Friday, March 29, 2013

Loneliness

Merriam-Webster defines "lonely" as "being without company, cut off from others, sad from being alone".  Loneliness is described as "producing a feeling of bleakness or desolation."

I am lonely.

I have a beautiful family, friends, am part of a church community, have a therapist and spiritual director, yet I am lonely.  How is that possible?

I wonder if I know how to have true, intimate relationships.  Of course those within therapy and spiritual direction are real as I bare all and get real.  However, that has taken time to build trust and maintain it.  But what about my husband?  My friends?  The womens group at church?  Am I able to give of myself in those relationships in a meaningful way where I am able to receive as well?

We know that abuse seriously breaks a trust.  Intimate relationships are very difficult from that point on because of the fear of betrayal.  For some, it is never possible.  For others, it is but it takes work to put one's self out there and being vulnerable.  Pain is pain, but somehow the fragility with which we lives makes us ultra sensitive to that sort of betrayal.  If we experience it after working so hard to gain it, it is like a glass house that shatters.

I feel as if I'm living in that glass house, seeing what is going on around me, interacting through the windows, keeping somewhat of a safe distance.  Some days I go to the window, and maybe even open it and have real dialogue.  The extreme sensitivity I feel towards criticism and rejection causes me to recoil from time to time.  At times, if it is severe enough, my glass house comes crashing down, hurting anyone who is near it, to say nothing of what it does to me inside the house.

I have felt alone, especially in the early days of working through the abuse.  I felt as if no one else understood my pain or what I was going through  However, this is different.

I feel lonely.  I hope you don't.
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