A strong perception of being overlooked, not being seen and heard, not being taken into account, not having any impact in your environment, which is experienced as non-existing.
Annihilation has nothing to do with death or dying. In this method, Annihilation is a personal, inner, usually subliminal, (not fully conscious) perception or experience some people have. The overlap in meaning with “human extinction, mutual destruction” is that the person feels like being transparent, reduced to zero, due to not being seen, heard and taken into account. It means feeling as if you are alive but don’t exist to others. It means experiencing not having a voice or a face as your own person, as a “me”.
This feeling or sensation is the result of not being acknowledged as an independent, potentially autonomous human being by your parent or other primary caregiver, which results in a Lack of Sense of Self. You do not have your own mental and emotional backbone, no inner home to fall back on, no inner safe haven to with draw in or base your decisions on. Without all this inner security how can you step out in the world and manifest yourself? You cannot and others perceive that and ignore you even more. (For more read also: Fear of Annihilation)
Some people grow up in a setting where you are treated by your primary caretaker as a pawn in the game of their own life, and not as your own unique and real, independently existing human being. When you are not supported or even thwarted to develop a healthy sense of yourself as a distinct, real person without being aware of it there is a void inside of you. That void tends to fill itself with the state of “Feel-good-about-self”, earned through getting approval, usually from the primary caregiver.
Annihilation is experienced when you are unable to fill that hole. That can be because of your own inability to live up to the criteria of the person whose approval you perceive you need but it can also be because the situation is such that your caregiver is no longer in in the position to give that to you, because they are ill, no longer in your life, no longer alive. Usually the latter is experienced as a prolonged sense of Annihilation which comes down to being depressed.
In order to avoid this sense of Annihilation you are bound to do your very best to please the person whose approval you perceive you need. When you succeed in getting that person’s approval you “Feel-good-about-self” which fills in that void, left in you due to the lack of a healthy sense of Self. This is a set up for a life-long compulsive need for approval, a slave of performing to perfection for fear of Annihilation.
Healing from this condition starts with gathering self-knowledge and self-awareness and ultimately can only take place when you have learned to fill yourself up with a Sense of Self that is stronger than the compulsive need for approval.
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