I’m sitting alone in a run down diner. The perfect place for me, I think. I’m wondering if I’m the only person who feels completely alienated from the rest of humanity. My social worker side says these feelings are the result of a lifetime of abuse, rape and exploitation from other people. How does one trust after that? My natural inclination is to move through the world alone. While some people may be terrified of being alone- I’m terrified of connecting to and being vulnerable with other human beings. I find no “use” for social attachment and based on the decades worth of abuse and isolation I’ve endured I know that being alone is something I can tolerate. So why try to change? Well, I’ve found through having countless mind numbing jobs that relationships are really what matters in life. At least for me. Relationships (not just romantic) give me a feeling of being grounded in the world in ways that my job, my apartment, my “status” in the world don’t. So I’ve been trying to challenge myself to be more social and engage in “normal” 30 something year old social activities. Because the beatings, chokings, rapes and gang rapes I’ve endured took that natural ability away from me. And you know what? It’s ok that I prefer to be alone than with people. Because it totally makes sense. So I guess the answer-for me- is to just start doing. Start engaging, start being vulnerable, start trusting. And if you are an abuse survivor like me, then I truly believe these are some of the bravest things we can do on the road to healing.