What is Human Disconnect?

Written by Angela Atkinson

Have you ever been in a crowded space and still felt completely alone and separate from everyone else? Do you secretly wonder if you’re the only one who doesn’t know the joke? If you have, you’re not alone. Many narcissistic abuse survivors feel this way. 

Have you ever felt disconnected from everyone and everything around you? 

There’s a chance you’re dealing with “human disconnect,” a term coined by Dr. Judy Rosenberg, and it’s a bit more complex than it sounds.

As society progresses to the point that we are less and less able (or willing) to be “out there” in the world, doing normal, real-world things, the more isolated we become as individuals. and this is exactly why it so important to understand the definition of human disconnect

We now order groceries at 3 a.m. and wake up the next morning to find them gently stacked on the front porch. We can have nearly anything we want hand-delivered and left at our door. 

Since I recently had the privilege of discussing this with Dr. Judy herself, I was able to ask questions and get clarification on the meaning of “human disconnect,” and what it means in relation to narcissistic abuse. I’m sharing our conversation with Dr. Judy’s permission.

What is Human Disconnect?

Dr. Judy explained that “human disconnect” is a condition that is relatively common among humans, but it doesn’t affect only individual humans and no one else. In fact, it affects society, communities, and cultures.

“What (Human Disconnect) means is that it’s a disconnect from your own soul, self, community, and family.” Dr. Judy said, adding that, “it can mean a disconnect from your own ability to feel emotions as well as to truly connect in a healthy way with others.”

She explained that when we experience pain from abuse or neglect, it causes a disconnection from the person who is inflicting the pain.

In other words, you emotionally detach from that person – and in my experience, that makes a lot of sense. And, in so many cases, you emotionally detach from yourself somewhere along the way too. 

Human Disconnect Leads to Global Disconnect

“The disconnect can take the form of fight, flight, freeze, or fawn – and it breaks trust,” Dr. Judy said. “This breaking of trust can then project on other people and communities and create more human disconnect.” 

Of course, for each person who deals with human disconnect, a few more could be “broken down” and destroyed, left feeling alone, abandoned, and disconnected. 

All of that, Dr, Judy told me, is the perfect storm to create Global Disconnect – which she says she’s working to help solve as part of her larger missions. It occurs to me that human disconnect is some kind of viral outbreak of loneliness and separateness. It can feel almost like it’s out of our control and we don’t have a choice.  

What causes Human Disconnect?

Human disconnect starts with the original human disconnect, Dr. Judy told me, nodding when I asked if she was referring to attachment styles. 

“Yes, think John Bowlby and attachment theory,” she said. “And then it becomes projected onto other people and relationships. All of this can lead to globally creating a global disconnect – we as a society are currently staring in the eyes at this right now.  Bigtime.”

The original disconnect would be due to the development of attachment styles as early as birth. “When there is not healthy attachment,” Dr. Judy says, reminding me to consider Dr. Bowlby’s attachment theory

What is attachment theory?

Attachment theory states that our relationships with our mothers can affect us and our lifelong development (and even our relationships with others) in profound ways. The theory first originated in 1958, when John Bowlby recognized the importance of a child’s relationship with their mother.

Bowlby found that our emotional, social, and cognitive development are all directly affected by our attachment to our mothers, which begins at birth and can be affected by her own attachment style, which would be affected by her mother’s, and so on. 

He also noticed that children who were separated from their mothers experienced extreme distress, which he assumed led to anxiety related to the idea that their mothers fed and cared for them.

But Bowlby and his fellow researchers noticed something kind of unexpected: that the separation anxiety would not diminish even when the kids were fed and cared for by other caregivers. Even the youngest children seemed to still miss their mothers. 

Bowlby was the first to propose that attachment could be an evolutionary thing – the child’s caregiver obviously is the person who provides safety, security, and food.

So, he reckoned, being attached to the mother would increase a baby’s chance of survival.

Toxicity Runs in the Family

In this video, I break down attachment theory and how it explains narcissists, codependents, and the reasons this sort of toxicity tends to “run in the family,” so to speak,.

Resources for Healing Human Disconnect

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

Online help is readily available for survivors of narcissistic abuse. Here are some options to begin healing from narcissistic abuse right away.

Author

  • Angela Atkinson is a certified trauma counselor and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery, and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships since 2006, she has a popular narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube channel. Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own. Atkinson offers trauma-informed narcissistic abuse recovery coaching and has certifications in trauma counseling, life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation, and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves. Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse here at QueenBeeing.com and at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online.

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