Sunday, June 16, 2013
Learning in Loneliness
I am a social butterfly. I love people for the most part. They are a drug to me I enjoy the interactions and I especially enjoy my close friends and family. I am not built to be alone, yet here I am alone again. I have been alone my whole life, never marrying and I have no kids. I have do not have many romantic relationships and the ones I do never last for very long. As soon as the relationship becomes more intimate than “just friends”, I run the other way, usually finding an excuse as to why it won’t work out. I self-sabotage the relationship before it even gets off the ground.
I realized that these actions are learned behaviors from my childhood trauma. I don’t trust many people and even the close friends that I do; I still have my guard up; always waiting and looking for any indication as to why I shouldn’t trust them. This creates problems, because any little hint of frustration from them or negative comment, I deeply internalize in a big way. This creates depression and insecurity for me and I automatically think they don’t like me and very soon the friendship will crumble. That is when I become unsure, needy and tend to act irrationally because of the fear of losing a very meaningful relationship/friendship in my life.
I have lived most of my life in a tremendous amount of loneliness. I wonder if I will ever be truly loved and if I will ever marry and feel valued. Being Lonely isn’t the same thing as being alone. I believe being lonely is inner emptiness caused by our pre-disposed image that we are not worthy of anything good, including loving friends, committed relationships and even God. Abuse survivors feel isolated in their emotions being closed people only letting a select few in. Those select few become our nucleus and we rely on them heavily which is not fair to them. Trust issues lead to our loneliness. If we trusted more we would have more people in our lives.
I was often lonely and depressed as a child and I have taken this into my adult life. As a result, I don’t have the ability to form social relationships in a healthy manner. I do get along with people but if they hurt me even once whether intentionally or unintentionally it is hard for me to trust them again, especially if they do not mean that much. I have a hard time speaking up for myself for fear that if I do that person will leave me. Therefore I sacrifice myself, my feelings, my emotions, and my dignity out of fear.
I have chosen a lot of the time to cut myself off from people because I am tired of being hurt by them. I have never been one to have a large number of friends. I can’t handle them. I feel socially isolated much of the times and my interpersonal skills sometimes suffer.
It has been noted that Childhood abuse creates two distinct interpersonal styles of relating: Both are dysfunctional and stem from the abuse. Adult survivors may adopt one of two interpersonal styles: avoidant or intrusive.
The avoidant style is characterized by low interdependency, low self-disclosure and low warmth. People with the avoidant style have few interpersonal ties and few friends. They are less likely to be involved in relationships with others and less likely to be married.
The intrusive style is at the opposite end of the spectrum. This is me for the most part. These People with the intrusive style have extreme needs for closeness. There is excessive self-disclosure, and relationships are smothering. This style is overly demanding and controlling of others. Both the avoidant and intrusive styles are dysfunctional and are likely to result in loneliness.
I recognized this monster early in my life. It is a chapter in my upcoming book “Shards Of Glass” called Monster’s in my Closet. I knew I had a dysfunctional way of relating to people when I was in middle school. I knew I had an addictive personality clinging on to those that met an unresolved emotional need within me. I knew my shortcomings then and the tendency for this behavior to resurface now, whenever I feel threatened or unappreciated feeling the friendship/relationship slipping away.
I wish I could just be “Normal” and relate in healthy manners with the people I love and care about. Every day is a constant battle to relate to people in societal healthy parameters. I don’t usually expect the friends I have to stick in my life and stay for long periods of time. I usually expect them to leave in tragic, gut wrenching ways leaving gaping holes in my life and in my heart!
My daily prayer is that I will continue to learn and recognize the new healthy ways to relate to people and the proper place to put those meaningful people in my life without relating to them unhealthily. I pray for healing and for discernment whenever I start to revert back into old patterns of relating. I pray for the courage and knowledge to step out of the negative patterns.
I don’t want to be lonely forever! I don’t want to be lonely one more day! I don’t want to suffer in loneliness and worthlessness for one minute longer! I refuse to let any past negative behaviors rule my present and my future! I am choosing to live in Victory and to live Positively with others from here on out! This is my Declaration to myself and the ones I love. I ask for forgiveness, understanding and patience as I move from ingrained relating patterns out into new uncharted waters! Stepping out in Faith that I can do this! I pray those friends who I have hurt and mistreated haven’t left me! But if they have, I trust that from here on out, my friendships will be healthy and meaningful.
I pray that I will never be lonely again!