“From disconnection to love” series
Relationships with others are vital to your health, well-being and your identity. Without connection, we can’t grow, learn, or connect to goodness, life, love, and happiness. Disconnection from ourselves and other people; nature can almost seem normal, like feeling this is your lot in life as long as you can feel safe in an imaginary world of media, for example, where you never get to use your senses, body, and your voice and your intuition.
Disconnection is often caused by traumatic events that begin in childhood and continue into adulthood as different personal experiences such as relationship losses, cultural losses, and health issues happen and one day, there is a realisation that something feels off or feels wrong inside and outside of me too. We often blame ourselves for being faulty or not as good or worthy as others. And this is untrue; this is disconnection.
The disconnection is from the reality of difficult, threatening and unbearable experiences, but the problem is that being disconnected from others and the world stops you from living. When there is disconnection, there is trauma, and where there is trauma, staying disconnected strengthens the divide between the part of you trying to live everyday life and the part carrying all the complex, traumatic experiences.
If you have experienced neglect, abuse, bullying or discrimination, you will have difficulty regulating and understanding your emotions, self-organisation, and relationships. You may find yourself hypervigilant and nervously concerned with people’s facial expressions, body language and tone of voice. Difficulty managing your emotions can cause anxiety, rage or fear as well as depression, feeling helpless, hopeless and wanting to end it all.
This disconnection can be referred to as Complex PTSD. Most times, the child who grows up in a home with ongoing neglect, for example, will stop being curious, stop feeling their feelings, and control their growth to survive their environment, which damages the child. As an adult today, that child is disconnected from those parts of themselves/their self that had to disappear to survive.
Disconnection can be from family due to bullying, from your culture as a refugee, or from your community due to prejudice, discrimination or violence. Disconnection causes chronic stress of uncertainty and a consistent feeling of not belonging, which can profoundly impact your ability to trust others and the world.
As adults today, the sense of disconnection can become triggered if you have lost your job, are going through a separation, are suffering
the loss of a loved one, or are feeling threatened. It can be easy to turn to social media because as soon as you see hearts, smiles, or kind words, you enter into a disconnected fantasy connection.
Another example of disconnection to share with you is online dating. Seeing someone’s profile and beginning a relationship through the online site can be a platform for grooming and exploitation. Believing that the person talking to you is who they are shows how extremely vulnerable and disconnected we are from ourselves and what is safe and sound in the world. The news is full of stories of how vulnerable people have been coerced into relationships that they believe are good, only to be raped, beaten and left destroyed. Suppose we have not had good, safe relationships. In that case, we are very vulnerable to being hooked on social media messaging apps, such as online dating sites, to getting tied into a pathway to more disconnection.