Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Unspeakable Loneliness

"It is loneliness that cannot be shared, which is “unspeakable” because it is experienced in a way that is so private and humiliating that, were you to speak of it, you would further damage an already over-fragile sense of self that has been made so fragile by the loneliness itself. 
"You experience this kind of loneliness whenever you are alone in something in a way that you cannot share with anyone else because the loneliness itself feels like a private sickness, like a thing of shame, which makes you so vulnerable that any attempt to share it with someone would only make things worse and be a further humiliation. 
"You experience this especially in rejection, betrayal, abuse, powerlessness, and the feelings you have when you doubt your own attractiveness, intelligence, goodness, strength, and emotional stability. Not only are you then alone and outside of something or someone you want, but you are left with a wound, a humiliation, a sense of not measuring-up, an insecurity, and a shame, that is only deepened should you talk of it. 
"You experience this, “unspeakable loneliness” where your relationships become one-sided, where you get walked-on, walked-away from, get dumped, suffer abuse, get bullied on the playground, are the one who is never asked out, get chosen last, are too weak to defend yourself, where your body and feelings aren’t right, where you aren’t bright enough, aren’t attractive enough. 
"There is a solution to “unspeakable loneliness”: it needs to be spoken, to be shared, to be made public. To speak the unspeakable is a risk, an anguish, an irony, but, when the unspeakable is spoken, what once felt shamefully private and sick can become a badge of courage and a distinguishing mark of healthy citizenship insidethe human condition." 
- Ron Rolheiser OMI

(boy, can I relate to this.)


  1. i think many people do, but in different ways. I can certainly relate to shame associated with one-sided relationships. I don't think I have ever known any really deep two-sided relationships. After a while, you get accustomed to living out of your expectation of pain and I guess that is another definition of loneliness.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Barbara. I think that there is a loneliness that goes much deeper than what we think and feel about relationships. It has something to do with our one-on-one with God that is really outside of our knowing, and yet we somehow "know" it. A very dark emptiness. Trust comes in here somewhere. Or Jesus on the cross crying "my God why have you forsaken me?" ...