Sometimes when I’m in an emotionally self-destructive place I tell myself that I am to blame for my pain or my loneliness. “You are lonely because you are [insert cruel word or phrase]!” But other times the pain is simply there. I feed myself, exercise, clean up and do the things that I sometimes neglect when I’m depressed. But I’m still depressed. Is this depression? Maybe not. It’s a deep well of sadness. It’s a strong physical pain in my chest. It’s the feeling of some invisible hand trying to pull me down to the ground. I’m neither fighting it nor giving into it. It’s simply there.

I sit in the corner and look out over my living room. It looks nice. It’s the nicest home I have created. But what I notice most is that it’s empty. And I begin to cry (again). To sob. Just like I did on my walk. Just like I did when I woke up. I’m lucky to have a nice house but for some reason I haven’t allowed it to feel like home.

As pathetic as this sounds (I’m aware that what I’m about to say is close to being a Smiths’ lyric and for some reason right now I think of all the people who teased me for liking the Smiths in high school) I ache to physically embrace and be embraced. A tight embrace. I want to cry in someone’s arms and lean my head on their shoulder. I want that physical communication that is so much more basic and primal than words. But it’s not a possibility. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not until….well, nobody knows.

Thursday I’m getting a haircut. Someone will wash my hair. The momentary sigh of relief I get at imagining this is interrupted by picturing the person who will wash it. It is not someone I dislike but neither is it someone I like. Not a friend or lover but not a stranger. It’s part of a business exchange. It doesn’t mean it won’t feel good. It’ll be a minute of a nice thing. But it’s not heart-filling.

And this is it. This is why I ache. Sure, my inability to tolerate it is related to my trauma. Yes, the pain is enhanced greatly by it. But I’m also just a human being with or without the trauma. And now I have to gather my inner resources, put ice packs under my eyes (so that my clients won’t see that I’ve been crying for two days) and get ready to help people who are actually more high functioning than I am (with one notable exception).

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