Day 2352: The black hole

Several times over the course of the Northeastern Society of Group Psychotherapy’s annual conference this past weekend, I heard people, in groups, refer to “the black hole” inside of them, which they were hesitant to reveal or explore.

That invoked, in me, memories of experiencing my own internal black hole, which I am trying to name, here and now.

My best guess is that the black hole is shame — the feeling that there is something fundamentally wrong with you.

The black hole can feel huge.


It can cause us to lose our balance, our tolerance, and our sense of cohesion.


It can turn us into stress balls.


It can isolate us even when we’re in a supportive group.


It can interfere with our leadership.


It can prevent us from diving in to new experiences and staying afloat.


It can make us feel unwelcome even when all the signs are that we ARE welcomed.


It can make us avoid parties and other social events.


It can make us feel lost.


It can make us want to duck and hide.


The black hole of shame can blind us to our own self worth …


… and blind us to the beauty all around us.

Here‘s “That Old Black Hole” by Dr. Dog.

The best we can do with our black holes is share them with each other and know that we are not alone.

Thanks to all who have helped me confront my own black holes over the years (especially the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy) and thanks to you, here and now.


Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “Day 2352: The black hole

  1. My recent MRI scans show that my brain has quite a number blank/black hole spots, but I Do like the scientific version of a black hole, and therefore the spots in my head are magically powerful ……….
    A black hole is a region of spacetime exhibiting gravitational acceleration so strong that nothing—no particles or even electromagnetic radiation such as light—can escape from it.

  2. It’s not a black hole if you don’t let it suck you in, I guess, Ann.

  3. A few months ago when astronomers took the first ever picture of a black hole it proved they do exist. I know that people sometimes feel ashamed of their feelings because they believe their feelings aren’t “real”, but they are very real, and sharing them, knowing that others feel the same way can, I hope, make those black holes easier to deal with.

  4. Black holes are all around us, so step carefully and think twice before pushing someone into a black hole of any typre

  5. A profound post, Ann

  6. Interesting that I’d read this today, Ann! I had a conversation with my pre-teen granddaughter today which revealed all the insecurities that are beginning to arise. I’m not sure that having a 67-year old grandmother tell her that she’s fabulous means all that much, but beginning to see the threads of insecurity that weren’t there a year ago–her own version of a black hole–hurt my heart! 😦

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