Childhood neglect can wound you deeply and leave you with scars that never fully heal. Childhood neglect is a bit insidious, it’s not always perceived as abuse by our society and yet it is. The pain is the same and the life-long wounds just as damaging.
Imagine A Happy Puppy
Imagine a happy puppy, so excited that Mom or Dad are finally home, he rushes to the front door, tail wagging vigorously, Mom and Dad enter, look at him distractedly, pat him on the head and walk on by, they enter their office, get on the computer and shut the door. Its like they never even saw him.
Or maybe this puppy doesn’t get fed until 9pm or doesn’t get fed at all, he’s hungry and lonely.
Our theoretical puppy dejectedly lays down against the wall, his need for love and affection not met, he puts his head on his paws and looks longingly at the closed office door.
Maybe, if he’s a better puppy he’ll get the love he needs, or maybe he’ll chew up their shoes out of anger & pain and be scolded and punished as a “bad dog.”
This is how childhood neglect can feel; sad, alone, dejected, shut down and angry.
Its difficult to heal childhood neglect all by yourself
Its difficult to heal childhood neglect all by yourself. The whole wounding, in a way, is that you were on your own. Perhaps physically, definitely emotionally. Part of re-learning and healing the wound is to be supported while in connection, so you don’t have to do it: alone. To heal, you must have an opposite, corrective experience of your childhood wounding.
Another key to healing is vulnerability
Another key to healing is vulnerability. To be fully yourself, to share your true being and essence with another and be fully embraced and accepted, just as you are. This is tremendously liberating and healing. You need another person or a group to safely practice sharing and being accepted.
If you can’t watch it now, bookmark it and come back later, you’ll be glad you did.
A third key to healing childhood neglect
A third key to healing childhood neglect is to feel all of your feelings and the sensations in your body. This is a BIG one. Most times it’s too painful to fully feel our childhood experience when we’re young. We have to suppress things in order to emotionally survive, so we shut off parts of ourselves. This is a survival mechanism and a smart one. And yet, there comes a time when we need to begin re-opening these doors within ourselves. We need to do this because we begin to recognize that the unconscious material we’ve suppressed is causing painful havoc in our lives and destroying relationships.
As you learn to feel everything fully, in a safe and supported setting, though hard in the short-term, long-term your life gets better and richer, more filled with love and joyous support. It’s worth it and you can start seeing results faster than you think possible.
Finally, is it worth the work?
Finally, is it worth the work? You have to go back and experience the pain and this is hard, it’s not easy. And yet, I think it’s absolutely worth it. My own life now is a cumulation of joyous experiences mixed with the pains of life. I can tell you that my joys are higher, my relationships feel more alive, my happiness fuller, my life richer and more rewarding. I’m so happy now that I’ve done this deep personal work and cleared away a lot of this suppressed trauma. Is it worth the time and effort? I absolutely believe it is.
For me it took time, it was not an instant fix. But what I learned was that when I focused on just the right things (those things listed in the “things to do” section), the changes became markedly faster. It’s not instantaneous but every step forward is an improvement of your life. If you had a neglected childhood, get support from someone who can support you fully. If you want to talk to me about your healing process, please reach out.
I offer my clients 2 versions of therapeutic support. One is group psychotherapy. It’s important to have group experiences of sharing, embodiment, safety and being accepted to move fully forward in your healing. (I can’t emphasize this enough, it helps you feel safe expressing yourself in groups and in society). I also offer 1 on 1 therapy services. I believe both, group and individual support are necessary to accelerate your healing process.
Contact me to learn more about the work that I offer and if it feels like my services can support you.
Very best from Boulder, Colorado