What one may have come to see is that their parent wasn’t emotionally available during early years and, now that they are adult, this parent is no different. As a result of this, the pain that they experienced as a child could continue to this day.
It then won’t be a case of what took place is in the past and now their parent is actually available, allowing them to put this stage of their life behind them. No, what took place will still be going on.
Stuck In a Nightmare
Irrespective of whether someone is in their twenties, thirties, forties, fifties or older, they will have most likely had enough of this pain. In addition to this pain, they will have also had enough of experiencing life in this way.
What they went through as a child would have been enough, without having to going through a similar experience again now that they are an adult. Both of them will be older, but the relationship that one has with their parent could be very much like the one they had many years ago.
When they were a small child, this parent may have been physically there, but that would have been as far as it went. Consequently, one may have felt invisible around them and as though they didn’t even exist.
If there were times when this parent was actually there, it might not have been long before they soon disappeared again. Either way, ones parent would have been physically there, but they wouldn’t have been able to get emotionally close to them.
What may have taken them a while to understand that their early years were not healthy was the fact that their parent (or parents) was around and may have even brought them plenty of ‘things’. This would have caused them to believe that they were not neglected.
Fortunately, however, they would have come to see that even though their parent was around, they were still neglected. Still, it may have taken them a little while to come to terms with this and they could still have moments when part of them tries to deny it.
So, while their parent may have been around, this parent wouldn’t have been able to meet most of their developmental needs. Their need to be loved, seen, heard, accepted, and approved of and many others, would have rarely, if ever, been met,
Thanks to this, their physically body would have most likely grown, yet their emotional self would have probably stayed in an undeveloped state. This would also mean that their sense of self would have remained undeveloped too.
While this parent wouldn’t have been able to give them what they needed at this stage of their life, and still won’t be able to do so now that they are an adult, part of them is still going to be looking for what they didn’t get all those years ago. If one is unable to detach from this part of them and to observe it, they could believe that their adult self is the part of them that wants things from their parent.
This is not the truth, though, as their adult self most likely won’t need anything from this parent. What his emphasises is how important self-awareness is as this will be part of what allows them to move forward.
Ultimately, it is highly unlikely that one’s parent will suddenly become emotionally available and start to be there for them. And even if this was to take place, their pain that they experienced through not having their needs met as a child is not simply going to disappear.
In order for them to accept that their parent is not going to change, and to no longer expect anything from them, they will probably need to work through their unmet childhood needs. This is what is likely to stop them from trying to get blood out of a stone, which is what they will be trying to do by trying to get their parent to actually be there for them.
Getting in touch with how they really feel and facing this pain won’t be easy, but it will be a big part of what stops them from looking to this person to provide what they are unable to provide. If they were to try to face this pain by themselves it could be too much for them to handle, so they may need to reach out for external support.
During this time, one will start to get in touch with how they feel and to go where they wouldn’t go by themselves. A therapist or a healer, for instance, will hold the space for them.
A Long Road Ahead
In an ideal world perhaps, one would be able to work through all their unmet childhood needs in one session or one weekend. This would then allow them to get back to living their life.
There is not going to happen, with this being something that takes a number of years. Furthermore, this is not a linear process, so one can have moments when they feel worse, but as long as they keep working through their pain, their life will gradually change for the better.
It will be important for one to focus on the fact that they don’t deserve to suffer and to realise what they went through wasn’t their fault. Their life will change as long as they do what they need to do and keep going.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, 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.