Loneliness

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    Vulnerability and a numbness to fear

    Hello I wanted to share some realizations I have had recently about vulnerability.

    Yesterday I felt vulnerable in a really specific way. Usually I feel invulnerable and I thought that this was normal. However, I think that it is actually a result of my upbringing and trauma. My parents always act invulnerable and hide their traumas constantly, and I think this rubbed off on me. What I thought was confidence is actually another layer of emotional armor and I am coming to terms with this.

    I was thinking about how especially lonely I am these days and how strange it is that I often ignore it except on special occasion. It made me think that I am just built different, but I no longer believe this is the case. I now think that I have built up a form of denial around my loneliness to cope with it. I am actually very sad about my loneliness and just don't allow myself to recognize it. What I thought was me being tired of others is actually me being afraid of others. I have a distinct fear of other human beings these days and my mind plays a trick on me by making me think I prefer it.

    When I realized that I was afraid of people, especially women I am attracted to, I felt this sudden rush of vulnerability overtake my mind and body. I grew sad, almost crying, and had to sit on a park bench and think. It was like a geyser burst inside of me, which was capped by this false sense of invulnerability. I hate being so alone and I hate being afraid of other people. I'm not socially anxious nor "tired" of others, I see them like predators due to my life history.

    This was a sudden and powerful realization, and that sense of vulnerability washed over me like a flood. Instead of trying to get away from the feeling or deny it, I just sat and felt it. It didn't feel good, especially in public, but I believe that it was healthy for me to feel. After all, if I am now having flashbacks and intense traumatic stress how can I be invulnerable? It could only hurt me to act invulnerable when I'm not, like I have been experiencing lately.

    This feeling of finally being vulnerable, even if just with myself, is bitter sweet. I would love to keep acting like these feelings aren't real, but I cant. This "invulnerability" is from earlier in my life when I had to survive trauma and a shitty situation. But now I have to be thriving and growing or else I will become inflexible and continue having sudden emotional issues that plague me for days or weeks.

    It was a weird feeling to realize just how afraid of people I am. From the outside I probably seem confident and sure of myself, but inside I'm afraid of a lot of things. Even just a young woman seeming to take an interest in me is enough for my body to react in some level of fear. I don't perceive it as fear in the moment, it feels like I'm frozen, but that is probably how I feel fear nowadays. I lock up and it feels like this barrier appears between me and the other person. Maybe my mind and body have found a way to block out the stress reaction taking place, but I realized in this moment at the park that it was like prey locking up before a predator.

    I suppose that my early life was filled with enough fear that I have this ability to feel it as something else. At some point your body just becomes numb to it, right? Well I think that is what has happened here. I have this kind of amazing ability to shrug off fear and only feel (false) invulnerability. I'm not really invulnerable, my body and mind just refuse to let me feel the depth of my vulnerability. And in doing this I become numb to reality, then suddenly in a moment end up crying on a park bench with only a box of donuts by my side.

    Have a nice night.

    #PTSD #Trauma #MentalHealth #Anxiety

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    Community Voices
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    Community Voices

    Making meaning of my grief

    <p>Making meaning of my grief</p>
    Community Voices

    Progress, parental volatility and neglect/isolation as trauma

    Hello. I wanted to post some more thoughts today.

    I was out walking around today and noticed things had changed a bit already. I think it is because I have been coming on here and talking about my past along with the flashback I had. It wasn't really clear to me before that I had never talked about these things so frankly to others who may have experienced similar. Basically, I had only really told friends who hadnt had the same intensity of issues or my ex who was just a blackhole for my emotions to get sucked into.

    It was apparent to me that my deep hatred for what my ex had done to me eased and was replaced with some level of human sympathy. Although I'm still not interested in talking to her, I feel less distraught when thinking about what happened between us. I feel like I am sensing slightly more of my surroundings, like the smell of a particular food near my apartment that I had not noticed before. Another thing that happened is that I could sense more clearly why I had my flashback and it had to do with fears of failure from earlier in my life.

    I had time to think about this fear of failure and realized a lot of it came from particular experiences in my childhood. My mother was a very cruel disciplinarian and often shouted things at me when I failed. At times she would call my a copout who would get nothing done in life with my attitude and that I was headed for failure. I realized the experience of an adult shouting this at me in anger during weak moments of my life took a heavy toll. The intense isolation she imposed on my childhood combined with over a decade of this kind of treatment was likely my initial trauma.

