Childhood Emotional Neglect
If you didn't experience emotional security or support from your parents/guardians, if your emotions were ignored and invalidated, or if you were shamed for expressing your feelings there is a high chance you were emotionally neglected.
Childhood emotional neglect occurs when a parent/guardian is emotionally unavailable or not present. The parent/guardian may have been dismissive, ill-equipped to handle childhood emotions, or functioning in survival mode themselves. No matter the reason, childhood emotional neglect can be very traumatic, it can lead to major struggles with emotional regulation and relationships.
Examples of Childhood Emotional NeglectBeing told or shown that your feelings are invalid, being called 'too sensitive' or told to 'toughen up' when you express yourself.
Punishment for expressing sadness, frustration, or anger for example being told to go to your room or be quiet.
No intervention when you were struggling or being mistreated.
No response to your attempts to connect or seek support.
Lack of shared joy when experiencing happiness or excitement. Positive emotion met with a negative response.
Dismissed because the parent is focused on themselves or another situation.
Lack of affection.
Being ignored or left alone when experiencing strong emotions.
Not being seen or heard, no attention given.
Childhood Emotional Neglect is a form of Trauma
Childhood emotional neglect can be either intentional or unintentional, or even unconscious. It can lead to lasting trauma and profound effects on a person's emotional and psychological well-being. The trauma from being neglected can make it hard to develop a healthy relationship with others and with ourselves. We might even engage in self-sabotaging behaviours.
Childhood emotion neglect becomes internalised as core wounds or inner child trauma. When we've been emotionally neglected at a young age, we become adults who operate through those core wounds. Our responses and choices are driven from our core wounds, they show up in nearly all areas of our life including the partners we choose and the friendships we have.
How Childhood Emotional Neglect might impact you as an adult
Struggling with communicating needs or feelings directy.
A tendency to withdraw or isolate yourself in relationships.
Being highly independent to the point of being avoidant.
Fear of relying on others.
Difficulty regulating emotions or feeling numb.
Believing that your needs don't matter.
Confusion about healthy boundaries.
Over extending yourself and people pleasing.
Attracting emotionally unavailable partners.
Tolerating mistreatment to avoid rejection or abandonment.
Difficulty establishing and maintaining healthy relationships or friendships.
Getting help as and adult to work through Childhood Emotional Neglect
Therapy can teach us how to identify our emotions and manage them in healthy ways. Trust can be built and emotional intimacy can be learned. We can develop fulfilling relationships with others and ourselves.
Counselling can help us work through any unresolved pain and grief, which is an important part of the healing process.
If you experienced childhood neglect and require support, please reach out. You may be an adult who is feeling the impact and desperately need to work through the emotions. We are here to help. Our sessions are provided via Telephone, VoIP calls, Skype/WhatsApp text and Email. We look forward to hearing from you.