If we are pack animals then what makes some of us into lone wolves? If you study the neurobiology of trauma it occurs as damage in the brain when the attempt to attach, bond or connect fails or is hurt, damaged or thwarted. We also build neural interconnections through stimulation and connection, and empathy and love help those positive soothing chemicals to flow and the flow of such chemicals is reduced or prevented by stress, harsh treatment and lack of heart to heart connection and empathy.
In my own life I became a lone wolf, it became harder to connect or trust others as traumas came to befall me and when as youngster and young teenager I was left alone a lot, which was a repeat pattern that flowed along a generational line. I did feel apart though, even before these traumas happened to me, growing up in a family where the center of attention was always pulled away and was outside of me.
When I met and married my husband I was coming out of over 15 years of trauma and deep aloneness. I got sober that year but it was still hard to connect to others and to myself. I had those years of trauma buried deep inside as well as a lot of grief and loss I had not dealt with so it was natural that I would feel alone and grativate to being alone. When you are getting sober and trying to break dysfunctional patterns its only natural you turn away from a lot of socially sanctioned behavior. For one thing you are aware of deep, darker, far more painful realities than (you believe) most people have experienced and known. If you have felt dispossesed in someway you also come to identify both with the dispossesed and as one of the dispossesed. This may be true as you may have been sidelined for the way you reacted in new relationships out of old relationship traumas or wounds. You may have been the intensely deep feeling one who witnessed a lot in the family or society, things that you felt disconnected from and to. And so you naturally go out into the world as a loner, opened to a more lonely vision, a vision that is not always wrong just because it comes out of trauma.
Being a lone wolf may have its advantages. You are less likely to identify with our get caught up in that ‘pack’ mentality that can over take large groups or collectives who act in damaging ways to outsiders or targets of shadow projections. Having suffered this or been on the receiving end of it, you know the cost. The price of belonging may be too high, if it requires the surrender of your unique vision or insight.
Which leads me to wonder is it possible to remain connected while still retaining that individual spark that may become so easily extinguished in some groups or collectives? Is it possible to be a lone wolf who finds a group of other lone wolves to identify with and experience a deeper relationship with, for surely we as humans like other animals who are relationally oriented need this kind of deep kinship and connection to survive.
These days I am aware of my lone wolf tendencies. I can see when my own mentality may try to set me up in opposition towards something that either I dont gel well with, or have a deep seated resistance to. I am aware that I don’t have to belong at the cost of sacrificing what I value, that I have a right to my values, just as others do and that I feel less of a lone wolf when who I really am and what I truly feel inside is respected and recognised by others. If others reject me, that is okay too. Maybe they would never in their worst nightmares know what it was like to live through what I have, for not everyone shares similar experiences. A lone wolf cannot survive forever alone, though. We all need connection. Our bodies need it, our souls need it and our hearts need it to truely thrive, not only survive.