+WHEN EMPATHY FALTERS – AND FAILS

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Wednesday, November 17, 2015.  I remember those days, weeks, months, years when never did a blog post topic come into my thoughts that I didn’t simply write and post it.  Those times seem to me now to have been part of a different lifetime.

I could sit at my funky old desk with my laptop gazing at brilliant blue skies, across the range of my adobe flower gardens, past the tall rusted Mexican-American border fence at the topmost peaks of San Jose Mountain in Mexico, and write.

I could think.  I could ponder.  I could feel and sense and I could write.

I was living in an environment that fed, nurtured and sustained me.  Fargo, North Dakota?  Nope.  Winter is coming, etc.  Simply put, “Too much darkness.”  Working to remain positive is, well, A LOT OF WORK for me here.  A great deal of work.

There doesn’t seem much of me left over to write with (or from),

This, too, shall pass.  Everything does.  Sooner or later.

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So, (a) when given a situation with a lot of depletion going on and not much for restoration, (b) how does one FEEL?

I KNOW everyone goes through (a), but the older I get (I am 64 now) and the more American society changes, the more I see that it is certainly not true that everyone experiences (b).  At least not that they know about.  Not that they are forced to accept or ‘deal with’.

There are many, MANY ways not only NOT to feel, but in tandem with not feeling their own reality people DO NOT FEEL other people’s feelings, either.

Bye bye EMPATHY!

And WHERE on earth are we as human beings without EMPATHY?

Oh, shake, quiver and quake!

Answer?

In trouble.

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If a tree falls in a forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

If a feeling is a response to life itself and nobody FEELS it, does that feeling exist?

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The word “void” comes to mind here.

Without the information that our feelings give to us about being alive in this world as members of a profoundly social species, are we creating voids all around us without even noticing?

Do we then expect other people to simply ignore the fact that these void-living (absence of feelings/empathy) people CANNOT truly be reached or communicated with?

OR TRUSTED – in the deepest safely and securely attached sort of way (so that we do not feel all alone in a nor-really safe world)?

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“Knock knock.”

“Nobody is here.”

Nobody is an island?  You bet that they are in current American society.

They certainly are.

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I know that I am a dreamer.  I am always looking for and in some way hoping for a world that probably does not exist.  A friend told me the other day that he heard that humans are only capable of truly attuning to another person about 30% of the time.  That’s why, as developmental neuroscientist Dr. Allan N. Schore describes, the process of “rupture with or without repair” is so central to the processes of being human.  Of being alive.

But we must care enough and be able to NOTICE when a rupture occurs so that it can even be repaired.  And we have to know how to sort out the causes of ruptures and learn how to orchestrate repairs.

Yes, in my dreamer world I believe that humans are BORN (given good enough uterine conditions of earliest life) to DO all of these things.  But I also see, with great concern and sadness, that an increasing number of mothers in America are perfectly fine with bringing their children into the world and then abandoning them into the care of strangers.

The building of all of the essential structures within a human’s body-brain to process feelings and then to be able to live with true, healthy empathy, is a job that nature has always given to mothers of infants.  This is a vast area that I will not address specifically here except to say that on the one hand we have Autism Spectrum Disorders where social and emotional information which includes the empathetic processes is not a part of those people’s reality.

And then on the other hand we are fine with having larger and larger numbers of people who are placed into the care of “professional” childcare providers who have to intimate investment in using attuned empathy to communicate with these little ones – so that the end result – seems to me – is our current building of a nation where empathy is nearly entirely missing.

What do I think about all of this?  One word:  Uh-oh!

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I do note that those who endured and survived horrific early life filled with trauma, we have had to learn about empathy through different channels.  Those of us who HAVE done this were, for whatever reasons, highly motivated to do so.  I have HUGE concerns that with the proliferation of infants and young children now being abandoned for most of their waking life by their mothers (essentially) – nobody is going to even notice — what is going so wrong OR what is missing:  Feelings and Empathy.

These are processes that I believe are essential to being fully human.

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase –

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.

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Tags: adult attachment disordersadult reactive attachment disorderanxiety disorders,borderline motherborderline personality disorderbrain developmentchild abuse,depression,derealizationdisorganized disoriented insecure attachment disorder,dissociation,dissociative identity disorderempathyinfant abusePosttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),protective factorsPTSDresiliencyresiliency factorsrisk factorsshame

 

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