The fear of being alone with ourselves is … a feeling of embarrassment, bordering sometimes on terror at seeing a person at once so well known and so strange; we are afraid and run away. We thus miss the chance of listening to ourselves, and we continue to ignore our conscience. – Erich Fromm (1900-1980) Man for Himself: An inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics 4.2.B, 1947
How true is this for you? The following is an excerpt from the book I am forever finishing about the solitude I faced.
I was shocked at how alone and frightened I was after my husband was removed, the silence was more deafening and frightening than I could have ever imagined. I couldn’t wait to be away from him but I never realized how alone and more isolated I would feel. I was now alone with my thoughts and they were restlessly fighting to be heard. Day by day, year by year my husband, like most abusers, had isolated me from all family, all other human contact. I now know that he had feared that I would tell someone of the way I lived and he would no longer be the ruler of the house. Suddenly, I could do what I wanted and had complete control over my life, but I had no idea what to do now for I had not lived for a long time now. I felt as though I were coming out of a coma that had lasted for ten years, I couldn’t even remember how to breathe without the fear of doing it too loud and upsetting him. It would take some time for me to remember that I could now have an opinion, but having been so long without being able to genuinely express one, would feel foreign to me, even now over ten years later. I felt so deeply ashamed that I was in my early thirties, and afraid of my own shadow and closing my eyes. The last thing I could do was to let my guard down.
How did you cope with the solitude after domestic violence? Do you find any solitude if you are living in abuse?
Love & Peace,