As I look at the many components of trauma recovery, I am increasingly aware that healing trauma must address the part that loneliness plays in the wounding. Especially for children who were abused or suffered trauma at an early age, the sense of aloneness in the face of overwhelming pain is staggering. This alone feeling can sometimes be just as devastating as the actual physical and/or sexual abuse. The aloneness and shame at being alone and without support or understanding can linger well into adulthood and creates deep feelings of exile, abandonment and isolation. It makes it hard to reach out or to feel that being understood or really seen is a possibility. It perpetuates the negative beliefs about ourselves like ” I’m bad” or “something is wrong with me that are part of having low self-esteem.
As a therapist working with trauma, I see how important it is to help clients work their way out of this isolation. It happens that as many traumas occur in relationship, so it is that within the context of relating that healing can take place. Being seen, being accepted and learning to trust and feel safe and connected in relationship is all part of healing and trauma recovery.