Lost in Loneliness

One of the most challenging parts of dealing with trauma and the effects of PTSD is the overwhelming sense of loneliness that one continually faces. The isolation that is brought on by the thought “I am the only one who feels this way.” A loneliness that is brought on by the thought “No one understands what I’m going through.” The loneliness that is brought on by the belief “I have to be strong, so I can’t ask for help.”

loneliness femaleA loneliness that is brought on by the feelings “I can’t trust anyone.” The loneliness that is brought on by the belief people will see me as a “monster or evil.” These feeling invade our very soul and the view of ourselves so much so that we find ourselves living a lonely, isolated and friendless life. Desperate for how things used to be, but never having the courage to break free from our loneliness. Thus, we never find a new acceptance for who we are now.

I found this poem on poemhunter.com written by Mohammad Skati, and I think it sums up what many of us feel as we deal with our loneliness.

                                                                 I Feel Alone

“There is nothing pretty like my loneliness Simply because I feel alone and lonely anytime, anywhere, and everywhere… There is no doubt that I am alone in every direction I turn to and I am lonely in the opposite direction… The more I look forward to encouraging myself, the more I find myself greatly alone and lonely… I can explain some parts of my loneliness, and I can’t explain some other parts fully… It’s not bad to be alone for a while, but It’s bad to stay alone forever and ever… I feel as if I am lonely in this world Simply because everyone looks for one’s benefits… To be alone and to be lonely Mean to suffer greatly Simply because one needs others to listen to any time… I feel alone… I feel alone… I feel alone” https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/i-feel-alone-10/

As I read this poem, I was reminded of Job’s cry over his frustration in not finding God.

“But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him.
When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. Job 23:8-12
 

This cry is also echoed by David in Psalms 21:1-2.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.

There is no crueler feeling than to feel we are abandon, that we suffer alone, and  feel secluded from all others.

lonliness maleThese thoughts are often the cry of our hearts. We face so much pain and suffering, we proclaim we suffered “more than our fair share.” We cry out because our hearts are lonely and we feel as though God has abandoned us. There is no crueler feeling than to feel abandoned, that we suffer alone, and feel secluded from all others. One of the things I learned from my inpatient treatments is no matter how I feel, I’m not alone. While my experience may be different from others and the circumstances of my trauma is unique to myself, the effects of trauma are the same for all of us. I struggled with wanting to know where God is, why God allows evil and suffering and why people die in war. My struggles are no different from the struggles Job, and David faced as they asked the same questions of God. What I find interesting is Job never receives an answer to his questions on why he was suffering and in the midst of David’s trials he had to wait patiently upon the Lord. I know what it is like to stand in the darkness of trauma, to be confronted with the questions of why, where and how and yet never seem to find the answers to these questions. I know the experience of the blackness that loneliness brings into our lives, the hopelessness that ensnares and robs us of even our desire to live. I also see the peace one can find in knowing God has not abounded us. Job says that while he is unable to find God, God still knew where Job was and the paths he takes. David finds peace knowing that in his anguish God still exists and He is enthroned as the Holy One.

Finding Peace with God

I wonder where you find yourself today? Are you lost in your struggles? Do you feel desperate? Are you living without hope? Is your loneliness so great that your only hope now resides in taking your own life? Is suicide your only remaining answer? My friends, I want you to know there is hope! You can find meaning and acceptance of who you are now. You can turn away from your suicidal thoughts and behaviors just as I turned away from my suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Where does this ability come from? It comes from many different places, individual and group therapy, it comes from family and friends, it may even come from medication. It certainty come from within when you make a commitment to seek healing for yourself. But ultimately, real and lasting healing only comes through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Here at Healing The Storm Ministry our belief is when all is said and done. It is our relationship with Jesus Christ that will deliver us from the life-controlling power of our trauma. The Apostle Peter writes in 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” If you want to know how to cast your cares upon Christ and experience the life-changing power of Jesus Christ. I encourage you to check out Billy Graham’s website “Peace with God” https://peacewithgod.net

 

 

SPIRITUAL INJURY

Spiritual injury is caused by a contradiction that stems from a belief that did not accurately capture what was happening in our lives at the time the event happened. – Victor Scott “Spiritual Injuries: A definition” victorscott.org

      Psalms 69:1-4; 16-20 NLT

Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck. Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire; I can’t find a foothold I am in deep water, and the floods overwhelm me. I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me. Those who hate me without cause outnumber the hairs on my head many enemies try to destroy me with lies, demanding that I give back what I didn’t steal.

Answer my prayers, O Lord, for your unfailing love is wonderful. Take care of me, for your mercy is so plentiful. Don’t hide from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in deep trouble! Come and redeem me; free me from my enemies. You know of my shame, scorn, and disgrace. You see all that my enemies are doing. Their insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. If only one person would show some pity; if only one would turn and comfort me. I am suffering and in pain.

In these verses we see David struggling with a broad sense of despair. He is overwhelmed in his circumstances and is on the verge of total despondency. He is so overwhelmed that he describes his emotional state as sinking deeper and deeper into the mire, of being consumed with the floodwaters. He cries out for help only to become exhausted in his effort. He literally cries as he waits for help from God. Yet God’s support does not come. In Verses 16-20 David is convinced that God love is unfailing, His mercy is plentiful and He is able to redeem David from his misery. Yet he cries out to God and reveals his brokenness, he calls out that he is in deep trouble and is suffering emotional pain. He wishes there was just one person who would show some type of pity upon him. In these verses, David is revealing to us the extent of his spiritual injury, which has taken over his life. Continue reading “SPIRITUAL INJURY”

Hiding From the Dragon

 

Once the door was closed I was in total darkness and I was unable to see out. However,  I could still hear the dragon coming

When I was a child I had a recurring dream that I was trapped in a large room in a castle. This room was long and wide. There was nothing in the room except an old metal lantern that sat in the middle of the floor. The room was sterile, the floor was cold gray granite and the walls were roughhewed rock. Lanterns were spaced evenly on the walls around the room. Unlike the lantern on the floor, the ones on the walls were dimly lit. The room was cold and silent and I was alone and the dimness reminded me just how alone I really was. I remember in my dream hearing in a distant hallway the sound of a very large dragon walking towards the room. I heard the giant tail of the dragon dragging on the floor. From time to time the dragon would breath heavy and I could hear him snort. I remember being afraid and looking around for a place to hid but not finding anywhere. As the dragon came closer to the room, I looked at the lantern sitting on the floor. So I made the decision to crawl inside the lantern. There was barely enough room for me to fit. Once inside I had to twist myself around so I could close the door of the lantern with just two fingers. Once the door was closed I was in total darkness and I was unable to see out. However, I could still hear the dragon coming.

I vividly remember this dream like it was yesterday, although in reality it’s been 40 years or more. I can nevertheless remember just how lost and afraid I was. The fear and loneliness I felt was not only experienced in my dream but also carried over to when I woke up. I remember the feelings of desperation, loneliness, and the fear of having no one to care for me or rescue me from the dragon. Looking back upon it now, I realize the dream had to do with the physical and emotional abuse I was suffering as a child. Yet 40 years later, I can still profoundly recall the feelings of loneliness that the dream brought.

Continue reading “Hiding From the Dragon”