I am beginning to see that my downward spirals into pain and depression often come on the back of feeling disconnected. I find the weekends particularly hard in this way as I seem to not have as many connections with others unless I plan to put something in place to connect. My aloneness becomes more visible to me. I find myself reaching for coffee and sweets to give me the sweet feeling that would be better coming from some connection with others. It also occurs to me I could look for better ways to take care of myself, say getting a massage or listening to music, or even connecting through going to a meeting.
Its not always possible to connect anyway with people ‘out there’ in common life on the deeper level many of us really need to, soul to soul. One of the consequences of having undergone trauma is that it takes us to a very deep place of aloneness, we can encounter extreme and deep existential feelings of aloneness, sadness, anger, confusion and paralysis that have a spiritual dimension. Also if we were left alone emotionally and physically as babies and small children, not responded to with loving touch and attention we feel and experience this energetically as a very deep void or emptiness which remains lodged in our cells and tissues and may be reawakened when we are alone even much, much later in life.
Also because such experiences actually bring more of the same towards us as we go forward we collect a pool of such experiences within which can affect us deeply. Some writers such as Pete Walker refer to this reseviour of deep depression as the abandonment depression. Its a deep dark pit of loneliness and suffering and I am beginning to think also (as current research is showing) that such feelings can be actually inherited from our ancestors via ancestral cellular memory which may go into what Carl Jung calls the collective unconscious and could be combined with more recent experiences in our own unconscious and contribute to the experiencing of very deep and painful feelings.
There is a certain amount of the abandonment depression that we do need to feel and unpack. It is a fine line between experiencing and becoming aware of what has affected us and allowing it to re-traumatise and keep us stuck in an endless cycle of abandonment. Becoming aware of how we can run from it in negative ways and abandon ourselves over and over again is also a key part of our healing. But there is also a time we will have to enter it and let it burn through us again as we bring it to consciousness and begin to throw it off. In this process we do need to find those who will validate what is occurring for us and in our superficial society that lacks a lot of depths at times finding this person or persons will be a journey fraught with complications, at least in my experience.
There is a quote that I heard many years ago “the way out is through, why will no one use the method?” I am not sure who said it and I am sure many do use that method but its important to remind ourselves that we aren’t just making things up and that healing is a process that takes time and may involve a degree of pain as we undergo the stages of releasing and realising what our bodies and souls have endured as we undergo that healing process. It’s not a sign of anything ‘wrong’ with us, but a sign of how much we really suffered and had to bury in silence.
Then we need to reach for the soothing that will be the salve for our wounds in the midst of this. We must learn what we really need at a soul level to feel connected again. We may need to speak or shout it out. We may need to get into bed and cry and hug our inner child. We may need to sit swaddled in blankets listening to a song that has resonance for us, we may find a movie that we relate to or a piece of poetry. We may just need to let ourselves collapse and surrender for a time. Or we may need someone to hold us lovingly and provide a container in which we can make the descent to our inner true self and all its feelings.
My feeling is that we must be able to name the abandonment depression. We need to take it seriously because otherwise I think it possesses us unconsciously and if not fully recognised will lead to illness in the body and profound psychic disturbance. What we most need is to answer the abandonment depression with love. We need to acknowledge it and find places where that acknowledgement is validated. For in it lies the key to our healing and to our re-membering of the broken shards and fragments of trauma that got split off in the course of our lives.