Many of us were raised with the notion that kids are meant “to be seen and not heard.” Said differently, don’t speak until you are spoken to.” While this idea may have only meant to keep the volume down at the Thanksgiving table, it can have negative ramifications on a child’s psyche.
Worse still, there are many children who suffer from Childhood Emotional Neglect. These children were raised to believe that not only do their ideas not matter, but neither do their feelings or needs.
Though the words may never have been said, the actions, or lack of, announced loud and clear: You don’t matter.
These children grow up to become adults who still believe they don’t matter, and that they shouldn’t burden others with their needs or feelings. But this cycle of worthlessness can be broken.
Here are 3 ways you can heal from childhood emotional neglect:
You most likely grew up believing your own needs and emotions were the enemy. You may have even been made to feel ashamed because of them.
In order to heal you must embrace your needs and emotions and invite them to play an active role in your life. You can do this by listening to yourself and honoring the way you feel. When understood and managed, emotions can propel us and help facilitate positive change.
Growing up, you might have felt like adults were the enemy. After all, it was the adults in your life that made you feel worthless. As an adult, you may have a natural instinct to keep people at a safe distance, to “protect” yourself. But, in order to heal, you have to stop pushing people away and, instead, invite them into your life. When we form relationships with genuine, caring and honest people, we feel good about ourselves while adding value to our lives.
Survivors of Childhood Emotional Neglect all have one thing in common: they don’t really know themselves. That’s because the people in their lives who should know them the best, their family, never really took the time to get to know them.
But now is the time for you to fully recognize the truth. You are absolutely worth knowing and it is your responsibility to get to know yourself. Knowing who you are, what you like, want, need, love, value, desire in this life will give you a firm foundation. From there you can propel yourself into an awesome future.
Recovering from any kind of emotional trauma is not easy. It is a personal journey that will contain many highs and lows. But taking the journey, one step at a time, will lead you to a wonderful life, one that you deserve.
If you or a loved one is suffering from Childhood Emotional Neglect and would like to explore treatment options, please get in touch with me. I would be happy to discuss how I may be able to help.
Helping families feel connected is at the core of my Family Therapy practice. Should you feel like your family might benefit from family counseling to increase your family connections and decrease family conflicts with a challenging and/or gifted child in the home, you have come to the right place!
Click here, to contact me via email, or feel free to give me a call at (626) 755-4059 for a FREE 20-minute, Initial Phone Consultation.
For family therapy, I meet alone with parents in my Arcadia office for the first session. I want there to be a good fit between us, before you introduce me to your children.
In-Home Family Therapy (Home-Based Family Counseling) is an option to families living in Pasadena, Glendale and Arcadia, California, as well as the surrounding areas of the San Gabriel Valley.
LGBTQIA+ affirming therapy is a core value of my practice.
My style shines through in my blog, Connected Family Fun, LA., where I share ways to have fun with the family while making deeper connections.