7 Comments

  1. Tim

    I wonder, Bob. Is being afraid of your parents because of what they might say or do part of Childhood Emotional Neglect, of is it something different?

    I was afraid of mine because I discovered at 13 that I was not the happy little heterosexual I was expected to be. I knew my parents would have sought to have me cured. My certainty was confirmed by my mother before she died.

    I was raised as a china doll, a much loved one, but one who was shown no affection. It was the doll who was loved, not the boy who lived inside the china carapace.

    • In my opinion, Tim, yes – it certainly is.
      Anytime we cannot express ourselves we are inferring that we and our opinions and feelings matter less. Doubtless, Tim, your grandparents would have had some significant influence, as would their parents, and so on.

      • Tim

        I feel it was more like unwitting emotional abuse rather than neglect, however, I can see that those two concepts intersect to a substantial degree. The distinction I draw is to do with the known and feared outcome of speaking, rather than simply being unable to speak to attempt to have my needs met.

        The era was very different, the social mores were very different, but the little unformed human being, me, I was still the same

  2. Dana

    Hello, I know I have childhood emotional neglect. Every symptom mentioned above describes me to a T. In order to move on do I have to confront my parents about the problems I faced as a child? I know that it is a very touchy subject and even getting close to it will cause a very negative and explosive reaction. I have already had a failed relationship over this. What can I do?

    • Hi Dana.

      Working with so many clients with CEN as a background, confronting the parents is NOT usually something we strategise over. It may be for some that as they get to know and understand what happened in terms of the parenting they received, that they may recognise opportunities yo observe ‘pain’ in the parents, today. It can be the case for some that the child can help the parents find peace and forgiveness, where those parents are able to reflect and wish to find that way of growing into the future with new love and compassion for each other, but I think this is in the minority, in my experience. I guess you have to ask what it is you wish as an outcome by confronting your parents?

      In terms of what you can helpfully do for yourself, this is about gaining full knowledge, where available of what your parents were taught when they themselves were children, by their parents? Then, for you, it may become available for compassion and some level of comprehension.

      Then, it is about you healing your past. Cognitively restructuring the brain to create perspectives and self-beliefs, re-parenting yourself with the words, encouragement, and love YOU would have wanted to receive, today – as if you are now the parent of yourself. Inner-child work is what I’m alluding to in this.

      A therapist who understand and appreciates CEN and Inner-child work is ideal, and there are many resources out there also for your own work.

      I’m sorry I’ve had to be brief in my reply, Dana, and that you have been living with the symptoms of CEN but I promise you, it IS possible to significantly redress these symptoms and to have a much happier life. I too have trodden this path – and it is always work in progress.

      • Dana

        Thank you.
        I already have a therapist and I am working on doing what you have said. My ex just recently broke up with me because he thought that the symptoms would never get any better since I refused to confront my parents about it. I did not see the point in it because I love my parents and they are in such a different place now. It really messed with my self esteem and made me question if it was really necessary to confront my parents and if I will be able to get better with time. I have come to realize that the problem was with him and not me.

        • It does indeed appear you are learning and asserting yourself appropriately, Dana, I’m so pleased for you.

          I wish you every continued success with this increasing knowledge growth – and your continuing journey.

          Warmest, Bob

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