    Thinking about these sorts of ways she treated me makes me realize how diseased her mind really was and is. She stored up all of her discontent with herself and all of her anger, then poured it over me in a wild attempt to "help me". Of course, if she couldn't even come close to helping herself how was she ever going to help me? I began to grow and triage the moment I stopped living with her, and to this day believe that it was the best decision of my life. Thank God that my parents divorced when they did or else I would have lived with her longer.

    It has become apparent to me that I am unsustainably asocial. I spent an enormous amount of time during my formative years alone. When I think back to it, it seems like this endless expanse of isolation. My mother isolated me socially when I was younger due to the chaos of her own mind and her selfishness. Then I spent a long time outside of formal education due to my emotional volatility caused by this. Overall, I was never socialized like most people and spent huge spans of time by myself, thinking.

    To this day it's hard for me to socialize, although I am an empathetic person. Probably too empathetic, and this causes me to be easily used by others. I think being used and abused by my ex was a grievous rewounding that spurred on my recent seemingly PTSD stress responses. It's not a totally bad thing in some sense because now I at least know for sure that something is wrong in my head. However, I just wish it weren't so hard for me to connect with others at this point as it is really holding me back.

    I believe that the isolation of my youth may have been my greatest trauma. Even with how horribly my mom treated me emotionally and at times physically, this devouring void of loneliness and despair seems the most frightening for me to think about. I had more of these flashbacks when my abusive ex and I broke up, and I realized then that there was some kind of trauma in me from being alone. I could feel this creeping, cold fear toward being alone again. When I was young and removed from education I had no one to rely on emotionally. My brother had his own life and my father was simply too calloused from his own trauma. This experience of being totally and absolutely alone, no friends or romantic interests or people to make mistakes along seriously harmed my mind, I think.

    When I think back to this isolation I experienced first with my mom and then essentially with no one, it feels like I'm looking deep into an endless void. It's possible that my mind blocks out the memories of my thoughts and feelings from that time because they are too grim and stressful. I spent all day reading when I could, and the rest of the time I was probably disassociating. Who knows what kind of strange stress hormones and bodily chemicals were coursing through my veins due to this unnatural isolation. My life was like that so long that it was a miracle when I one day got me high school equivalence education and moved on from there some time in my twenties.

    It sounds weird when I put it like that, trauma from isolation. I guess it makes me wonder how someone can even be traumatized by this when usually people have trauma from violence or more direct things like that. However, I really do think it's true. Maybe it is just an unusual way to become traumatized because humans are so social. I was not and still am not that social, though. When I think about my chronic isolation from others, that even includes my adult life, it makes me sad and shameful. It always feels like other people find socializing to be the most natural thing in the world.

    Chronic isolation does something terrible to the mind. Although I have online friends and such these days, I always prefer to recede into my own head. People stress me out and I often don't have a filter or become very tired from physical excitement when around others. I think for a long time my mind blocked out how stressful other people are to me, and I can sense this more clearly these days. Spending so much time by myself and most likely being neglected as a child caused me to get locked up in my own head at all times, which does not seem to have gone away in my adulthood.

    I can't ever seem to stick to the same group of friends or social circle for a long time. Really, I have only had one semi-persistent social circle between my teenage years and adulthood. I never thought about it before, but this is probably a symptom of my mistreatment. It just tends to happen for some reason or another, I become established among some group of people and accepted. Then I find a reason to disconnect from them and delete my social progress. My ex who probably has CPTSD did this in even more extreme ways, but I realize now that it has defined my social life, too.

    It's very likely that these wild swings between isolated neglect and intense emotions that my mother (and father to a far lesser extent) put me through damaged my ability to interpret social reality. I am very sensitive to the emotions of others likely as a survival mechanism to interpret the chaotic emotions of my mother. It is also very likely that these cruel emotions she hit me with as a child extended into my infancy, and I often wonder if this was where her abuse of me began. If that were the case, it would make even more sense how I ended up this way. Of course, I can't remember these things and only have suspicions.

