Monday, March 8, 2021


If there's one thing I've learned this last year it's that I cannot isolate and stay healthy. Since about February of last year I've been pretty much stuck at home. Not as much as my wife but too much for me. It's brought up a lot of bad feelings. I remember back in the 80's struggling with it and not really understanding what was going on. I can remember feeling desperation and a hunger to get out and meet someone, anyone just for the company. I can remember putting up with all kinds of stuff just to be with someone for a while. I didn't have to like them but to be with someone, to feel human touch was almost intoxicating I was so needy.

This plandemic and brought back a lot of that. Not nearly so bad and being married has definitely helped a lot. Getting out to work at my part-time job is like a fix though. I look forward to it each day I'm scheduled and when they call me in on my day off it like a present. 

We were made to be connected and social. It's part of our makeup psychologically and maybe spiritually too. I think this is why so many young people are deciding to off themselves rather than depend on social media alone. We're not wired to exist on just that alone. 

Those of us who have been severely abused and deprived of healthy connections tend to deem connections as all unhealthy and withdraw from people. We build walls and while it keeps the hurt out it also keeps out the love. We become numb and even though we might be in a crowd, we are still isolated. Maybe we get it, or maybe we just accept it because we know nothing else, I don't know, but the result is a handicap emotionally when in social situations. A real awkwardness that we sense but everyone else can see. 

We have started attending church again. No masks, no social distancing and it feels good to shake hands and even hug occasionally. Even though it's uncomfortable for me, I've come to realize I need it and I'm not going to avoid it anymore. 

Just my thoughts


Zale Dowlen said...

Good job!

Mark said...

Excellent words, Roger.
In addition to what you shared, I also believe that in a strange way, those who have experienced past trauma are better able to recognize the current trauma we've been living through the past 12 months.
Example - you know the past pain and damage of wanting to belong, wanting to fit in, wanting to not be alone, while living the trauma of abuse. Now, you easily see the danger of our current isolation leading to increased addictive behaviors, distrust between strangers when in public, children's education scores plummeting, to name a few. You already know that the lack of touch hurts our minds and emotions and sense of well-being.
At my church, there is ONE gentleman who will still shake hands. I have started seeking him out, although I do not know him well, just to get that physical touch of a handshake. Fortunately, I have two buddies who have not stopped giving me hugs this past year. Nor have they isolated themselves from me. That has been crucial to my well-being.
To come back to my main point, we have been through trauma in our childhood. We recognize that we are going again through trauma that has similar impact. And, as adults, we see we can make choices to help counteract that trauma. As children, we could not do that.
People who have not experienced the pain of past trauma may not recognize today's trauma, and therfore not be as equipped to deal with this trauma we are all sharing.

Roger Mann said...

Thanks, Zale, and Mark, you make an excellent point. I'd not thought about how the non-trauma people would react/ respond in this situation. That would explain a lot of what I'm seeing. Thanks for bringing that up.

jhoenshell said...

Roger __ THANKS for this! I needed it Because, here in PA we're still under horrifying restrictions re: masks & distancing. (You're welcome to hear a resounding, nearly-bitter complaint in that statement. The Lord knows my heart.) But you've resolved something for me... and I can readily resonate with your admission: " feel human touch was almost intoxicating I was so needy." I'm thinking that's why I especially resist the masks so much; they only ADD to the distance I feel from other human connections. The limited few friends who happen to agree with me are also not as free with hugging, mainly due to the oppressive social climate. And Zoom just ain't cutting it for me.
In MY case, I'm also isolated because of perm disability due to a decade with Parkinson's Disease. I had joked early on, "Welcome to my world! I've been quarantining for YEARS!" Yet after only a short while, it wasn't as much of a joke. Bur God understands, and sends friendly reminders like yours that I'm truly not alone in my yearnings for what's been lost. So thank you, again.

Waiting to hear the Shout --
Jeff H