Childhood Emotional Neglect – Stop the loneliness of your inner child
Childhood emotional neglect, perhaps you experience thoughts like:
“I am alone in the world.”
“There must be something wrong with me?”
“Something feels wrong, why am I like this?”
“Deep down people don’t care about me.”
“Emotions are bad/unnecessary/harmful.”
Do you struggle with a deep sense of emptiness and are you always looking for something to “fix” you? Perhaps you have used food, alcohol, shopping, relationships or even work to fill that internal emptiness and nothing seems to help regardless how much you try to numb the pain or avoid it. Childhood emotional neglect is a widely experienced but often ignored phenomenon that impacts on both emotional and physical well-being. It is often like having a permanent a gray and rainy day, and even at times when the sun comes out, it is difficult to fully enjoy it.
Childhood emotional neglect has a long-standing impact on adult well-being and relationships.
Some signs of childhood emotional neglect in adulthood:
- Difficulty to name and express feelings
- Difficulty to commit either in relationships or to yourself and to take care of yourself
- Feeling like you have to earn love and that you are not good enough
- Using food, alcohol, shopping, relationships or any other external factor to regularate feelings
- Easily feeling embarrassed, ashamed and guilty without a valid reason
- Difficulty to know you and your needs
- Setting either too rigid or too porous boundaries with people and finding it difficult to say “no”
- Living with a deep sense of “I am faulty – There is something wrong with me!”
How does childhood emotional neglect happen?
Childhood emotional neglect is literally about a child’s emotional needs not being met by early caregivers. Parents and other significant adults job are to consistently and continuously to respond to, mirror and validate a child’s emotional states. When they fail to do this, a child learns that their feelings are not valid and/or perhaps are not allowed in the family. Children are self-centered by nature. They view the world from their own perspective and think “If I feel bad, it must mean I am bad”. A child learns that feelings are bad and they have to avoided or numbed. This feeling is then carried on into adulthood.
How psychotherapy could help you in healing from Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN)?
Psychotherapy in a nurturing environment can be healing and can help you, for example, to:
- Understand your feelings and experiences
- Repair that internal void (emptiness, loneliness) you may feel
- Understand your life journey, its impact on you, and release guilt and shame you are carrying
- Get to know your needs and feelings, and set healthy boundaries in your relationships
- Help you to have the courage to connect with others and have more fulfilling relationships
- Feel more connected & contented in your life and live wholeheartedly
Ultimately the benefits of having therapy can be:
- You become more confident, comfortable in your own skin and self-compassionate towards yourself even on days when things don’t go to plan
- The root cause of generalised anxiety reduces or even disappears
- You feel more connected in your relationships
- You have a clearer direction in life and understanding of your wants and needs
- You are able to experience joy and embrace life & any opportunities that come by you