Yep, I’m one of those. I need constant interaction, open and free communication, lots of non sexual touch like hugs and cuddles and squashing up on the couch. I’m communal by nature and I’m a person who needs people. I have however, lived alone my entire life. Not true, I had my son who was like a cool little buddy but he’s flown the nest and so I am alone. I can tell which days a friend has called by what time I climb into bed with TickTock. Yesterday I had a long chat with a friend, felt amazing. Studied algebra, wrote a blog, worked out like a pro-wrestler, bought groceries, did laundry, cleaned my apartment and felt like a genuine supper star. I didn’t go to bed until nine and I slept all night.
Today I have texted friends but heard nothing back. I worked out, walked in the rain, had a hot lunch, learned more about algebra and I’m here with you now writing this blog feeling somehow empty and sad because as empty as a phone call sometimes feels it is a whole lot better then brain devouring silence.
People are by nature communal. We need to be in constant contact with one another, working together, raising our kids together, eating together, sleeping together. We’re not meant to be isolated and alone. That’s why I’m so agains the Ferber Method of disciplining babies into silence by ignoring their cries to be touched and held and instead leaving them to ‘cry it out’ until they finally learn that their voices mean nothing, that they mean nothing, that mother isn’t to be trusted, and that life is about loneliness and fear. The Ferber Method is the first trauma many of us experience. It creates neurotics and sociopaths. It is bad for humans and it needs to be stopped.
The second thing I’m really against is the nuclear family. The isolation of one couple locked in a three bedroom home with 2.5 kids leads to isolation, disconnection from the community, depression especially in neighborhoods that continually compete from house to house and general household dysfunction. We need to live in community not in isolation. And guess what? Your coworkers are not your friends. They are just other people hired at the same place who are trying to make a living. So who is your community? Who is the grandmother figure your kids can walk to when they have stuff they need to discuss that they don’t want to bother you with. It’s a proven fact that kids grow up better adjusted if they have trusted elders in their lives to talk and share with.
The last thing I want to be clear about is that I’m also against solitary confinement. When I was a kid it was a thing to lock a kid in a closet until they went quiet. As an adult I’ve seen rooms in neighbors homes labeled, ‘the crying room.’ You can guess what goes on in there and it ain’t snuggles. Solitary confinement on all levels and at every age leads to mental illness. It takes basically normal minds and breaks them down until the individual neither trusts others, the world, or themselves.
Loneliness isn’t a joke. People need people. Babies need to know that their voices matter and that if they cry, you will come and pick them up. Your neighbors can be your friends, not your competition and the nuclear family is a really sick alternative to living in a thriving village style community with cousins and grandparents nearby. We are all meant to run free and we’re meant to run free together and not be isolated, locked up, and made to feel invisible.
I see you and I hear you. Covid has had an eerie affect on our socialization and some of us are not ok. Reach out to as many friends and loved ones as you can in a day. It’s so important that everyone knows they are remembered and loved.