells too.
    I quit writing for a long time because I could no longer use it to escape.  Years later, when I came back to it, I was given a renewed vision for what my writing could do, and a mission and ministry for it.  I could express these very same kinds of struggles through characters but demonstrate a way that someone who believes they are a “less than” can become so much more, when they find their lives empowered by the Sustaining Vine of Jesus, who carried all of their burdens, who makes us into something more than we could ever make of ourselves.  I want others, especially Christians most of all, to learn what they were made to be.  That God equips them for what He calls them to and gifted them for.  There is no lack in Him.  We don’t need magical powers, or strange beasts to befriend us to make us formidable in the world of imagination and in the “Surface World” in which we live.  We need only to go Through Him. The Door to Discover What’s Ahead.

    I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. [John 10:9 KJV]

    I am willing to go it alone, IF I must, but I shouldn’t have to when you all are my brothers and sisters in Christ and we are part of The Body of Christ.

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #135530
    Chalice
    @chalice

    @obrian-of-the-surface-world Thank you so much for sharing this! I really needed to hear (or read, I should say 😛) what you had to say.

    ENFP-T/Artist/Writer/Musician
    “Creativity takes courage” -Henri Matisse

    #135531
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @chalice

    Thank you, Chalice. God has us share our testimonies because there are others who are brought to a moment in their lives where they need to hear that their struggles are not uncommon.  I am very pleased that my words ministered to you. That is what fellowship is all about. Encouraging one another to rely on our shared Anchor that Holds, our Savior Jesus.

    May the Lord bless you in a special way this evening.  Thank you for reaching out, my sister.

    May the Lord Breathe through your many gifts to others in your field of harvest, as well.

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #135533
    Bethania Gauterius
    @sparrowhawke

    I’m a nerd with terrible vision too lol

    My shyness I think is really the only thing that’s kept me from making friends. I’ve never gotten to know people well enough IRL to know if they like me or not. But I’m working on it. It’s super hard because I hate small talk. I just want to talk about books or storytelling or music. Jump right into something interesting. We’re both experiencing the same weather–we don’t need to talk about it. I never do anything interesting–my week is always fine and I’m sure yours was too. Even if it wasn’t, you’re still going to say it was.

    I’m weird. I simultaneously feel not good enough to talk to someone and too good to talk to them. I’m judgmental, but fear being judged myself.

    I fear I come across as rude when I don’t talk but it’s just because I’m shy. I overthink social interaction too much. It’s easier for me to jump into a group conversation but I feel like I’m intruding.

     

    "For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust." - Psalm 103:14

    #135546
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @sparrowhawke

    I really do understand.  I have lived through those seeming contradictions many, many times.  But you know something? God never makes mistakes in His designs.  Too often we misunderstand the purposes for them because we are myopically stuck in our moments.  God doesn’t expect us to figure it all out.  He just wants us to rely on Him and trust Him even when we don’t understand.  He has a clean and consistent track record, even if no other human in our world does.  He promises never to leave or forsake us, even if it seems that everyone else does.
    You know one of the signs of trust and contentment is being able to relax in someone else’s presence without ever feeling the pressure to even say a word.  Just to relax being in the same room, know they are there, but not feeling that you have to perform for them to feel accepted by them.  That is what Jesus wants us to do sometimes. Just relax and be content knowing that He is there and He has already made up His mind about you, stating that He loves you and that You were purposed just to be exactly as you are.  Yes, He wants us to be aware of Him, to talk with Him, and realize that there is no one else in this world we have to pursue but Him.  Scripture tells us in Romans 5:8 that He demonstrated His love for us even while we were still sinning.  We too often forget that God is omniscient.  That there is no new information that He will ever discover or receive about us that will make Him love us any less.  Romans 8:31-35 is so powerful once you realize that this is about you.  Never was there ever such a perfect Father who dotes upon His children and greatly desires to give each of us gifts and lift us up to shine with the talents He invested in us.  The purpose of prayer and confession is a human exercise that allows us to agree with God that He desires us.  Hebrews 2:6-8 and Psalms 8:4-6 are mirror verses that are statements of wonder at how Our Creator loves and elevates us.  The biggest problem we face is the distractions that lure us away from internalizing those truths.  When we disregard the Lord or set Him aside to pursue ‘other things’ we are the ones that cause a perception of distance because we think God cannot still love us.  But prayer and confession to Him reestablish our minds to seek and receive the forgiveness we are freely and continually offered.

