Adult life sometimes feels like you are stuck in an endless cycle of tending to childhood wounds and pursuing unfulfilled teenage dreams. Everyone not involved in tending to those early wounds or helping you realise those dreams is just a passenger. Which means that we burn through people like consumables. Anyone who ceases to be useful to these activities is expendable or replaceable. What we do is always justified because your only ethic is desperation (“end the pain” / “sate this thirst”), so you don't even feel guilt. We have got so used to using people that we don't even notice how badly we are mistreating those around us.
But those people are in the same boat. They are nursing pain and broken dreams just like us.
And ultimately that is the way we can finally connect. We cannot connect on the basis of a common innocence or shared dreams. That ship has sailed. But we can at least draw near to each other in our pain. And that is the most scary thing in the world. It means confronting the depth of the wounds and the vastness of the emptiness. But when we do it together there is a crucial difference - we are no longer doing it alone, the source of its destructive power.
Into that space once filled by loneliness can step something new: hope. It is fragile and barely believed. But it reminds us that life is real. It is not the never ending nightmare that we feared it might be.