    I really wish I weren't like this and I have to say that I daydream at times about getting emotional revenge on my family. My brother is the only one who tried to protect me from things, although my father tried to make it up to me later in life as well. I don't think that I love my mother and I don't accept most of my extended family as family. I was clearly abused by a narcissistic monster as a child and almost no one did anything about it.

    Although I am glad that I have progressed emotionally as much as I have, I realize that I have been barely holding on for years. It's dangerous for me when the pressure grows as I seek out abusive familiarity or abuse my own body to fill any effort gap. It's simply unsustainable and I need to find a better path forward.

    Thanks and have a good day.

    #PTSD #CPTSD #Abuse #EmotionalAbuse #Trauma #ChildhoodAbuse

    6 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Why I often choose to suffer in silence

    I know it's a bad thing to bottle up your feelings, but I've been doing that my whole life. Initially, it was out of fear, but later on I did so because I didn't think anyone cared. I tend to minimize my problems a lot- and I know I'm not the only one. Most days, I can live with things, but sometimes I feel like I'm a complete outsider. Sometimes I don't miss certain connections, the next it all hits me. I'm not the only one who feels cheated out of a loving father or a good friend. It jus comes out at the worst times. Some will say that "it's better to have loved than lost", but to be honest in certain situations it feels like it's better to have lost than loved. I know I'm too much for people at times, maybe that's why I find myself on the outside. I'm always willing to make efforts for people who only want what they can get out of me. It explains why I feel like I may be one of those people who were meant to be alone. #MentalHealth #Depression #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #Loneliness

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    Community Voices

    Parenting older kids and teens #ChronicIllness #MentalHealth

    Hi, so glad to find this group! I have been a single parent most of my kid's lives. I was very active and they were my whole world after the divorce. I also worked and went to college. I tried dating and almost remarried and now I feel guilty and deeply sad about the time wasted during their childhood.

    Fast-forward and I have multiple chronic diseases along with cPTSD, major depressive disorder, and social anxiety. After the breakup, which resulted from my health being a deal breaker, we moved into a two bedroom apartment near all the amenities my kids need to be happy. I, however feel very sad and lonely.

    My teen daughters don't want to have family time. I try really hard and it usually ends with them arguing with their 11 year old brother and each stomping off to their rooms. I sleep in the converted dining room. The table is in the living space. I lived this way most of their lives, without personal space or a door. It is what I can afford and I am thankful. I'm used to the open space plan. I just feel like I'm always available, and yet the kids really dont need me anymore. In fact the girls don't come out but to eat something or go to their activities.

    I feel like my value lies in keeping the bills paid and the fridge stocked and coordinating all the appointments and activities. My health requires me to use my time and energy very carefully.

    As I've gotten sicker and realized I'm not going to get better and my kids will leave home, I feel such grief and loss. Like empty nest has come early..does that make any sense? I'm proud of them and want them to fly, but I hurt because I can't keep up now. This wasn't supposed to happen.

    I know these little tiffs and teens needing space is pretty normal. I am not transitioning very well. I was supposed to have graduated college, and keep busy working my career. That was the plan to defeat the loneliness and get me through. I have pretty severe memory loss and damage.

    Then when I met my ex fiance and dated for a long time, he knew my health and later after I gave up everything to move into our house he changed his mind and just snapped. We lost nearly everything to start over but it was better than the unexpected violence from him. So I had thought I was supposed to be married and work. Not so.

    All I have left is all I really wanted...my kids. And I don't feel like the best mom anymore. There is so much I wanted to give and cant. And what I have is all I can give and they are more interested in their own lives.

    Soon they will be gone and I don't know how to prepare myself or make the most of the time I have when I have so many limitations. They are so smart and often I am disappointed because they take advantage of my slowness or memory.
    I still have to discipline by allowing them to experience consequences.

    When I get down about all this it sets off my depression and really spikes the suicidal ideation I struggle with at times. I used to be able to combat it by saying my kids need me or want me..it's getting harder to believe that.

    Im hanging on for dear life to the simple things like, they need me to keep the roof over their head and groceries. They need me to drive when I am able. They need a planner and coordinator. And I think I'm terrified of being abandoned when I'm no longer useful. Because it's happened so many times in my life.

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    Community Voices

    INDEED HERE WE GO AGAIN!

