The childhood wounds we carry
What happens to those whose basic needs aren’t met as children, and how does it affect their adult years?
Deprivation can come to a child in various shapes and forms: lack of food, diseases, maltreatment, and child abuse. But the lack of love and attention from parents or parental figures is just as harmful and leaves scars… And you learn to live with them.
On the outside, people who were emotionally deprived as a child might seem alright. Their basic physical needs, such as clothing and food, were met. But the lack of recognition makes the invisible emotional wounds bleed. And there are no excuses for that kind of parenting. You don’t have to beat your kids or starve them to destroy them from the start.
There’s another side of that story: emotionally deprived children are more or less likely to never fully mature, and they will likely repeat the patterns from their childhood. So, do you automatically get a pass for being an awful parent because you had one? No! You can work through your wounds, and minimise the impact on your life. You merely have to accept that for a reason unknown, your parents failed you. But, they are no longer the issue, since you’re in charge now. You won’t forget, but you can start by forgiving.
A kid who grows up without love often feels like they have something to prove. They can be loud or misbehave because they want you to see them, hear them. That’s when loneliness kicks in and sort of never truly leaves. Add feeling useless and hopeless at times, and you get the picture. That child, no matter how smart, how talented, how giving, won’t be the same as others. Of course, not all is lost. Some adults overcome their traumas, wounds, on their own or with professional help. They learn the tools to cope and be as emotionally healthy as possible.
However, most people live with scars, and those feelings of not belonging, not being good enough, sort of stick. Even when you recognise the issue and accept it, you can’t go back and fix your childhood. But you can keep moving forward and not make the same mistakes.
A child is a gift. But if you don’t treat them right, if you don’t give them emotional support and attention, that child will become an under-confident, anxious adult. That’s just how it is. And a good number of people develop some emotional disorders. Emotional detachment doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds. But it’s a burden. You want to love and be loved, yet you don’t feel confident enough. And that’s why you have this wall in front of you, and it’s confusing, often painful.
The one thing you can do to help yourself is to get in touch with your feelings, without involving other people, finding outlets in music, or dancing, can help you be at peace with everything you are. Additionally, it will remind you that you’re no longer that poor child and that it was never your fault. You have to learn to love yourself, and that’s a tremendous job, but the payment is worth everything.
If you’re struggling, there’s no better option than therapy. Those walls you built are further depriving you of receiving love from others, and that means more pain. You suffered enough; now it’s time to heal. Even if it means partially.
Emotional distress in the growing years comes from multiple factors such as emotional disconnect with parents, unhealthy sibling rivalry, over-controlling guardians, and extreme expectations.
You don’t have to live your whole life being emotionally starved. And you sure do deserve to have someone to lick your wounds. But, most importantly, you are enough!