We all know him. People are very afraid of her and do not talk about it. In fact, very few people are aware of it at all. Still, they instinctively run away from it. Those who know him will do anything to avoid him. They are afraid to experience it again after experiencing how uncomfortable that feeling can be.
When the possibility of exploring them was mentioned, they flee like the devil from incense. But no matter how much we run away, this annoying feeling goes after us. The only way we can get rid of it is to recognize it – cognitively and experimentally. When we allow ourselves to be overwhelmed – only then will they leave us.
What is it?
People often describe it as a kind of emptiness in itself (pointing to the chest), as pain, deep sadness, chasm, black hole. It is difficult to describe this feeling in words. It is often associated with anxiety and people describe it as a “black hole in itself”.
Sometimes it is a vague experience with depressed gray, and sometimes we have a feeling as if we are not complete, as if we have lost something inside. It can occur in combination with a feeling of deep loneliness. We have all tried it once, so everyone will discover it best for themselves. People in general are not aware of this feeling, as it is often hidden under loneliness, and we experience it only in moments when we are alone, in silence, without distractions from the environment.
This feeling of emptiness that people describe is not a common feeling of loneliness. It’s an old feeling and it really has nothing to do with the present and the current situation of life, but with the past – your childhood.
What are we all doing to avoid a painful vacuum?
Many people can not be alone (especially not silently) without distractions from the environment such as a constantly turned on TV or radio. Some plan a whole week with coffee and events – just not to be left alone. At the same time, it does not occur to them that when they need to be in constant contact with something or someone outside, they are actually avoiding themselves. They mostly think they like to have a plan in their life and do not know why it is so.
By seeking contact with something outside, we are actually avoiding contact with our inner world – with ourselves. More specifically: we avoid contact with our unwanted emotions such as sadness or anger that occur when we extinguish all distractions from the environment and allow ourselves to feel our existence. Some people smoke because it makes them feel like they are doing something or that they are not alone (you are never alone with a cigarette). Some are working people – they work late into the night until they drop, so they do not have time to “think”, to be more precise, to feel. Others eat compulsorily to avoid contact with the feeling of emptiness.
Alcohol perfectly interrupts contact with emotions, so some people, when left alone, throw a glass of wine or open a beer. Others frantically clean the house and the like.
How to beat depression?
When a child “collects” the emotions of others
Some of us have learned a feeling of emptiness, “the grace of depression,” or some other mixed childhood condition directly from our parents. They copied it through the atmosphere of the house. It was as if they had drunk their mother’s depression in her milk. Or they were constantly hypnotized by their father’s anger about life, so they themselves became angry people. The brains of children up to the age of twelve are very open to suggestions and children do not have the ability to clearly distinguish what they want and do not want to receive from their parents. So they get everything: what is good, but also what is poisonous.
People fleeing loneliness and silence often suppress unpleasant feelings, so any distraction from the environment is welcome. Because when we allow ourselves peace and quiet, not only do beautiful contents come to the surface, but also tears and anger long forgotten and unopened. We are afraid to go back to that feeling because it seems to us that it can overwhelm us with such a force that we do not survive it.
We never want to feel again what we have felt in the past so we are afraid to open that door. And then we keep “that thing under control.” And we keep ourselves under the deception that everything is fine, but our unwanted feelings occasionally catch us in the form of vague and long-term humor, various diseases, symptoms in the body, sudden depression, panic attacks, redness of the face , sweating, outbursts of anger, insomnia, etc.
What you resist continues – the more you run away from certain memories, images, feelings, the more they will torment and limit you.
“Somehow I am empty when he is not near me…” – what is it about?
Most people avoid the feeling of emptiness by standing up to another person, so they only feel comfortable when they are close to someone, most often a partner. When left alone they feel abandoned, whether their partner has gone on a trip or with friends. Any separation from the partner creates a feeling of anxiety or panic in them. We can say that such people are needy.
Childhood trauma due to a cold or disinterested parent
The famous feeling of emptiness has nothing to do with the fact that we miss a partner who is not currently with us or who should automatically feel lonely when we are not in the company of other people. This feeling is our legacy from the past, from our childhood. She got up in different situations when we needed a parent and was not there. Rarely, but a situation is enough when a child has been abandoned and has felt fear, panic and abandonment to keep that feeling like childhood trauma. More often than not, it is a situation where one parent was cold and uninterested, so instead of feeling fulfilled, you grew up with a “hole”, emptiness and an eternal hunger unquenchable for love and attention .
Maybe you would run to Dad with a toy and he would leave you uninterested and keep reading the newspaper or watching the game and muttering coldly, “Let me go now.” Maybe your mom was dealing with her problems, preoccupations, or alcohol while jumping on the floor, screaming or jumping to get her attention. And maybe they would just drag themselves into their room with a feeling of pain, anxiety or cramping. Either way, you were not getting what you needed. So now you live with a “hole” in yourself.
How do emotions affect your mental and physical condition?
And what can be done about it now?
Childhood trauma called love and attention deficit is hard to overcome. However, although you will need to work consciously and patiently on yourself, this wound can heal in adulthood. Part of the job that awaits you is working on reprogramming your unconscious patterns through psychotherapy, hypnosis, meditation, reading, writing. Whatever you decide to do and change, you will first have to give up the fantasy that someone else will fill your painful void. You will have to do this work yourself – becoming a warm, caring, nurturing parent, the kind of parent you want.