    The weirdness we perceive to be in ourselves is our unique design.  You are a one-of-a-kind puzzle piece that helps complete the beautiful picture God is putting together.  God sometimes let’s us experience a handicap or a visual impairment so that we can speak life into the life of others who no nothing else but their suffering.  If God allows me to be weak, it is because He wants to fill in the gap and prove to the word the truth of these words:

    22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all [men], that I might by all means save some. [1 Corinthians 9:22 KJV]

    There is nothing more powerful than a person who lets the Lord use them in spite of their weakness.

    Truly it is said:

    27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; [1 Corinthians 1:27 KJV]

    Mankind’s standards and way of thinking leads to destruction, so we need not be concerned with what “the world” tells us about ourselves, when Your Redeemer, The Truth-Speaker says He is Your Designer and Your Strength.
    So, My Dear @sparrowhawke, I will tell you like God told Gideon (Judges 6:12): “Arise Woman of Valor, Mighty Warrior!” God has called you to great tasks ahead of you.
    Let your confidence come from Him.  Let that relationship be primary in your heart, and it will well up and overflow outward into all of your other horizontal relationships among family and friends.  When you are immersed in such perfect love as He has, you cannot help but have Him spill over into the hearts and lives you influence for Him.
    You are purposed and you are loved, Daughter of The Most High, let no one ever sway you from that Truth.

    God equips those He calls.
    10 The one who descended is also the one who ascended far above all the heavens, to fill all things. 11 And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 equipping the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, [Ephesians 4:10-12 CSB]

    It is not in self-effort or pulling yourself up to “do better”, but in yielding to His Spirit in You to do amazing things through you.

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #135551
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @sparrowhawke


    @sparrowhawke

    I want you to know something. You are ALWAYS welcome to join in and speak up on anything I post on Story Embers. I will always welcome your thought and input.
    {Now to say I will always agree with everyone, is a bridge too far. We each have our own way of seeing things and we are each on our own personal journey of communing with and learning from Our Savior. I may not be mature enough to have learned what you already know, so please be patient with me. I’ll get there.}
    As you can tell, I am not much for small talk either. I get impatient not being able to get to something meaningful because I am hungry to learn what really drives others to be passionate about something. I am not a good “schmoozer”. In fact, I am probably much more apt to be off somewhere along the wall in a crowded room just listening to people talk. [If I can even stay too long in a crowded room, that is. 😉 ]
    You may not know that from some of my posts, but something about writing brings out the boldness in me. That and probably I am at that age where I just don’t care so much what others think about me. I am who I am. If they don’t like it, they are welcome to take that up with My Creator…but I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes when they try. 😉
    I took that Myers-Briggs Test and learned that I am an INTJ or an INTP with the pretensions to be an INFP.  Guess that makes me weird, but I am perfectly okay with my “specialness”. ;P
    Here is what that image shows:
    Link to INTJ-INTP-INFP image

    I am serious that you or anyone on Story Embers is welcome to weigh on my posts or conversations.  Under the agreement with the Manifesto we all certified when getting a profile on here, I do not consider you or anyone here to be an intruder.  As far as I am concerned, you are family.

    @everyone

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #135554
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @sparrowhawke

    @chalice


    @this-is-not-an-alien


    @fitz


    @noah-cochran


    @MelancholicWriter


    @irishcelticredflowercrown


    @imwritehere1920


    @olivia


    @emma-walker

    @everyone

    According to Myers-Briggs, I’m an INTJ-INTP with the pretensions of being an INFP.

    I share a commonality with the Apostle Paul in that verse:
    For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.” [2 Corinthians 10:10 NIV]

    But I wanted to tell you all what I told sparrowhawke:

    I am serious that you or anyone on Story Embers is welcome to weigh on my posts or conversations.  Under the agreement with the Manifesto we all certified when getting a profile on here, I do not consider you or anyone here to be an intruder.  As far as I am concerned, you are family.

    I do mean that.

    These are the Four Myers-Briggs Preference Pairs, which I thought were useful as reference points.

    Click Here to Link to Chart

    Have any of you taken this personality quiz?
    Just curious what you might consider yourself to be?

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #135555
    MelancholicWriter
    @melancholicwriter

    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    I’m glad that you found a place to have Christian friends.

    I have done the Myers-Briggs and another personality test and came out as INFP both times

    "Courage is found in unlikely places." JRR Tolkien

    #135557
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @melancholicwriter

    Hi Tasha!

    I kinda “felt” that you might be INFP type, since you chose the term “Melancholic” in your tag.
    Did you ever hear of the Tim LaHaye book:

    “Spirit-Controlled Temperament”

    LaHaye, Tim. Spirit-Controlled Temperament . Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

    Melancholic is one of the “temperaments” mentioned in it which includes some of the elements we share as “creatives”.  You may recognize Tim’s name as the co-author with Jerry Jenkins of “The Left Behind” series of books.  Jerry’s son, Dallas Jenkins is the creator and director of the very popular “The Chosen” series.

