Connections...I thought it was interesting that Martha Beck talked about being surrounded by people and still feeling an intense lonliness. I think this is often the case - it is actually harder to really connect with people when you are surrounded by people.
During the daytime, when Roby was in the hospital, there were always a zillion people around him and he kept them entertained. I used to call it "holding court". Those people touched him, but didn't connect with him. It was later, after the crowds were gone, that he could let down his guard and connect - with me, his family, some close friends. Even though I was the "overnight" person, I was there most of the time. I left for about 2 hours a day max - shower, change, errands for him. At night, we connected. In our silences, in our conversations, in our touch. We held hands and we talked. Sometimes, we just looked at each other. Sometimes, we didn't.
I don't fear connection, but I also know there is a time and a place for such things. You can't connect with everyone and it isn't healthy to do so. I would like to connect more, but I am not in circumstances to make that happen often - usually, I am at work and then I go home.
When I read this chapter, mostly, I thought that I just need to create opportunities for connection more often. When I DO break out, when I DO put myself in social situations, I find it pretty easy to connect with other people, so the missing piece is definitely opportunity.