Since leaving T.C. last week, I have been enveloped by a shroud of unrelenting, uninvited loneliness. Sadness. Alone-ness.
It’s not because I’ve not had company. There has been tea and games, and sunshine and picnic and barbecue. There was fun in them, too. And there was university work and church. More than my usual level of engagement with others, if I’m measuring it.
This isn’t a physical loneliness, it feels deeper than that. Like loss. I know that the university group I go to Taizé with are there now – and that if it weren’t for TC I would most likely be with them. I wish I were with them. But it’s more than that.
I feel it when I’m with others. When they seem to be so connected and in tune with each other. And I am a twisted knot of anxiety and frustration. Or, I sense it in the distance of silence, when I can’t find the words to speak to someone. Anyone. I feel lost, and like I never will belong.
And then I can’t bring myself to talk. I deserve to be isolated. I am bad inside and out. Why should anyone be interested in me? To think they might be is pure arrogance. I become quiet and withdrawn.
One of the Elders, ‘understood’ from reading up on my mental health diagnoses that I would never be able to form meaningful relationships. Some clinicians may agree with him, although not at T.C. For my part, I fear that he is right. That this well of loneliness will never dry up – that I will never truly trust or relax with anyone. Never have real friendships or non-abusive relationships. Never be able to be myself. I am desperate to feel like I belong. I want to belong.