loving connections and loneliness paradox



A Paradox – Part 2


Loving connections and loneliness forms a paradox for me. No matter how many loving connections I have in my life, I still experiences times of intense, profound, inner loneliness. It is only recently that I have decided to not attempt to run away from the feeling.

The thought crossed my mind in the past that maybe I was deficient. Maybe something was wrong with me. I wanted to be loved so badly. I wanted the experience and depth of loneliness to disappear. As a survivor who escaped a domestic violence (DV) relationship of decades, I am able to look back now with distance and further clarity.

Being a victim of childhood sexual abuse led me to the DV relationship with my former husband, Tom M. I thought I had found true love. Little did I realize then, I had no real and true idea of love. Love is more than words. From the victim’s standpoint, in reality, it is almost impossible to truly love someone you fear.

As the romantic relationship with Tom M. progressed, a part of me knew it was a disaster. I ignored the red flags and warning signs. Denial was stronger than I would have anticipated. It was more important for me at that time and age to have a relationship with a man than it was to become an independent, capable woman on my own first.

Courage is needed to be on one’s own. (See my previous post of: https://roadtofreedomandpeace.com/single-life-as-a-survivor-of-domestic-violence-and-other-forms-of-abuse-or-torture/.)

I was desperate not only for love, but also to be normal like my friends. Almost every person I knew was in a committed relationship. Many were getting married. Since I never had a normal, healthy environment as a child, I wanted to form one with a man even at the cost of being abused. (That made little sense to me once I began to heal.) I understood abuse. I understood someone telling me I was the cause of the abuse.

What surprised me though, especially looking back, is how subtle much of the emotional abuse was. My ex-husband was an expert at manipulation. He could spin words and actions to his benefit. So many times, I did something he wanted; but, I thought I wanted it. That sentence may be confusing. That is how life becomes in a DV relationship, especially if the person is a narcissist or a sociopath.

The loneliness I felt in my life was exacerbated as I was in relation with Tom M. I had wanted to give love as much as receive love. Unfortunately, this strong need to give and receive love made it even easier to subject me to further abuse. No loving connection truly existed except in my hopeful, tired, manipulated mind.

Alcohol relieved the intense loneliness at first. It dulled the pain. Self-medicating myself was a temporary solution to the huge problem of being in a domestic violence relationship which also included human trafficking and extreme abuse (spiritual, ritual abuse and torture). No amount of alcohol could relieve the PAIN of this situation where I found myself a psychological captive.

Fast forward years – decades – later. Alcohol is a problem for me. I give up alcohol and become sober. The realities of the abuse both my daughter, Megan, and I experience must be dealt with immediately. I do so. With help and support from others, life moves forward.

(To write any more of my story here would be redundant for my regular readers. If you are a new reader, please feel free to peruse my website and blog to read more of my story if you are inclined. It may be similar to your own or to someone you know.)

Of course, loneliness was apparent due to the separation of Megan and I by the courts and institutions. Worry for my daughter took precedence over any loneliness though. She was a teenager and needed a mom. I was not allowed to be her live-in mom. I seldom even saw her due to geographical miles. Years missed. It provokes extreme profound sadness within me as I write this and whenever I think about it.

Life moves forward. Megan is a young adult. She is on her own journey now. Loneliness enters the picture in my life more often – that deep, intense, profound loneliness.

“Loneliness is a rare gift unfolding endlessly.”

Carolyn Riker shared on “The Tattooed Buddha” in a post titled, “Loneliness is a Gift”.

I realize that I am not deficient. I am not the cause of my loneliness – not this type of loneliness. Loving connections cannot remove the loneliness I experience. Oh, loving connections help. Life would not have the same good quality without loving connections of all types in my life.

The intense, profound loneliness may be just a part of my life … maybe it is a part of your life … maybe this loneliness is a part of many of our lives. One can choose to use food or alcohol or drugs or shopping or TV or the Internet as ways to distract one from loneliness. A person may also choose to be with any one rather than to be alone in case the intense loneliness rears its head.

“The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom” by Henri Nouwen is one of the few books I have read often. On page 36, Henri Nouwen writes:

“The spiritual task is not to escape your loneliness, not to let yourself drown in it, but to find its source. This is not easy to do, but when you can somehow identify the place from which these feelings emerge, they will lose some of their power over you. This identification is not an intellectual task; it is a task of the heart. With your heart you must search for that place without fear.”

I choose to accept my deep, intense loneliness. It is my choice to experience it, witness it, and let it go knowing it may reappear. That is okay. In ways, I can call this loneliness my friend.

A song by Cloud Cult titled, “To the Great Unknown” makes me smile and think seriously at the same time. Life is filled with paradoxes. You can love and feel loved and feel a deep, profound sense of loneliness.

“Sometimes this life’s a lonely road, but you gotta find it on your own.

So build a happy ship, cuz this livin’ is a trip.

You gotta sing the kind of song that you like singing

…to the Great Unknown.

God gave you brains, now don’t go and drown in your own thinkings.

God gave you hands so you could pick up your broken pieces.

God gave you feet so you can find your own way home.

Let’s run away, just know your troubles tend to follow.

Pack your bags, just know that everything here’s borrowed.

The pathmaker is a trickster, so make your own damn road.

Oh, no, no, no. You never were alone.

Sometimes this life’s a lonely road, but you gotta find it on your own.

So build a happy ship, cuz this livin’ is a trip.

You gotta sing the kind of song that you like singing

…to the Great Unknown.”

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijmrsifCd6M & lyrics found on: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/cloudcult/tothegreatunknown.html)

Even further along on my healing journey, I thought if I did something, I could rid myself of this profound loneliness. Maybe if I entered into a healthy, romantic relationship, it would help. Maybe if I spent more time with friends, the loneliness would lessen or appear less often. Maybe if I kept busy with activities, the loneliness would evaporate. I know myself well enough that none of these were solutions. I also like solitude and free time. Slowly, I discovered that I could not escape from experiencing loneliness nor did I want to escape anymore.

The PAIN of intense loneliness is deep and strong; yet, it is slowly bringing me to sit with myself and with the Universe, God, Higher Power, Providence … I find it intriguing to go deeper within myself in silence. Occasionally the loneliness turns into such a deep, profound peace … Amazing to me! Maybe intense, deep, profound loneliness serves a purpose that one only discovers when one allows and accepts loneliness.

I have further to travel on my loving connections and loneliness journey. There are still times when I utilize ways to escape loneliness. These times may including unhealthy ways (such as overeating) as well as healthier ways. I am learning though and am progressing forward on my road.

Loving connections of all types are treasured by me. Gratitude fills my heart. Life, for me, includes loving connections and loneliness … a paradox. I am content with the paradox.

Are you?