    (I do have a family of faith, but I very particularly wanted to have friends who are writers who share faith (not necessarily the organized labels within it) and allow His Creativity to be borne in your gifts.)

    Scripture says:
    As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. [Proverbs 27:17 NLT]

    And I feel this is a good place for me (rusty and dull as I may be) to be sharpened by each of you.

    Have a very blessed day!

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #135568
    Bethania Gauterius
    @sparrowhawke

    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    I believe I’m an INTP. I have some INTJ qualities and relate to a lot of the jokes and humor about them as well. My best writer friend is an INFP.

    I’m also of the phlegmatic temperament.

    "For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust." - Psalm 103:14

    #135586
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    When I was two years old my left eye was injured.  We were attending a sunrise Easter service and some of the youth group kids wanted to take me hiking with them in the hills.  One kid was carrying me on their shoulders and pushed a mesquite tree branch back to go under and past the tree.  The limb came loose, hit me in the face, but I didn’t cry so the kids thought I was fine.  I only rubbed my face and avoided the bright lights.  A day later my parents realized something was wrong.  A mesquite tree thorn had pierced my cornea and damaged a small part of it.  I had a corneal transplant later that year and a rotation that moved the fine white scar on my iris into the blind spot peripheral.  Because it was sensitive to light they put an eye patch over it, for a while, not knowing at the time that the human eye has amazing recuperative properties.  (Something later learned in the field of optometry.) The scar tissue, which would have gone away, became permanent, but it barely visible now. I can see out of it just not very good, and it distorts my depth perception a little and reduces my peripheral field of vision.  I played football, basketball, volleyball, and ran track all in High School but never excelled in them, because my depth perception affected my coordination.  I did get an Atari game system growing up (how old is that?!) which did help me with hand-eye coordination, so I enjoyed those “therapy sessions”.

    Oh yes! I had to wear a patch too, only over my good eye in an attempt to “wake” my bad one. Apparently my eyes just never did align as I was growing up and my brain decided to turn off my “inferior” eye to avoid dealing with it (honestly that sounds like a bad decision I would make XD). I was vaguely aware of it for a while but my good eye worked just fine and I didn’t think I was missing on much and I knew my parents couldn’t really afford going to the doctor and I didn’t figure it was curable anyway so I didn’t say anything (not one of my better calls…).
    But then I learned partial blindness could cause/increase headaches I did get a lot of those and then my parents got “better” insurance and it finally occurred to me that might be something they’d want to be aware of regardless my…opinion…there (man that was a bad idea…I’m beginning to understand why no one’s let me forget it…). Turned out I had zero depth perception and was very blind in my left eye (I could read one row under the “big E”). For a while I got just glasses that made me dizzy and felt heavy and made everything look a little off-kilter.
    Actually for the first couple weeks it was kinda fun; nobody teased me about my lack of coordination or me constantly running into to stuff and knocking over things. Instead everybody just kinda cooed over me and excused my clumsiness and that was neat. Until no one trusted me to learn to drive or own a gun and anything they said no to if I asked why; “you didn’t say anything about your eye until now.” (Yeah…that was a dumb move XD)
    After the glasses was the patch and through that I had to spend time playing games while wearing 3D glasses. That was a perk. The idea with that was one lens one blue and the other was red and all the games were in blue and red so the blue lens couldn’t see the blue colors and the red could see red so my eyes had to work together if I were to indulge successfully in my highly competitive streak.
    I never got better vision in that eye but I have full depth perception now, I’ll never get over how sharp and dimensional everything looks now, it’s incredible!
    Oh we played an Atari too when we were really little!! My favorite game was Frogger, for some reason we all thought the splat was hysterical, and my siblings and I would hoot and laugh as one of us tried to get that frog across the road. We always died whenever the frog…died XD. I think we only ever made it across twice.
    I had braces too I got out of them just a little before my brother did and the orthodontists always let me pick a piece of candy after each visit, all the nurses there wore a ton of makeup and I always wondered why.
    Your dad must’ve been a pretty amazing guy to respond like that. I can’t imagine a lot of parents who would be able to keep their cool in a situation like that and have that kind of compassion. As a homeschooled kid, I’ve never had to go through the “joys” of public school but I haven’t met a person yet from public school who wasn’t messed up by it in some way at least. I’ve never understood why kids are so cutthroat at most schools…
    I probably wasn’t so much “the smart one” in Youth Group and Bible studies as “the one who constantly blurted out answers until Father Nick said someone other than me should answer his next questions”. Mostly I was just super excited to be around kids close to my age and kinda nervous which made me twice as energetic. I’d get to talk to the adults a lot growing up and they’d actually listen and say I “sounded very intelligent” in discussions and that’d make my parents proud. I guess I got so very caught up in “making my parents proud” I didn’t pursue my own interests because I had to study to do the things they were interested in. And I certainly carried on that people-pleasing to everybody thinking that was what made a “good girl”
    But God came to free not confine us like you said. And it’s so much better if we just live the way God made us to; simply and lovingly.


