If someone was brought up by at least one parent who was emotionally unavailable and lacked the ability to attune to their needs and feelings, they can be in a bad way now that they are an adult. The reason for this is that they wouldn’t have been born with a fully developed sense of self; they needed to receive the right nutrients for this to occur.
So, as they were deprived of the nutrients that they needed, it is going to be normal for them to be in a bad way. Nonetheless, if they haven’t been able to join the dots, so speak, and see why their life is this way, they can simply believe that there is something wrong with them.
To take a closer look at how they experience life, they could have moments when they feel emotionally overwhelmed and moments when they feel numb. Feeling good about themselves could also be a challenge, with them often feeling very low.
But, although they will need support, they might have the inclination to keep what is going on for them hidden, both from others and themselves. Deep down, they can believe that if they were to open up about what is actually going on for them, they would be rejected and abandoned.
If so, there will typically be how they come across and then, there will be what is really going on for them. As a result of this, they could be surrounded by people but they are still going to feel alone and unsupported.
Maintaining this act and keeping to all together is going to take a lot of energy, and, before long, they might no longer be able to behave in this way. If this happens, it will be a time when they are too worn down to act as if everything is fine.
In the short term, this will make their life harder than it was before, but, in the long term, it will allow them to be real and have people in their life who are also real. As things stand, they will be depriving themselves of the attunement that they need.
Therefore, they will have been deprived of the attunement that they needed as a child and they will continue to be deprived of it as an adult. The other part of this is that by putting on an act and not listening to themselves, they won’t be attuning to themselves either.
What’s going on?
Now, assuming that they were able to step back and see that they are not only seldom being seen by others but seldom being seen by themselves, they could wonder what is going on. What might soon enter their conscious awareness is that they have been this way for as long as they can remember.
After reflecting on their childhood for a little while and being reminded of certain things, they could soon see that this was a stage of their life when they were rarely seen and heard. They might stand out is that they were often treated as though they were merely an extension of their parent or parents.
As they were rarely seen and heard, they would have been forced to lose touch with themselves. Being in touch with their needs and feelings would have been too painful.
To minimise the suffering they were in, their brain would have automatically caused them to gradually lose touch with their true self. In its place, a disconnected false self would have been created, that was more or less completely focused on what their parent or parents wanted.
A stage of their life, then, that was supposed to keep them connected to and allow them to develop a stronger connection to themselves, would have been a stage that caused them to lose themselves. Most likely, at least one of their parents was also deprived of the attunement that they needed during their formative years and was estranged from their true self.
And, as they hadn’t healed any of their inner wounds, for whatever reason, they ended up unconsciously placing their child into the role of a parent. This is an example of how when one generation is deprived and unaffirmed, the next generation often ends up being deprived and unaffirmed.
What this illustrates is that one was not deprived because there was something inherently wrong with them; they were deprived because they were brought up by at least one person who was unable to provide them with the love that they needed. But, as they were egocentric at this stage, they would have had the capacity to understand that this is why it was and, even if they did, it would have been too traumatic for them to face reality.
Taking into account then how important it is to be seen and heard, for them to move forward, they will need to be seen and heard not just by others but by themselves. When it relates to others, this will be a time when they will express their feelings and their needs to a therapist/ healer and perhaps trusted friends, and, when it relates to themselves, this will relate to them listening to their needs and feelings and doing what is right for them.
If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.