    INDEED YES INSIDE THAT DARK ROOM AGAIN DAM I MUST DO BETTER THAN I'M DOING!
    INDEED SO MUCH HAPPEN TO ME NEVER WHY YES NEVER WHY!
    INDEED HOW I LET THIS GET ME BACK TO THAT HELL
    PLACE THAT DARK ROOM THE LONELINESS JUST MAKE IT STOP !
    INDEED NO WAY THIS IS HAPPENING TO ME AGAIN GOD
    I KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THIS IS MY LIFE NOW!
    INDEED THAT DAM SCHIZOPHRENIC GOT ME UP AND HEARING MAD VOICES MAD PAIN THAT GO WITH THIS
    PROBLEM I INDEED HAVE!
    INDEED THANK YOU FOR THIS PLATFORM IS DESIGN JUST FOR US FOR ME FOR ALL!
    INDEED NO BAD VOICES THANK GOD FOR THAT IT'S JUST I'M STILL BEATING MYSELF UP ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO ME TO MY MOTHER SERGEANT C H DE-LAIN PASSING AWAY FROM THE CANCER THAT MADE ME FEEL BAD INSIDE TO WITHNES THE PAIN SHE WAS SUFFERING FROM CANCER TO WITNESS WHAT CANCER CAN DO TO YOUR OWN MOTHER SERGEANT C.H DE-LAIN SUFFERING FROM THE CANCER THAT MADE ME FEEL BAD INSIDE TO WITHNES THE PAIN SHE WAS SUFFERING FROM CANCER!
    INDEED THE WOODS HEAR ME SCREEN OUT MOM DO NAME, SO I INDEED KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THIS IS MY LIFE NOW AND FOREVER GRATEFUL FOR THIS BEAUTIFUL PLATFORM CALLED THE MIGHTY COMMUNITY!
    INDEED MAD TEARS TO CRY MAD PAIN TO TAKE AND MAD PRAYERS TO MAKE!
    INDEED THE LIGHT CAN'T SAVE THE PAIN I GOT MYSELF IN!
    INDEED MY FRIEND'S UP HERE THANKS OK I WILL BE GOOD OK NOW PEACE AND LOVE INDEED 1

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    Community Voices

    Incapable of even moving

    Some days are better than others but I live alone miles and miles away from home because its the only place were I’ve ever found a decent paying job. But the loneliness the waiting to sleep all day wake up go to the bathroom and go back to bed I can’t even eat so I’ll be 2 days no food whatsoever and its nothat I don’t want to i feel Like I physically can’t and its to overwhelming.

    Community Voices
    SUZEY

    Trying to start my story...trying to find the core of it all ##PTSD #Depr

    I thought about the connection between my childhood and now. I can remember things I don't want to think about. Sometimes when it is quiet and the wind is blowing I feel the loneliness I felt as a young girl. I never felt I fit in, my family was not there for me and the kids at school reminded me I didn't have a father. His name was Darren, he loved to be mean to me. I remember another boy, Steven,## wrote a story about our school being bombed, but lucky that I ate all of them ( I was pudgy in 4th/5th grade). He said sorry later that day, but well it didn't help. The quiet on the playground after school was haunting and I do not know why. I was afraid to walk to the other end alone. I was always afraid. I was afraid to walk anywhere alone. I would hide when cars came close to me. I was always on high alert, waiting for something bad to happen. My parents divorced when I was 6 months old. My mother was a narcissistic raging women. She scared me and I was also afraid to leave her side. She was seldom there for me, she went out all the time in the evening leaving my sister and I alone. I would look outside the window in a daze of terror. I always felt the same as an animal under the spell of headlights, terrified and frozen. This is how my childhood began. Something happened that I have pushed out of my head. This was the beginning of years in various foster homes, about 8 to be exact. I have never felt safe. I try to tell myself I am but I still sometimes feel like that animal looking into headlights...I know it is over my childhood and I think I know I am safe. but I have to tell myself that all the time...Thanks for listening..

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    Community Voices

    I'm new here!

    Hi, my name is GraceMS. I'm here because I've lived with MS for 35 years. I've lived alone on a farm in a rural area for the past 10 years. Because I have very little energy after 3:00 p.m. (on good days), I'm finding myself dealing with loneliness in the evenings and with people without M.S. who "just don't get it". Perhaps this connection will be helpful.

    #MightyTogether #MultipleSclerosis

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