This is something that lots of us deal with on a daily basis but always feel alone in our struggle. As such, this isolating experience can often make it difficult to fully recognise the trauma that we may have undergone as a child. You hear the word 'trauma' as a black and white, dramatically physical word, but it's more complex than that. Emotional trauma and abuse or manipulation are some of the most difficult things to recognise and look in the eye.
This is largely because our mind acclimatizes to living with a certain threshold of pain or suffering. And not even realise that we've been gritting our teeth the whole time. Well, something like that. Just because we survived it doesn't mean we've dealt with it. Or that we've learnt our lesson or are equipped to move on. The goal with therapy and mental health issues may seem like it's a quick fix or a 'cure'. But that's impossible. The mind is too nuanced and unpredictable for that. Therefore, we often need someone else or a third party to step back and tell us what they see. They may be correct, they may not be. But it's the hardest thing to be constantly stuck in our own minds and not realise that we're trapped in that perspective.
It may be that a grandparent or close relative died very early, and you never properly dealt with it.
In fairness, it's difficult for parents to know how far to expose you to ideas of death, and sometimes it can come too early or too late. Or the message is so confused with the desire to protect you that no one really has a solid basis of how to grieve. Happens to the best of us, but sometimes you can reflect on a memory and realise that it maybe wasn't the healthiest mode of grieving. Recalling sitting on the ground and crying and not speaking to anyone when I was younger seems to have aged poorly when I compare it with recent recollections of grieving.
My grandma passed away last year, and it was a time of bewildering emotions and thinking that I was fine. Why is it that we always think we're the exception to Feeling Things and emotional reactions? We're not, we're all human, and we all grieve in different ways.
Neglect is another killer.
Largely because you don't realise that you aren't just lonely. Loneliness is not abandonment. Remember that, friends.
To the insecure teen: your true love is out there for you
I can already tell that you guys are rolling your eyes at me. And yet, you clicked on the article, so you're ready to be convinced. Well, I'm only too happy to oblige in reminding everyone present that there is a Person for everyone out there. Not necessarily a one-size-fits-all soulmate that aligns perfectly with every aspect of your being, you don't even know yourself yet!
How could we expect someone else to?
What I'm saying is, we've all been so enduringly taught to subscribe to the need to find flaws in ourselves. Basically, any deviation from what has been established as the norm (straight white, rich male) is painted unalterably as a flaw. Sometimes, the flaw can be fixed; solved with some capitalistic consumption and confidence. Other times, however, we absorb into our personality a defence mechanism whereby we can protect ourselves with self-deprecating humour and a tendency towards isolating ourselves when things get hard. As a result of all of this, many of us have been conditioned to view our flaws as things people can use against us. Weaknesses that make us unloveable or undesirable, or fundamentally unworthy.
Hang tight, dear readers, because I'm about to go on a deep dive into everyone's diary entries from 2012 to the present… "I'm not good enough. Attractive enough. No one will ever know me."
"No one will ever love me."
Sound familiar? Don't worry, we all had that grunge emo phase where the world didn't make sense and we didn't know who or what we were in relation to the big machine of socio-economic players. To be quite frank, I probably don't fully know who I am even today.
What I do know, is that love is out there, always. It's not a finite resource, the fact that other people have it with different traits to you doesn't mean that it's not there for you too.
Like Karl Marx said, 'seize the means of love'.
Well, something like that. I didn't major in economics, lol.