“Devastation tears a void inside your soul so vast it paralyzes your humanity. It rips apart your desires, fragments your love, and whispers to your soul—relentlessly—that you will be on your own, forever.”
This is a direct quote from Tim’s latest piece on his blog The Adversity Within. As usual, he puts feelings into words with laser precision as only he can.
I’ve been there. Confined to that very void. Many, many times and over long periods of time. Too many to count meanwhile and too many times to feel anything in regards to it other than – emptiness and nothingness again. “This shall pass, too”, people often say in an attempt to help or remind us of better times. But …. what if there had been no better times, ever? This is how my life often feels to me today. But that’s not even the problem.
But this: Many times, when I tried to visualize getting healed from 50+ years of living with complex PTSD, an unsettling realization surfaced: I had never had an opportunity to learn how to feel real compassion with my fellow men, friends from childhood, friends of teenage years, friends now. Or rather: Forget that I hadn’t learnt it. What if from all these years of emotional numbness due to the debilitating outcomes of C-PTSD, what if I simply didn’t have the capability to feel anything about any of the things that other, normal people get excited about, feel apprehensive about, become nervous or look forward to? What if any of these events that usually create feelings of connection between normal people simply were a realm I couldn’t get access to from all the emotional scar tissue that has grown thicker over the years as a result of false coping, but the former also as a result of not having other options available, either (let alone awareness of it all). In other words: What if I’d have to realize that I can’t care less about much of what other people feel all the relevant feelings that make us human in the first place? Brutally saying: What, if I was beyond fixing for needing to shut down my emotional body in order for the physical body to survive?
This is the question I often ask myself and the more I think about it, the more likely it seems that the question is the answer and vice versa. It is entirely likely that from needing to prevent myself from feeling compassion and having empathy – let alone towards myself, because of according programming – I may have debilitated that part of my emotional being that is responsible for feeling all these (good, loving, accepting) feelings towards others (and self). So: What if I had killed the very thing that makes healing even possible? And: How will I know?
I don’t think, I’ve ever put the question out there, let alone discuss it with a … shall we say… “health professional”. It’s become a real concern. There are moments, when compassion kicks in so hard, it moves me to tears. And other times – I draw a blank.
This is scary. I don’t know what to make of this.