    @sparrowhawke

    IKR! Nobody cares about small talk, not me the extravert not Joe the serial killer, not Max the waiter, not Tim the three-year-old! (…that would be an interesting set of characters for a shortstory XD).

    I never do anything interesting–my week is always fine and I’m sure yours was too. Even if it wasn’t, you’re still going to say it was.

    LOL THAT IS SO TRUE I CAN NEVER GET PEOPLE TO ACTUALLY ANSWER THAT HONESTLY!
    But I have learned a couple things about conversationalism XD;
    –you can breach absolutely any social convention and people will still talk to you if you’re sincere (ugh don’t ask…)
    –you can always tell who’s either dissociating or chronically depressed by how they answer “what do you like to do in your free time”; if they actually answer you, then you’ve started a conversation which is usually fairly interesting, if they don’t then they’re scared to admit their hobbies because if gives bullies ammo or they really don’t know how to respond because they’ve numbed out or are very anxious.
    –if normal questions don’t start a conversation you can ask things like “what’s one word to describe your best self and one word to describe how you see yourself now? If you had a superpower what would it be? What color would best describe you? Have you done Myers Briggs and what’s your personality type (it is so much fun to guess someone’s personality type beforehand XD)? If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?”
    –everyone’s thinking it, just nobody says it (me to me; except you you snook, you rock! The boat. Into a glacier…)
    –a good way to gauge how much to people want to hear is by how much you’re interested in hearing from them in each situation; if you want people to admit hobbies/talk more if you offer it first they’ll cue into it more often than not.
    –in a conversation you’re listening to but haven’t entered and want to, make eyecontact with the speaker and smile. If you do this for long enough somebody might invite you. If not;
    –you can generally ask any question for anything; as long as they know they’re not obliged to say yes which does means you have to gauge how much people-pleaser they are so you know if you need to state upfront ‘you don’t have to answer’ even when you wouldn’t think that a normally necessary statement. The way to gauge that is if you hold a conversation for a couple minutes and the other person remains silent rather than disagree on anything you say you’ll probably want to state they don’t have to answer question/do favor.
    But really you wouldn’t believe how often people say yes to silly requests or become really excited that you asked questions. Questions are more flattering than flattery in most cases so don’t feel like you can’t ask questions people love being asked questions XD.
    –really do anything in your comfort zone, if someone rejects you for it they was gonna reject you anyway their loss. I have noticed people do assume quiet introverts in the back are “smug”

    or “rude” and that’s just not fair! But one thing you could try is I know if I make eyecontact with anybody I automatically adopt them so if you make eyecontact and smile people assume you’re just shy and tend to be much more understanding XD. But then, I do know a lot of people have trouble making eyecontact so that might be hard, but you can ask people what their favorite books are to jump into less smalltalk conversation. Any way to jump into something more interesting than the weather people will welcome <3
    –if people judge you you can judge them for judging you before they even know you (lol jk, serious don’t XD)

    If any of that was…actually…helpful…XD. But being comfortable with yourself automatically makes people more comfortable with you so that too! <3

    Have any of you taken this personality quiz? Just curious what you might consider yourself to be?

    I’m an ENFP, scoring as an INFJ when supremely depressed and an ENFJ when overcompensating. I thought you’d be one of those two personality types, both my older siblings are INTJs, INTJs are very objective but their “intuitive” N is creative and open to unique and original ideas.
    Oh I love the Chosen series!

    @melancholicwriter

    Ahh INFPs are so sweet and are such strong dreamers with strong moral compasses (very scary when finally decide to be firm about something XD). My two cousins are INFPs!

    Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

    #135667

    I took the test a while ago and I am an ESFP-A. I haven’t done a ton of research about each personality type and what they all include, but I read enough about my type to be pretty sure that it’s me. I should go back sometime and read the different types to see if it still sounds like me, though, since it took it quite a few years ago and I’ve changed.

    Even the smallest person can change the course of the future. -JRR Tolkien

    #135670
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    @olivia

    Hi Olivia,

    Here a chart image I captured explaining the 4 code pairs of the Myers-Briggs.

    You mentioned:

    I should go back sometime and read the different types to see if it still sounds like me, though, since it took it quite a few years ago and I’ve changed.

    4 Myers-Briggs Preference Pairs

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

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