Loneliness is a common experience. Everyone knows what it is like to feel lonely. The aloneness of isolation is the deep dungeon of loneliness. Some choose isolation as a means of dealing with the aftermath of trauma but aloneness is counter-intuitive to the social nature of human beings and it is chosen only, in desperation. Isolation is an imposed condition that some are conditioned by and become accustomed to. It is imprisonment and no matter the circumstance that forms the prison-cell, aloneness is a highly painful condition. There is no joy in isolation and complete abandonment ends in madness.
Silence roars in long-empty rooms and time becomes a concept dismissed, in a world that exists only, inside of one head. The need to hear another’s voice and be touched gnaws on every fiber of being, when living within the abstract state of abandonment. Aloneness is self-existent fog, where all life experience blends and co-exists in the present moment. Memories and perceptions fill the vacuum of isolation, as they soothe and then haunt the lonely and confined prisoner. A child who grows up in this state is a haunted child, who trusts no one but themselves for soothing. As they travel though life, they carry the aloneness with them, seeking it out as their normal state of being. They seek self-solace in the false promise of splendid isolation but the gnawing need for another is never satisfied. Even though they may not be able to name that need or define it, the basic human hunger for connectedness remains.
I was a neglected child and I know the torture and the torment of isolation, well. I have come full circle and in my later years and I’m experiencing isolation once again, due to failing health. When hard things come into my life, it is natural for me to retreat back to the state of aloneness I knew as a child and give myself comfort. I learned early in life not to depend on anyone and I only trust others as much as I am able to trust myself to keep myself safe from them. As I face the specter of failing health and fading independence, my natural instinct is to crawl inside of me and stay. I have spent more days of my life than I can count in the dark cave of self, commonly called depression. However, I’m not really alone and I have learned a better way of living and enduring isolation. By my faith in Jesus, I rise above my circumstance and my limited perception of it, as I seek God’s perspective on me and my problems. I pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I open my Bible and as I read, I listen with spiritual ears for direction and insight. As if beside God, I look down on the good and the evil that I am subjected to and over which God reigns. I begin to see things much differently and I realize that even as a small child, I was never alone. My Father was there watching over me and it was because of Him that I survived. From before the world was founded, He had a purpose for me and my life. He even used the evil of neglect and isolation back then to mold me and conform me to His image, into the woman He designed me to be. He is doing the same thing in the isolation I am enduring now. I listen to His still small voice and feel the warmth of His presence. I am refreshed and joyful. I praise Him and lift up my requests and then I begin to pray for others. I rise and instead of waiting for someone to reach in, I reach out. I write, I make phone calls, send cards, send emails, and before I know it, I’m caring for others. My aloneness is consumed and I am replenished by Love and restored to a right attitude of joy.