All children deserve love, but that’s just too good to be true. What happened to those whose basic needs weren’t met when they were kids? And how does it affect our adult years? Let’s dig into this topic, it’s not pretty, but it’s our reality.
Deprivation can come to a child in various shapes and forms: lack of food, diseases, maltreatment, and child abuse. But the lack of love seems to be just as harmful. When you’re struggling with your physical health, you still have a chance to become a stable adult, if you had enough support, despite the circumstances. However, the lack of love and attention from parents or parental figures leaves scars. And you learn to live with them.
We can’t pick our gender, race, time or place of birth, or our parents. 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 messed up kids are more or less likely never fully to grow up. 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 minimize 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. And you won’t forget, but you can start by forgiving.
Feeling useless and hopeless
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. And 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 recognize 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, doing math, 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. Emotionally deprived children tend to believe that love is a transaction. But, now you know better. And you have this opportunity to pick your people carefully so that they help you overcome the childhood wounds and emerge as a better person.
You don’thave 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!