Originally Posted by Amiirov
I've been struggling most of my life with depression. I had a really rough childhood (drugs, murder, etc), and for years I blamed my emptiness inside on those things and those people that hurt me. I'm starting to believe my problems are more with sexual /romantic frustration. Something I have never once considered before.
These two things might actually be one and same, or at least the two sides of the same coin. My childhood was rough in its own way - being raised in a religious cult by depressed mother and workaholic father. Absolutely loveless environment. Me, too, have been depressed for most of my life. It has been a long way to the happiness I am living in now, a lot of work trying to understand why I am the way I am.
One realization has been that some things can only be learned by love, through love and in a loving environment. As an adult that can only be reached in a romantic relationship - or that is my experience, anyway. Other types of connection between people do not offer enough intimacy for this kind of profound repairing of damages that have happened in the past. Human beings need physical intimacy for… well becoming and being humans.
If we did not get that sort of intimacy as young children, we will grow up lacking something - with a void inside of us.
Originally Posted by wildflowers
I'm also struck by your comments about each relationship filling a bit of a void. I wonder whether relationships can truly fill it, and I think that might be worth thinking about.
I am not at all surprised by the OP’s choice of words. My experience in life has been that the love and intimacy that I have encountered as adult has filled, little by little, the void inside of me caused by the loveless childhood. In other words, I have gained positive mirrors that reflect my personality. The reflection of myself through my loved ones reassures me of my worth. As a child I tried to do this reflection - we all do - and those mirrors (mostly my parents) reflected emptiness. But, as I have received true love and caring as adult, those people reflect beautiful things back to me.
I was lucky enough to have this moral change from “only absolute monogamy is good in the eyes of God” to cherishing the abundance of love (polyamory) before I ever had any romantic relationships. And yes, my romantic and sexual relationships have been a long journey into myself. Through them I have learned who I really am and that I am a beautiful and worthy human being. Most people learn these as children but not all of us are as lucky.