I could never understand how I could have such a seemingly ideal childhood and yet my life ends up a mess! What was wrong with me? How with all the advantages that I received could I not pull my life together? I had addiction issues, money issues, poor relationships, chronic anxiety and low self esteem.
Later when I became successful, promoted at work, buying shares, married and having investment properties I still felt like a failure and a fraud. What was wrong with me that I wasn’t able to appreciate my opportunities and how lucky I was. I was finally achieving the things that I thought I was supposed to and yet I felt like I was choking.
These life symptoms that made me feel so flawed I later identified as emotional neglect. Emotional neglect is about the absence of emotional support and what wasn’t present in our childhoods that should have been. It stems from a parent or parents being unable to effectively emotionally attune to their children’s feeling needs and offer effective emotional nurture. What kinds of messages about feelings were taught in your family home? Where you taught that having feelings was weak or that if you were upset suck it up and move on. Don’t burden others with your emotions.
As parents it is easy to focus only on meeting physical needs and never provide effective emotional coaching. This is often due to the fact that our parents never got that either.
The symptoms of emotional neglect can include
- Feeling that there is something wrong with you
- Self-directed rage
- Lack of empathy and compassion for self
- An inability to read emotional cues in self and others.
Emotional neglect is pervasive and yet the good news is that all this can be reversed.
When people address emotional neglect in their lives I have witnessed absolutely profound transformations.
People for the first time develop healthy self-esteem and a deep love for self. We feel more deserving and worthy. The weight of fear and shame is lifted, replaced with a sense of lightness and stability. The ability to truly give to self without guilt, enjoy our successes and genuine emotional connection with self and others at a level never achieved before!
We aren’t wrong or bad but rather certain tools around effective self-discipline, self-esteem, self-love and healthy management of our emotions was never taught to us.
Once we learn our lives are changed for the better forever!
With a little focus and some new tools, we are able to achieve profound benefits.
You are worth it and so am I!