Saturday, 8 June 2013


I am the quiet little mouse
that nibbles holes in skirting-boards,
dark holes to hide within;
in-between the spaces in the walls,
dark cavities built brick-by-brick,
a private place, a place for solitude,
a place for this reclusive
intro-vert-ed happy child.

They hunt me out –
the cats that is –  
prey on me with cruel mew,
paw at me with protracted claw,
try to scratch out words that don’t exist,
kill my sense of who I am.
I don’t want to play and make them purr,
I just want to be left alone.

Anna :o]

Karin at dVerse has us writing of any of the ideas of twins, opposites or divided selves and I thought I would write of my divided self.

Although not realising it then, as a child I was introverted, the child with not much to say and I knew I was different.  I could relate to adults more than I could to my peers – but I did have two good friends in my early years, friendships’ that carried through from primary to junior school.  And they were good strong and comfortable friendships and with them, my friends, I had much to say.

At the age of eleven my family moved from (a then and maybe still) rich southern coastal town to colder climes and it was here I realised how different I was.  Sitting at the desk of my new form teacher in my new school I glanced at the records (she was reading) from my previous school on which was written ‘doesn’t appear to have many friends’ and was hurt by this and couldn’t understand it at all.  Why would I need more friends?

Life was much harder in this new town and my difference led to me being bullied and quiet little mouse that I was, I accepted it, that is, for two years and then I fought back, having a ‘scrap’ with one of the bullies, which I lost – but won their respect and they never bothered me again.

Much later, when one of my children reached four, I had an internal scrap with myself, for this mouse needed to open her mouth to prevent a great wrong and it was at this time I invented the extrovert me.

Most people who know me, or think they know me – don’t know me at all.  To them I am the happy extrovert; outgoing, humorous, gregarious and they are comfortable with me – as I am with them.   Not very deep inside, the real me exists, I can count on one hand close friendships – I still don’t need anymore – I love solitude, quiet, thinking; hate parties, large gatherings at which I am expected to speak and hate noise.  Being the extrovert me, I am very happy having lived in its clothing for so long – being the introverted me, I am even happier.

Image: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Author: Lxowie


kaykuala said...

Good for you Anna! One has to be seen to be heard. Better yet to stand one's ground and be respected. Both very much accomplished by you. Very good rendition of a brave world in your poem! Great take!


Heaven said...

I can relate to being quiet as a mouse and an introvert ~ I was one myself but quickly learned the value of external marketing - showing others that you are friendly and can adjust to the environment. Thanks for sharing your background ~

Laurie Kolp said...

I'm with you on this, Anna... but ironically, I was more extroverted as a child than I am now.

Anonymous said...

Really loved your poem, and can so relate to your story.

Brian Miller said...

interesting how you invented this new you in the moment that it was needed the most...i did much the same late in high school...reinvented who i was...made myself scary so that the bullies would not come around...and because of a rough relationship....refound myself a bit a few years later...

Anonymous said...

It's so difficult to deal with expectation - on the one hand it is aspirational and a statement of confidence - but it also can be very limiting. Your poem describes the fear where the expectations are that you be quiet and meek. The fear quite palpable here. k .

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful Anna =)

I was and am very introverted myself. As a kid my cousin was my only friend and then when we moved apart I made friends with a girl whose family lived with us for a time, my later friendships occurred with people who didn't mind actively pursuing. I tend to withdraw quite easily though. Great job standing up for myself! It never got to the point of being physical for me.

(the new prompt is up)

Anonymous said...

Yes, I relate to this. My job entails public speaking, but I'm an introvert at heart. Nice write!

Claudia said...

i find it frightening sometimes how even in young age the people around us dictate how we HAVE to be and how we get bullied for being a bit different than the "Norm" whatever that is - really like that you stood up in the moments when it was needed..a touching write anna

grapeling said...

Anna, thank you for this write, and the exposition. I get it, I lived it too. ~ M

rallentanda said...

Loved this poem. It could have been written about me and there is so much more to say really..but I am going to let you do this for both of us:)

Björn said...

I so recognized myself being a quiet mouse for many years out of fear and bullying. At university I changed myself to be extrovert and talkative. But I kept an inner self that I rarely showed.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Anna .. loved the poem and the matching photo - the words for the mouse, the photo for the cat ..

and then your words - I'm sure are true of many ... I've become more open than I was for years ...

Cheers to you - Hilary

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Cats can make a mouse's life quite miserable. But mice have their rights too. March! Picket! Demand mousey freedom!

Mama Zen said...

I totally get this.

Truedessa said...

Hi Anna,

I enjoyed your poem and I understand your journey. I've always been a dreamer inside my own little world but, somehow found a way to live in both worlds. I still struggle with it at times. Have a beautiful day!

Akila G said...

A very brave rendition I must say, striving the real one to stay alive while we have may many facets for the world. I could relate with the process notes that you have shared here

vbholmes said...

Your poem cries out for isolation while your comment reveals your achievement of a balance between your desire for solitude and the necessity of having social skills. Sounds like a success story to me.

vbholmes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave King said...

So much in your bio that replicates mine. Uncanny, almost. So obviously I found this a fascinating post. Thank you for sharing so generously.

Jenny Woolf said...

I understand this feeling. But don't you think, too, that the extrovert you has now also become part of your inner self? I often think we become how we act, at least to some extent.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Thank you for your kind and welcome comments folks.

I now think many an introvert hides under extrovert apparel - and we like to write!

Dave ~ I think I kind of knew - it is something I see in your photo!

Jenny ~ I like the extrovert me as she is, in some respects, an extension of the introvert me...if that makes sense! (Just finished nightshift - brain under par.)

Anna :o]

Jyoti Mishra said...

a part of me is extrovert and another introvert..
it's like I flipped sides as per the situation.. may be that's what you do :)

Anonymous said...

Your mouse is - happily - not the one in the picture, Anna! Thoughtful reflections on extroversion and introversion.