As a kid, I grew up in a family that saw and described themselves as "Vulcans." Their favorite TV show was Star Trek. That said if things weren't based in logic or logical to them, that was the fastest path to losing their respect. That said in hindsight there was a recognition that as Vulcans their practiced religion was emotional unavailability.
Now imagine me in there running around. Let's just say I'm very not Vulcan. I'm very me with an awareness that when we get down to the finer points even quantum physics fails and no longer makes sense or works.
That difference had very real world affects on the relationship with my family that played out in a lot of different ways that made it very difficult for me to be in their presence. Even as adults when my brother and I departed, he would raise his hand make the Vulcan hand gesture, and say "May you live long and prosper James T. Kirk of Earth." That was his way of saying I was still a punk to him, because anyone who navigated their life by intuition and feeling was easily taken advantage of. Sentimentality was a weakness. My swing back at my brother was to say... "Spock, don't forget that your mother is human, so you're at least there by half! The one and the many, the many and the one."
Despite the lack of emotional connection that I experienced within my family, if I could have changed them, I wouldn't have. The reason is there was a time that I tried really hard to be like them, and I couldn't do it and still be authentic. The way I could frame it today now that I have the language for it is, I couldn't hold a boundary of authenticity, and take care of their feelings at the same time.
I consciously and intentionally decided to be myself, and accept the consequences of that choice. I'm more discovery channel instead of you gotta figure it out channel. I'm okay in hanging out in the "No knowing," following my intuition, and harmonizing it with what seems to be the least amount of bullshit, efforting to notice and flow with what the so-called logic or everyday mind tends to miss.
Later I took a little solace in that when I was sitting in a counselors office he showed me his AA medallion. It said on one side... "To thine own self be true." What was that "Own self," that I'd gotten away from through active addiction that I needed to return, so I could think, feel, and be one person again... the one occasionally comfortable in my skin?
One of the people that has fascinated me over the past 10 years or so is Dr. Gabor Matté. He has this expression that caught my attention. He said, "Addiction is about connection. It's the use of things outside of ourselves, to create a sense of 'pseudo-connection' to compensate for the emotional unavailability many of us experienced intentionally or unintentionally as children." He also says "Not every person who has experienced trauma later experiences addiction. But every person who experiences addiction has had trauma in their past," whether it's big or little "T," trauma.
Lack of emotional depth and availability is very definitely a kind of trauma… We easily see, and experience the negative impact of this across our entire society, on a daily basis, manifesting in 100,000 ways. There's a lot of people numbed out... with little or not understanding of authentic feeling... not even remotely close to having conscious contact with feelings… our true nature... our Universal Identity of Loving Presence. Zen... Buddhism... Twelve Step Recovery... all talk about waking up. That implies we're asleep somehow.
Unhealed pain... suffering... disconnection... tends to create more pain, suffering, and disconnection that doesn't get healed. I personally refer to those people as Ghost's. They haunt the terrain of life... a lot like a zombie, opportunistically feeding off who and what they can to sustain them. It's the nature of True Zen... True Buddhism... True Twelve Step Recovery to bring those ghosts and zombies back to life.
I have no idea if any of this is of any use for you. These are just my cloud and water notes, from my journal. May they be portals... openings on the pathway of peace.
一Dignity and Grace