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Standing in the midst of frustration
As a survivor, I often find myself standing on the edge of a mountaintop. It seems like the scenery around me is beautiful, lush and majestic. But…what about friends? People? “Is there anybody out there? Out there. Out there. Out there.” My question echoes among the red poppies and patches of sunflowers laid out in the valley below. It ricochets off mountainsides and rolls down on hills of confusion and sadness. “Am I really that alone?” my mind asks. If the previous sentences resonate with something you have felt before, just know you are not alone. Many people that have not been abused, find it difficult to relate with those who have been through it. Instead of putting a barrier between “us” and “them”, we must also exercise empathy to those who don’t show it to us. They are just not aware of how to be there for people who have been severely traumatized. Not all people that have not been abused lack empathy and no all who have been abused have empathy. Actually in my experience during this healing period, I have found that sometimes the meanest people to receive criticism are those who have been through the same. “I went through it too…so what?” “I have been through way worse, she’s such a crybaby.” I have said all of these things in order to extend grace and empathy to you. You are not alone in loneliness.
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Loneliness. Let’s break it down, shall we? Lone in English is defined as solitary or being alone. Li in Chinese means reason. Ness is a suffix, and are added at the end of words to describe the state of something. Solitary. Reason. State. Maybe we as survivors have been looking at loneliness the wrong way all this time. No one likes loneliness, mind you. That is a fact. However, we often confuse loneliness with isolation. Both are related but not the same. Isolation is not our topic today, but if there’s anything I can say about this is that is one of the most destructive things to a human being. Loneliness can be uncomfortable for many because when you are alone, you are so with your thoughts. Most of the time these thoughts are not exactly the best in the market. Take advantage of the state of being alone, to apply reason in it. Imagine loneliness is like a city. It’s more enjoyable to explore a city when you have people around you, however, there are some disadvantages to traveling with too many things. Chances are you will be able to focus more on the details around you if you don’t have the constant chitter chatter of your friends. Traveling light provides the ability to understand things better. So don’t be intimidated to walk on cobblestones of uncertainty, get to know yourself during this season. I believe most of society wouldn’t be so fearful of solitude if they loved themselves. When you love yourself you don’t have to resent the fact that you’re alone.
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Balance in Loneliness
I am in no way, shape, or form saying that being alone all the time is beneficial because it’s not. But there are times in life where it’s necessary to be alone in order to mature emotionally, physically, and intellectually. Instead of resenting the fact that you may feel misunderstood, try to get to know yourself. There is a lack of self-awareness to the point where sometimes people don’t even know the basics of themselves. During my healing process, I make several lists. I often try to do it every now and then. These lists look like this:
- What makes me happy?
- What makes me sad?
- What makes me angry?
- What makes me feel rejected, insecure, or hurt?
- Is there someone I haven’t forgiven yet?
- When was the last time you forgave yourself?
- What is your favorite color?
- How do you want people to treat you?
- What are things you will not tolerate when it comes to people treating you?
- What are my unhealthy patterns in relationships etc.?
Getting to know yourself when others seem to distance themselves from you may be the biggest favor you might ever do for yourself. Don’t stay there though! Reach out. Even if it’s uncomfortable. Push your pride aside and reach out to your friends every now and then because you may never know what someone may be going through. There should be a balance between solitude and by being surrounded by others. I hope you’ll be able to meditate on this and find something useful for your journey.
And remember…you are beautiful
PLQ Survivor and Ambassador