Repost from old board: Loneliness (m)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Repost from old board: Loneliness (m)
10
Mon, 03-24-2003 - 9:12pm
Have any of you tackled loneliness and lived to talk about it? This may very well be the central issue for me but connecting is difficult to say the least. I think I touched the tip of the iceberg today though. OUCH.

So, have any of you dealt with this in a significant way? Any pointers or words of encouragement?

TIA,

Gail




Edited 3/24/2003 10:33:19 PM ET by cl-opal45

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 03-26-2003 - 6:19pm
Lonliness is a big problem for me. I have a large family, but I have absolutely no friends. Not even aquaintances or coworkers to talk to. I have a big problem with making friends and I think it is because I feel like all people, men and women alike, just will be interested me in a sexual way or not at all. I haven't really started working on this yet. I plan to work on it when I go back to school. Right now, I don't really have the opportunity to meet anyone.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 03-25-2003 - 8:24pm
Yes, you did go off the point. Just think on it maybe. Perhaps you'll see something. Try not to sensor "why" you may have felt this way.
Avatar for chameleonic
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Tue, 03-25-2003 - 4:48pm
I don't know. I was going to say no because why would I want to relate this image back to when I was a child? Then the more I think about it, the more unsure I am. In one of the other discussions free_girl said something that really struck me, about be able to rattle of details of her past. Yes, certain things do get easier to talk about. But there are some stuff that I am just completely numb to. This is one of the reasons why I struggle with completely accepting and believing that what happened was real. I have certain memories and the feelings are just locked up. Ironically, it's the most clearest memories that are the ones I have not been able to unlock my feelings on.

I'm going of the point here...

Kari

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 03-25-2003 - 1:28pm
Kari, I think you're right on top of it. One question and you may need to really listen within for this. Consider this image you have, you can relate to this image and the feelings you had as a child, can't you?

I have so much more to say after you answer that. I'm not holding my answer hostage, I'm just trying to help.

Avatar for chameleonic
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Tue, 03-25-2003 - 1:04pm
Thanks for clarifying - helped a lot.(m)

It's weird cuz I knew what you were talking about but I was struggling how to comprehend it and put it into words. Language thing. One thing I agree with is that it is raw.

I'm gonna ramble here so bear with me...When I first read your post, I was like suprised I guess when you spoke of that lonliness. From your posts, I don't see any of that or if I do, it's usually brief and therefore I assumed it wasn't a problem for you. I think at the time I was thinking of the "outside" lonliness that all of us feel. Now that I really know and understand that what you are talking about is that deep lonliness - it kind of changes my way of thinking or something. I guess what's running through my mind right now is ... some kind of connection in a way. Someone out there knows and/or feels that lonliness that I have felt. I have tried and tried to run from it, bury it...anything. It always seems to find it's way back to the surface eventually. It seeps through everything.

When you said you "probably may not be able to break out of this lonely feeling and connect more with people until I connect with the deep, hidden loneliness I felt as a child" - I cringed. Because I agree with it. It makes sense and I have to do that as well. I felt my heart sink. I can't fathom overcoming that. I can't even see going near that issue.

Not too long ago I was sitting in front of my computer. I was feeling strange inside and felt an urge to send an email to my therapist. Opened up my mail and before I could start typing, I found myself closing the window without sending her anything. I thought about calling someone that I'm very close to but I couldn't get myself to do it. Went to check my snail mail and found a postcard from a pretty close friend who was traveling in Spain. I was happy he had thought of me and sent me a postcard. At the same time I was feeling very lonely. I found myself thinking that I have a lot of friends. I have 2 or 3 very close ones that I can confide in. I get out of the apt, I do things, I have a job and life is ok. Why am I feeling lonely still? Where is it coming from? I just didn't get it. There was just something I couldn't put my finger on and this was it. It all just makes sense now, to me anyways...

There's an image that I have from time to time and lately it's been popping up more. I've tried to interpret it a couple times but there was always something not right about my interpretation. My old T and I talked about it a couple times and she tried helping me interpret it but again, it was never quite right. I've tried bringing it up with my current T but it's a language thing. I get stuck for words and the more I try to describe it the farther off I seem to go.

