Healing from Childhood Emotional Neglect
It is often taught to children that they should “be seen and not heard,” which means they should not speak until they are spoken to. A concept like this may have been intended to keep the volume down at the Thanksgiving table, but it can negatively affect a child’s emotional well-being.
There are also many children who suffer from Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN). Additionally, they are taught that their needs do not matter, as well as their ideas and feelings.
While the words may never have been spoken, the actions, or lack of them, sent a loud and clear message: you don’t matter.
It is still common for these children to believe that they do not matter and that they shouldn’t bother others with their needs, even as adults. However, this cycle of worthlessness can be broken.
Here are 3 ways you can heal from childhood emotional neglect:
- Embrace Your Needs and Emotions
When you were a child, you probably believed that your own needs and emotions were the enemy. You may have even felt ashamed of them.
In order to heal, you must embrace your emotions and needs. Taking the time to listen to yourself and honor your feelings is the best way to do this. Positive change can be facilitated when emotions are understood and managed.
- Invite People into Your Life
Growing up, adults might have seemed like the enemy to you. As a child, you were made to feel worthless by the adults in your life. The instinct to separate yourself from other people, to “protect” yourself, may have been ingrained in you as a child. In order to heal, you must invite people into your life rather than push them away. Relationships with genuine, caring, and honest people make us feel good about ourselves and add value to our lives.
- Get to Know Who You Really Are
There is one thing that all CEN survivors have in common: they don’t really know themselves. There was no chance for them to get to know the people in their lives who should know them best, their family members.
The truth is that you are absolutely worth knowing, and you are responsible for getting to know yourself. Knowing who you are, what you like, want, need, love, value, and desire in this life can propel you into an awesome future.
Emotional trauma is difficult to recover from. There will be highs and lows on this journey. Taking the journey, one step at a time will lead you to a better life, one that you deserve and love.
If you or a loved one is suffering from CEN and would like to explore treatment options, please get in touch with us. We would be happy to discuss how we may be able to help.