Loneliness

The easier it is to define loneliness, the harder it is to determine its emotional load and to gather the experiences it evokes under one title. In particular, the variability of individuals’ stance against loneliness has created the impression that loneliness itself is a paradoxical situation.

The connotations of the word loneliness can include changes and variations, especially according to its meaning in the cultural context. It is common for these associations to take on negative qualities in contexts where the relational distance and space are narrower and closer, such as Mediterranean and Eastern cultures. It evokes loneliness, abandonment, desolation, lack of support, longing, and homelessness. However, it cannot be said that loneliness has these connotations in every culture and society. Connotations such as being alone, being separated, being self-sufficient, which have different meanings from the above connotations, have an important place in the cultural fabric of Western and societies aiming to become Westernized.

D. Anzieu stated that loneliness occurs when one hopes to meet someone but no one is found. In other words, loneliness is a situation created by the lack of the other. On the other hand, while JC Arfouilloux touches on the paradoxes of loneliness, he states that the longed and expected presence of the other does not solve the problem of loneliness and sometimes even complicates it: when the other is there, his presence sometimes bothers me, I prefer to be alone: ​​but at times, even when he is there, I miss him. I anticipate your future absence; or its existence, which is always lacking in my opinion, is not enough to fill the emptiness I carry inside, and even makes this emptiness more palpable and unbearable for me.

The paradoxes of loneliness, or in other words the difficulties in conceptualizing and conceptualizing loneliness, arise from several reasons. The first of these is that loneliness is a situation that is experienced on the plane of imaginary, psychic reality rather than a situation that is experienced according to the actual, that is, objective reality. Therefore, it is a highly subjective experience; In this context, the presence of the other is the factor that creates the feeling of loneliness, not eliminates it. As loneliness is not possible without the other, it is not possible to be different and individual. The child can only position himself as different from the other if he feels alone with the other.

The second reason for the difficulties in conceptualizing loneliness is that it is often considered in the context of separation, abandonment, that is, object loss. In other words, it is indexed to the other. The relatively shorter intra-uterine life of human beings compared to other animals, and the fact that they were born less complete, can be seen as the main deficiency that causes loneliness to be experienced as helplessness from time to time. As Freud stated, this biological factor regulates the first danger situation and creates the need to be loved, which will never leave the human being.

When we say loneliness, we can’t miss Winnicott and his “Capacity to Be On One’s Own” statement. According to Winnicott, although there are many ways to establish the capacity to be alone, there is one essential one, and if he is not good enough, the capacity to be alone will not occur. This experience is with the mother, as a baby and a small child. by himself includes being A special type of relationship is indicated between the infant or young child who is here and the mother or mother surrogate who is in fact reliably present. This particular type of relationship Winnicott calls “self-attachment.” Self-affiliation refers to the relationship between two people, one of whom is to some degree on his own; probably both are on their own; but it is important for both of them to be with each other. Only when the baby is on his own (with another person) can he explore his personal life.

The ability to be alone is, in its origin, an early experience of being alone with someone else. Being on one’s own with someone else can occur at a very early stage, when self immaturity is naturally balanced by maternal support. Over time, the individual introjects the self-supporting mother, making it possible to be alone without frequent reference to the image of mother and mother.

The capacity to be alone is a very sophisticated phenomenon and includes many contributing factors. It is closely related to emotional maturity. The basis of the capacity to be alone is the experience of being alone with another person. In this way, an infant with poor self-organization may be alone due to reliable self-support.

According to Melanie Klein, the capacity to be alone depends on the presence of a good object in the individual’s psychic reality. The relationship of the individual with his inner objects, together with the confidence in inner relations, provides the ability to live on his own, so that one can remain temporarily satisfied even in the absence of the outer object. Maturity and the capacity to be alone means that the individual has the chance to form a belief in a benevolent environment through good enough motherhood. Gradually, the self-supporting environment is introjected and structured in the individual’s personality so that a true capacity to be alone is formed.

Stern sees one of the most important steps in development as reaching the child’s subjective sense of self. At this point, as the child wears and uses subjectivity and subjectivity, he begins to grasp that the other is also a subject. At this point, while the child wears subjectivity and subjectivity, he begins to grasp that the other is also a subject. This quantum leap in development makes the relationship an intersubjective phenomenon. If this intermediate-subjectivity has never been achieved in development, pathologies may occur as a result. Everyone, regardless of maturity level, can feel lonely at times. However, those who have trouble with the aforementioned intersubjectivity experience feeling lonely much more intensely and for a long time; the person may feel in a static and categorical loneliness.

If we add a different emphasis to what Winnicott said, we can say that those who feel alone or cannot tolerate loneliness are those who cannot internalize being with the other. He who feels alone is alone in himself. He experiences loneliness as an internal condition; carries his loneliness to his existence in the crowds.

Bowlby’s concept of “Attachment” also helps us understand the puzzle of loneliness. According to him, the baby, who is securely attached to the parent in the first years of life (especially in the first year), may enter into relationships with the people and the world around him in the following years, which separation anxiety cannot direct. They can tolerate the anxieties created by getting close and distant in these relationships, with feelings of trust and security. Secure attachment is like the guardian who stays with the baby when the parent is not with the baby. Babies with insecure and anxious attachment experience separation from their mother with great anxiety. It is almost as if the objective course of the parent warns again and again of the subjective abandonment in the baby’s subjective world. The baby is alone “within” and “within”.

Not everyone who is alone is lonely. For the person who is not familiar with the depth and breadth of his own subjectivity, the world (both internal and external) is alien. The fear of the outsider is a reflection of the fear of the unconscious.

To put it by synthesizing Bowlby’s attachment theory with a Freudian perspective, the internalized object in the case of insecure and anxious attachment is a kind of non-existent object. It is an apparently existing but hollow object. Its internalization turns into a psychic black hole; the inner world desolates. In optimal development, “as the world settles in the child, the child settles in the world”. Unless the child is securely placed in the world, in his relationships, even in his body, the world cannot settle in him.

It is possible for the child to become individualized and separate from the mother only if he/she is securely attached to him/her. A secure connection is broken if and only if. What emerges as a result are two formations arising from the same focus but appearing to be opposite to each other: dependencies and non-relationships. It seems natural for the unrelated to feel lonely, but we may have trouble understanding the loneliness of the addict. The addict strives to spin his relational mill with the water of transport. He constantly tries to eliminate the desolation in his inner world with external contributions. He is the one who longs even when his object is next to him.

Awareness and insight allow separation, going outside, looking from outside. Participation is the experience of being in one’s presence. Peace is possible by being in your presence. They are at peace and ready for a relationship in whose presence they are; Although they are alone, they are not alone.

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