What I see is me just hanging there. Sometimes I'm climbing, sometimes just hanging and sometimes slipping. I don't have any tools or rope hanging on to me to prevent me from falling off completely. The last month or so my grip has felt excruciatingly painful. I'm hanging on by my fingernails. I feel like I don't have the energy to keep on going but I somehow manage to keep going. I can't tell how far up or down I am. The last two days have been pretty good days and I've gotten a burst of energy that I haven't felt in a very long time. Inside, even though I feel like I'm hanging on better, I feel sad. Somehow and somewhere inside of me I have a feeling of dread. I can keep on climbing as far as I want, as short as I want, as fast or as slow as I want but I'm not gonna get out of where ever I am. The only way out is by going to the bottom. For some reason that scares me. Terrifies me. Raw and untouchable.

I don't know how to end this post because I'm feeling overwhelmed at the moment. Gail, I hear you. I'm sorry I don't really have any solutions or suggestions on how to get through or deal with this. But I thank you for bringing this up cuz it's made me think and in that process I'm understanding a little more of where I am.

Kari

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 03-25-2003 - 12:51pm
OMG, what a session! (m)

We dealt with loneliness more than I think I ever thought possible. It was very draining but I feel like so much was accomplished. I need to let things soak in a bit though before I can post more. I just wanted to share at least that.

Thanks,

Gail

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 03-25-2003 - 6:21am
Kari, an answer to your question. (m)

I'm talking about the deep loneliness that we may have felt which allowed these perps to take advantage of us. The loneliness that made it preferable for me to continue being abused rather than to end it.

You see, my dad died when I was 6. That left me with an emotionally unavailable mother and a toddler brother. Outside of my father, I was emotionally barren even though I had clothes, food and a good education. I'm a LOT like you where I can also feel alone in a crowded room. My T reminded me that the first time I came in I told her that I wanted to get out of this lonely feeling I have. Even though I have tons of friends and three wonderful children, I still feel empty and incomplete...I guess disconnected, ya know?

So the theory is, I probably may not be able to break out of this lonely feeling and connect more with people until I connect with the deep, hidden loneliness I felt as a child. That one has been buried so well and for such a long time that it's really hard to touch. It's so raw.

I hope this helps. Thank you for your thoughts.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Tue, 03-25-2003 - 12:32am
Actually, I think this makes perfect sense. At OA, people often talk about being around a lot of people and still feeling lonely. I think loneliness is more a state of mind than it is about whether you have people around you. For me, it's about how much I'm willing to let those people in.
Avatar for chameleonic
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Mon, 03-24-2003 - 10:33pm
"Have any of you tackled loneliness and lived to talk about it?"

Can you expand or change the wording of this question? I mean, I know what you are asking but something about it is just throwing me off. I know you are not talking about the "normal" loneliness that most people feel at some point or another. I'm assuming you are talking about the real bad loneliness but again - I need to hear more about what loneliness you are struggling with or maybe your "definition" of loneliness.

I struggle with it more than I'm willing to admit. I guess I feel kinda stupid cuz I hang out with friends and stuff but I still struggle with loneliness. I haven't focused on it cuz I've been focusing on other issues and because I don't know if I want to go there. I also feel like I don't have the right to focus on that issue because I choose not to hang out with people a lot, I choose not to go to big gatherings and I choose not to go to family functions if possible. I think another reason I struggle wiht identifying lonliness is because I don't know how to distinguish it from depression. I used to think getting in a relationship would resolve the loneliness problem but again and again it didn't work. That's one of the reasons why I haven't gotten into another relationship with anyone.

Aiyee...confusing. I don't know if any of this helps in any way but I feel like I'm just rambling more than anything.

Kari

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Mon, 03-24-2003 - 9:40pm
I certainly haven't tackled loneliness, but I think I've begun to address it. For awhile there, I was so anxious I couldn't pray. I was going to AMAC and OA regularly (and the people at AMAC are in 12 step programs, too--some of them, anyway). So I shared my trouble with them and asked for their help with it. As I listened to them talk about their relationships with God, I felt an openness inside that felt like praying.

As I have worked through the 12 steps at OA, I've had to re-examine my relationship with and understanding of God. One of the things I've learned is that when I ask my HP (higher power) for help with something, often the answer to my prayer comes in other people's voices. Something someone posts to the board, something someone at an OA meeting says to me, something someone at AMAC shares, and often times something one of my kids says to me. For me, this feels like God wants me to be with other people. It's like a snowball rolling downhill. I find myself spontaneously asking people over for dinner or to go somewhere, or for help when I need it. I know this might sound crazy, but I believe that God wants me to be with other people. It was my parents who wanted me isolated, to protect their nasty secrets. I always thought God had abandoned me, but I'm finding him again in other people, and that really motivates me to *do* something about my loneliness.

Probably not the kind of answer you were looking for, but this is where I'm at. :o} Hope it helps!