While physical trauma is a terrible thing and can harm children big-time, emotional neglect as a whole is often overlooked. Emotional neglect might not be trauma you can see but it is still trauma.
If you were neglected emotionally as a child then chances are you are still carrying some wounds with you even now as an adult. That kind of thing doesn’t just go away over time. If we don’t work through it, we don’t get over it.
While emotional neglect isn’t the same exact thing as abuse, it is still important to be aware of the effects it can have on your children. Whether you’re ignoring your kids and doing your own thing or dismissing their emotions when they try to show them, you’re causing them more harm than good. Of course, this kind of thing usually begins and continues forth as a cycle but it doesn’t have to.
Below I am going to go over some signs that you were emotionally neglected as a child. If these things align with you on a real level then you’ve likely been affected by this kind of thing. From here you should work to understand the cycle and break it effectively.
1. You struggle to express your emotions freely.
When you’re someone who has been emotionally neglected as a child you will likely struggle to express yourself properly. You’ll hide your feelings and do your best to keep them away from everyone else. When you’re upset you don’t let yourself cry.
2. You hate having to rely on others because you feel like they’ll just let you down.
You feel like everyone around you is just going to let you down. You know that you’re the only person you can truly rely on and so that’s what you do. You hate putting faith in other people.
A lot of the time you feel empty. You’re unable to find something that makes you feel like your life is full. The more you search the less you end up finding.
4. You always feel guilty about expressing your needs.
When it comes to expressing your needs you feel like no one else cares. You feel guilty for needing something from someone else and wish you could handle things on your own. While there is no shame in asking for a helping hand, you will always feel as though there is at least on your part.
5. You are very uncomfortable when you have to rely on others.
Having to let other people do things for you makes you quite uneasy. Whether you know they will follow through or not you still don’t like having to do it. If you can’t do it yourself you are very on edge about it as a whole.
6. You tend to give up very quickly.
Because of your childhood, you are not the kind of person who holds onto things or ideas. You’re quick to give up and you don’t deal well with failure. You’re just not the kind of person to keep things going after you’ve been beaten down.
7. You don’t really have any compassion for yourself.
When it comes to compassion you have plenty for other people but none for yourself. You are very mean to yourself and never treat yourself properly. It’s like your needs always come last even in your own mind.
You’re someone who holds your expectations of yourself higher than those of others. You are always trying to do so much and shutting down when you fail. It’s like you want to accomplish more than anyone else all the while never taking the time to put the care you need into yourself.
9. Your self-esteem is lacking big time.
You are lacking big time when it comes to self-esteem. You are broken down and feel like you don’t matter. You’re willing to care for others but you don’t really care for yourself.
10. You feel like when people are being too nice they’re planning something evil.
Because of how you were treated in the past you feel like people who are too nice have bad motives. You don’t know how to trust others and it can be a big issue. You never let anyone in.
11. You are very sensitive when it comes to rejection.
When you do finally open up to someone if you get rejected it can seriously hurt you. This feels like you’re breaking down all over again. It can close you off and make you never want to reach out to anyone else, period.