Good Evening Peeps….
Physical abuse can leave physical scars, while emotional abuse leaves psychic ones, but what about emotional neglect? The absence of emotional support in childhood can be as damaging and long-lasting as other traumas But, because you can’t point to exactly where and when the wounding happened, it can be hard to identify and overcome it. Emotional neglect is not the same as child abuse because it is often unintentional. While some parents might intentionally ignore their child’s emotions, others may fail to notice or respond to their child’s emotional needs. Your parents could have tried their best and loved you very much, but they may still have neglected your emotional needs, nonetheless.
While physical trauma is a terrible thing and can harm children big-time, emotional neglect as a whole is often overlooked. Emotional neglect might not be trauma you can see but it is still trauma.
If you were neglected emotionally as a child then chances are you are still carrying some wounds with you even now as an adult. That kind of thing doesn’t just go away over time. If we don’t work through it, we don’t get over it.
While emotional neglect isn’t the same exact thing as abuse, it is still important to be aware of the effects it can have on your children. Whether you’re ignoring your kids and doing your own thing or dismissing their emotions when they try to show them, you’re causing them more harm than good. Of course, this kind of thing usually begins and continues forth as a cycle but it doesn’t have to.
When parents treat children’s emotions as unimportant, not valid, excessive, or of lesser importance than other issues, they neglect the child emotionally.
Does this sound like it might describe your childhood? Here are 9 signs you may have suffered from childhood emotional neglect:
- You’re afraid of relying on others, and you reject offers of help, support, or care.
- You have a hard time identifying your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, and life goals.
- You are harder on yourself than you would be even on a stranger, and you lack self-compassion and understanding.
- You blame yourself almost exclusively, direct your anger inward, or feel guilt or shame about your needs or feelings.
- You feel numb, empty, or cut off from your emotions, or you feel unable to manage or express them.
- You are easily overwhelmed and give up quickly.
- You have low self esteem
- You are extra sensitive to rejection.
- You believe you are deeply flawed, and that there’s something about you that is wrong even though you can’t specifically name what it is.
Childhood emotional neglect may not leave scars, but it does real harm to children and to the adults they become. To heal, you have to turn what’s invisible visible. Name it, explore it, learn from it, and recover.
When children grow up constantly being scrutinized, judged and criticized they begin to learn that nothing that they do will ever be ‘good enough.’ This carries over into their adult lives, leaving them feeling as though everyone is judging them at all times. They often fail to take part in group settings for fear of being rejected, however, in doing so they feel excluded from the activities the group is taking part in. There may not even be any basis for these feelings, the group may not have said anything negative or have any negative views, but the feelings are so deeply rooted that they are unable to see past them.
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