As my healing journey continued, life presented more and more challenges that took me to my intense, deep loneliness. Here is the next part:
At one point in my life I went through a very painful situation in my life and I lost everything. I even lost the work I had promised God I would do. The pain, loneliness and grief hit like a tsunami. I couldn’t believe it was even humanly possible to endure such pain. I would work, come home and crawl on the couch unable to move. I watched TV till I was so exhausted I would just fall asleep.
Now, it was time to feel all the pain I hadn’t dealt with, all the pain and loneliness. I had done a lot of grief work from the trauma in my life, but nothing could have prepared me for this round. It opened up all the old wounds as if for the first time. So it was time to feel the loneliness, accumulated grief and the pain, not just the loss of The Farm. Ugh! It was beyond human. I stopped being in my body. I numbed out. Checked out and did anything I could to avoid it.
The thing I decided I had to do, was to spend TONS of time with God. I spent at least two hours in the morning and two hours at night. I’d pray, read my Bible, journal and write. Most important was I had to feel all the feelings that had built up inside of me for years. This is where I found my rescue and sanity. This is where I truly found healing. God is the healer and He loved me so much He wanted me out of the pain and loneliness. He was always there for me with each tear.
I had never dealt with my loneliness of childhood, marriage, life. I just kept going and going. Truthfully, it seems to have become like an old friend that and oddly, very oddly, it keeps me company in a strange way. We can come to accept it as part of our lives. We are not so lonely because we have this feeling that is always there, a place we have lived for so many decades. Strange isn’t it? Depression can do the same thing. We know it and know how to be in it.
Please know, if we don’t deal with accumulated pain, it waits inside our bodies. It waits for us to heal. It sits there and causes us problems in all areas – physical, emotional and mental.
What is Loneliness?
Webster defines loneliness as “Achy, devastating, unloved, empty. It is a sadness and belief that we have no friends or company…. (It is) isolation, a lack of friends/companions, forsakenness, abandonment, rejection…” It has depression in it and deep longing for people but sometimes we can’t stand the idea of being around people. Often we believe we are so bad, we shouldn’t connect to others. Or we have isolated ourselves so much, no one is around.
Loneliness is an aching, painful, gnawing and difficult feeling we can’t get away from no matter how hard we try. We can’t run from us because our feelings because they are in us physically. As one of my client’s said: “The trouble is I ALWAYS go WITH!” We can’t outrun what is inside of us.
Existentialist philosophers believe we are born alone, live life alone and die alone. They see us as always in the state of loneliness and aloneness. I pray that is not the case. What I do know is that being traumatized intensifies our loneliness and we have loneliness others have not experienced or understand. Why is this? Because no one is usually there for us. No one protected us when we were hurt and often we were hurt from the very people who were supposed to protect us. No one is there talking to us about the trauma, how to get through it or holding us while we cry. No one is teaching us how to do things, grow up or about how get through life. We seem to have to catch it.
I believe loneliness, along with fear/terror, is a core, if not the core of trauma. It is a silent root that hurts, devastates and twists around our pain. In our world, we are taught to hide being lonely. We are supposed to pretend and never show it. So we smile, pretend, avoid, don’t talk about it and put on our false self so no one will know. If you show your loneliness, then you prove to everyone something is wrong with you. You prove why people, we believe, don’t want you around. Which brings more loneliness.
Our deep insecurity, shame, defectiveness and hurt causes so much more loneliness because we distance ourselves from us, others and God.
Next: continuation of how loneliness affects us and how we can deal with it.