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AEB
Senior Contributor

Child of emotional neglect

I’ve never known what a good strong healthy relationship looks like...I grew up witnessing my parents fight and usually being getting in between them. This often lead to getting hurt or punishment, usually in the form of a good belting. I was never able to speak up and always got shut down if I tried. So I learnt to just keep everything inside. I retreated so far back into myself that often my parents would have to check if I was even home. I struggle with speaking up about what I need and what I want now in my adult years. My partner often asks me what do I need or what can she do? All I can do is stare at her and cry. Then I usually get angry at myself for not speaking up and this makes her feel like I’m pushing her away. I need help with connecting with her and opening up more and not being so angry at myself. I just don’t know how or where to start. 

10 REPLIES 10

Re: Child of emotional neglect

My father left when I was five. Only to c him sometimes on the holidays. He never really spend any time with us. He was violent to my siblings. I retreated into myself after that and as I got older I started hearing storiesand spent much of my childhood reading. Even now as a mature adult after a30 year marriage breakdown I'm doing the same. Ten years later I'm still struggling. I think you are heading in the right direction. Baby steps and regular counseling. If u don't click with a Counsellor find a new one. For yourself and your wife start sharing small things about your childhood that was painful. Cry. Try and open your mind to the thought that you can face these things and feel better about yourself. Pain stops us. Keep going. Be easy on you and your family. Be patient. 

Re: Child of emotional neglect

@AEB  I responded on the welcome yourself thread, so I won’t repeat myself. Just letting you know it’s good to see you here.

 

@Charmaine   Welcome to the forums also. You might like to meet a few other on the Good Morning  thread.

 

I’m sorry you too have experienced childhood trauma. Many here understand. You are welcome to join in anywhere.

 

The @ brings a dropdown, and is how we tag others. I hope to see you around.

Re: Child of emotional neglect

I have just about shared all of my childhood with my partner. I get frozen over stupid things that I can’t open up about. It’s like she asks me what I need or want and I just freeze. 

Re: Child of emotional neglect

@AEB  It’s not stupid at all. Sometimes, or maybe often, we just need someone to sit with us. There aren’t alway words for bit feelings.

Re: Child of emotional neglect

Welcome, @AEB  and @Charmaine , it's good to have you here.

 

@AEB , if you google Dr Jonice Webb, she's done a lot of work on childhood emotional neglect, and sends out free emails with a lot of useful information, if you're interested. I'm sorry that you have suffered that Smiley Sad

Re: Child of emotional neglect

Thank you I will do just that. I need all the help and support I can get. I need to stop self sabotaging myself and my happiness

Re: Child of emotional neglect

It’s like I just hit a wall and my brain is thinking a million miles and hour but the words won’t come out of my mouth

Re: Child of emotional neglect

@Charmaine  Sorry that your father was like that. I can’t even hold a relationship for longer than 6 months, I just self sabotage it for myself. Any strategies on how to stop doing that?

Re: Child of emotional neglect

Hi mate. I had the exact same issue. We even went to marriage counseling Coz we thought I had anger issues but it turned out to be trauma related. Anyway, within 6 months of learning how to communicate what I need/ how I feel (trauma makes that hard), it was good! Now I do more in-depth trauma stuff. But my wife also sat with me and learned what I was doing in therapy so she knew how to support. It’s possible. It’s all about open communication when you’re in the right headspace to learn to use it for when you’re in a sh* t headspace x
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