Sometimes the loneliest people are the ones you would never suspect are lonely. How could someone surrounded by friends, active in social activities and successful in professional pursuits be disconnected from others or feel emotionally ALONE?
People who experience adversity in childhood often live this paradox. As children, they become so good at closing down to their environment and loved ones – just to survive – that as adults they never fully open back up…to anyone. Even when successful and seemingly well-adjusted, they continue to feel painfully alone and distrustful on the inside.
Continue to live the LIE of ALONENESS even after achieving so much
Here we explore how someone can continue to live the LIE of ALONENESS even after achieving so much socially or professionally. We’ll also see that unlearning this LIE can be easier than you think – because you already have in you the resolve and inner strength needed to move toward the TRUTH.
Eleanor had always been the hero and protector in her family. I’ve shared more of her story in a previous post.
As hard as Eleanor has found it to let others in, she is overflowing with compassion for others
As hard as Eleanor has found it to let others in, she is overflowing with compassion for others. She volunteers through her sorority to mentor young girls and to help them with their self-esteem. She’s a coach for junior high track and field. At college, she participated in a public-service program that identified troubled sixth graders and brought them to campus for mentoring and friendship. It’s work that Eleanor plans to continue.
“I want to be that person I wanted to have in my life and let them know that everything they need they have inside of them,” says Eleanor. She has become that person – The One for others in need.
She has always felt alone
Like many who experienced adversities in childhood, Eleanor always seemed remarkably well adjusted. No one would have guessed what she had lived through. Yet, she has always felt ALONE, never able to fully open up or give of herself completely, struggling to believe that anyone could really love and accept her for who she was.
She gave, but she could never receive. She was the strong one for others, but never allowed herself to lean on anyone else and kept even those she loved at arm’s length. No one could reach her all the way.
For the first time in Eleanor’s life, she felt a deep connection to another
But then she found her rock — someone she could truly TRUST. Her boyfriend and his mother became The Ones for Eleanor. They made her feel safe enough to open up and share everything she’d been through, becoming the family she’d always wanted. For the first time in Eleanor’s life, she felt a deep connection to another.
As someone who experienced adversity in childhood, what ultimately helped her was planting the seeds of TRUST and giving in to the desire to let others in. Buried underneath the LIE is always the TRUTH – that taking a chance to TRUST is the path to healing.
Eleanor’s secret weapon is her recognition that she could be vulnerable
Eleanor’s secret weapon is her recognition that she could be vulnerable with others now, because in truth, she had been vulnerable as a child for so long, and she came through it successfully — she came through it stronger. This taught her just how important it was to be trustworthy and trusting. She now sees how allowing herself to be vulnerable is a key to trust.
Please share in the comments below: how does the idea of being vulnerable with another person make you feel? Do you see how risking that kind of openness can change your life, and also that you can survive anything that happens due to the strength and resilience you developed as a child of domestic violence? Thank you for sharing.
A detailed overview of the ALONE Lie can be found in CHAPTER 5 (“Alone to Trusting”) of INVINCIBLE: The 10 Lies You Learn Growing Up With Domestic Violence, and the Truths to Set You Free.