August 2018

To Feel Needed

We all feel the need to be needed right? But at times we may question ourselves as to why and where this feeling is ultimately taking us? When we start to feel that the only reason that we are with someone is because of this need then we travel down a very rocky road, when we feel that the only reason we are with another is our compassion and understanding of that feeling of needing it’s so completely wrong for all concerned. It doesn’t matter if the need is personal or professional NEED is an aspect of our lives, but there is a gigantic difference between telling someone that they are needed and actually making them feel needed. So you see this emotion of need is a complicated issue and in many ways it becomes an addiction, and like any other addiction we and all of mankind affected by it will come back for more because it makes us feel good.

The problem is that at times you can let that desire pull you into a damaging relationship for both parties concerned and maybe for completely different reasons, this happens often and is especially attractive to people who are afraid of being alone. The problem with that is we are giving without withholding anything for ourselves, and if we were to carry on through life this way we will only serve to lose ourselves completely. Needing should start from within and be held by us in much the same way in which we would hold on to a baby. Ok, we’ve established that we all have that feeling of being needed but for an abused child we are talking here about a very different deck of cards.

How does an abuse child understand this feeling of need? Just how confusing that feeling must be to them, because whilst being abused in some aspect they feel needed but in a much screwed up way and only because they are getting attention. This rendition of needing is eroding their lives away right in front of them daily and in time may destroy their future completely. Just how do they sit within that feeling or even be able to recognise it? It may even be the only feeling of being needed that they have ever received from a source that they don’t understand at all, whilst to them all others seem to be completely ignoring what is happening to them let alone needing them. Not feeling needed by anyone other than their abuser and their abuser confirms that to them daily.

As I’ve stated above this feeling of being needed is a exchanged emotion that is fundamentally required to feel that you have any worth at all. So let’s go back to the second paragraph of this piece and that feeling of being alone because as an abused child we have always felt alone, but maybe if we can find that feeling of being needed it’s all we have to hold on to even if it’s in a totally destructive manner. As I sit here today I am so very conscious of the above that used to map out my life so completely because I believed that if I were not needed then why would I be needed now? Why am I not able to experience that emotional exchange of a parallel need in a healthy manner? Even though this conversation with me took place some time ago now it was tough and it took me a long time to get to the place that I am in right now.

So there I sat on this emotional roller-coaster not feeling needed by all those around me and only experiencing the feeling of being needed from my abuser, it’s a very confusing time for a child that as of yet has not had any life experience whatsoever. Once more the life experience they are experiencing will never give them the life grounding that makes for a happy life out there in front of them, so ultimately what happens is that we learn through this experience that if we ourselves can’t feel needed then we can make others feel needed even to our own detriment. It’s for sure not a two way exchange but we feel that we can only play with the cards that we are dealt, but in truth we are creating vortex of one way emotion that in time will be just too hard to hold on to.

So where do we go from here? We need to go back to the dealer and re-stack the deck and face the damage that was inflicted upon us so many years ago within that place of pain, it’s the only place where we can alter the cards that were dealt to us so that we can play with a different hand. It’s the only place where we can take back our self worth and to understand that needing comes from within us because it starts with ourselves. How can we ever experience the feeling of being needed if all we feel we have to do is make others feel that their needed? If we continue down this road in time we will not fail to compromise who we even are. In truth we cannot make others feel needed by neglecting our own need deep within because we are evading the work that is ours, we can only sit within a situation that for all concerned is damaging until we find the strength to be true to ourselves. Taking the step towards that truthful exchange of need in a healthy place of a true exchange can only be achieved when it’s a balanced exchange.

But the real problem that we are faced with is that the longer it takes us to finally address this emotion of needing to feel needed we run the risk of that need needing us, and when and if that happens we are back within a place of being controlled. Ok it’s no longer our abuser doing the controlling but it can in time became equally destructive if we allow that emotion to run wild unchecked.

Our need is there no doubt and a healthy exchange of needing is something that we all want to experience, but what if we start to feel any threat of that need being taken away by circumstance do we once more become that child of so many years ago? If so we lose that reasoning of the adult that we now are and like all children it becomes all about us and that heart wrenching need, and then the inevitability happens and along come the tantrums simply because we need all attention directed at us just to make sure that we are still needed.

What I’ve stated above may happen in complete unconsciousness but it’s so very loud in your ear because at that moment in time we feel that our need is being pulled away from us and directed at another and that our need is no longer recognised why? That needy child is once more standing right there front and centre confused hurt and feeling invisible with none of its needs being met or so it seems. But the difference is that we are now adults with that life experience so here it is our consciousness arriving right on time and as expected shouting loudly in our other ear.

You need to maintain your own identity
Don’t be dependent
Get over yourself you’re not a child
Become more socially active it’s a big world out there
Be more confident in that exchange of emotions with whomever.
Be more mature act like an adult

Although trying to hold on to that maturity seems lost to you at that precise moment in time and the pain and panic that we are feeling is completely real and deeply felt.

In all truth we will always hold on to some of that feeling of being needed because of the abuse we have suffered in the past, but when need starts to take over our lives in adulthood we have to try to take control over that emotion although it may sit there in the back ground always. Connecting with that child within is paramount because that need in all truth is theirs and that’s where our control as an adult becomes so difficult to hold on to. But we have to find that balance or be controlled by our needs daily whilst feeling as if we are disconnected from whom we are within, because that child is still feeling that pain of not being needed and only you can give that much needed reassurance it can come from no other.

You need each other and neither of you is going anywhere……………