Vestigial Loneliness

On many levels I enjoy being alone. It can be difficult and painful to navigate the nuances and brutalism of social interaction. However I feel inadequate, lonely and consumed with the need for companionship when I am not around others.

Maybe this is just an echo, a reliving of the rejection I experienced as a child, shunned and abandoned by other children due to my not quite having a handle on the rulebook of human behaviour. It doesn’t feel like a choice, to be in solitude, although I am not alone now in the way that I was then. If I can let go of the sense that I am not legitimately being if I am not around other people, perhaps I can let go of desire and learn to enjoy solitude again. I can be with others when I am with others, and allow myself to simply exist when I am alone, too.

I find socialising difficult except under quite specific circumstances, but I want it despite the anxiety and stress it can cause because at various points it was something I felt excluded from — or something I felt I needed to be better at. I will try to notice when this mechanism is at play and enjoy my quiet solitude when it is actually the easier and more nourishing option.