I can feel it right now. A dark hole in the pit of my stomach. An empty void that makes me feel I am Unloved. Unwanted. Unworthy. Alone. That something is terribly wrong with me. This emotion is not new to me. It has accompanied me since childhood. Writing about it while experiencing it indicates I have come a long way in becoming aware of it.
Rationally I recognize that my fear has no basis in reality. I also know that it will pass. But that does not make the sensation less real.
I remember the times I felt this as a child. When my grandfather left me in boarding school at the start of a new academic year. When I felt unprepared for exams. The feeling said “You are alone. You will fail. No one likes you.” I often masturbated to feel good. But that only gave temporary relief and became an addictive pattern of behavior over time.
Why this sensation comes?
Here are a few reasons I can think of. Not experiencing the love of parents. Growing up in an impersonalized environment. Being sensitive. Past lives, karma?
Whatever be the reason, it is not important. I do not see value in analyzing it. I accept what happened in the past. Everything happens for a reason. A reason I do not know. Nor can make sense of, using the limited faculty of my mind.
What is important is to deal with the sensation effectively when it is triggered. Which is not so often as it used to earlier. But it does. There are a variety of things that can trigger it. Someone distancing themself. Not getting a response. Comparisons with others. Often the triggers are minor and illogical, but the mind tends to construct a story of being unloved and unworthy.
It is difficult to make out what comes first, the sensation or the story. I think the sensation creates the story. And when the sensation and the story are active, there is little I can do other than to be patient. At such times I sit still. Have a cup of tea. Go for a walk. I have realized over time that greater silence and awareness is needed when I am triggered.
This is the first time I am writing about this. There are two reasons to do so. First, I find writing therapeutic. Second, I believe I am not the only one experiencing such a sensation. Perhaps my expression will help someone to make sense of their sensation.
These are the three lessons I have learnt over a lifetime of dealing with this emotional disability.
1. Avoid external stimulus that triggers the sensation.
2. Do not indulge in dysfunctional behavior to feel good.
3. Cultivate silence, stillness and awareness as a daily practice.
I have no idea if ever a time will come, when I will be free of this sensation. But being able to deal with my insanity in a sane manner is good enough. It reminds me of the title of a movie in which Jack Nicholson plays a novelist afflicted with obsessive compulsive disorder.
As Good As It Gets.