Early Deprivation: Can Someone Be Out Of Touch With Their Emotional Self If They Had Emotionally Unavailable Parents?
Along with someone’s physical needs, they will also have emotional needs. However, even though this is the case, they can be out of touch with their emotional needs.
If so, although these needs will be outside of their conscious awareness, they will still have an effect on how they behave. When it comes to their emotional needs, this will relate to their need to be seen and heard, valued and loved.
From behind the scenes, then, these needs are going to play a part in what they do and what they don’t do. Based on how they behave, they can create the impression that they are self-reliant and don’t need others.
They may prefer to do things by themselves and rarely if ever ask for help. Some of the people in their life could describe them as being very independent and anything but ‘needy’.
Yet, as they are not meeting their emotional needs, they are going to be depriving themselves of the emotional nutrients that they need. They could have a number of ways of letting go of the tension that builds up inside as a result of them missing out on what they need.
This is not to say that they will be aware of this tension, though, as they could automatically do something that will allow them to release it. Once they have engaged in a certain activity, for instance, they could be able to settle done again.
So, to release tension, they could have casual sex, exercise or have a massage. At the same time, the tension inside them could cause them to be highly motivated and simply working on their goals could allow them to let go of a lot of tension.
Therefore, thanks to the tension inside them, they will have all the fuel that they need to move forward in their career and other areas of their life. They could end up living in this way for many, many years, if not decades.
If a time was to arrive when they no longer had the energy or the desire to behave in this way, they could start to wonder why they have behaved like a machine for so long. What could also enter their mind is why they have neglected their need to experience deeper connections with others.
It could soon occur to them that they have been out of balance for a long time and need to spend more time in being mode and less in doing mode. They could find that they have behaved in this way for as long as they can remember.
If they were to imagine that they were in touch with their emotional needs and reached out to another, and this could be a friend or a romantic partner, they could soon end up feeling good. Nonetheless, after a while, they could end up feeling hopeless and helpless.
The reason for this is that they could imagine that they end up being rejected and ignored by the other person. They are then not going to be embraced and be accepted, they will be cast aside and treated like they are nothing.
What’s going on?
If this is what they expect to take place, when they are in tune with and express their need to be seen and heard and valued and loved, it’s not going to be a surprise that they have acted needless for most of their life. Ultimately, they are not going to expect warmth from their fellow human beings; they will expect apathy and even disdain.
Their ‘go it alone’ approach to life is then going to make complete sense. This will be a way for them to stop themselves from being harmed; the downside to this is that they will be going against their own interdependent nature.
What this may show is that their early years were a stage of their life when they missed out on the love that they needed to grow and develop in the right way. They may have had at least one caregiver who was emotionally unavailable and, thus, unable to truly be there for them.
In general, when they needed to be seen and heard and treated with love and care, they might have been ignored, criticised and/or rejected. The attunement that they needed wouldn’t have been provided and this would have greatly wounded them.
In all likelihood, their parent was too wounded to be there for them, perhaps due to them also being deprived of the love that they needed during their formative years. Nonetheless, as they would have been egocentric at this stage of their life, they would have personalised what took place.
It was then not that their parent was not in a good way, no; it was that there was something wrong with their needs and themselves. In reality, there was nothing wrong with their needs or themselves.
To handle a brutal stage of their life, they would have lost touch with their emotional needs and feelings. This would have meant that they also lost touch with their true self.
What would have replaced their true self would have been a disconnected false self. Not being connected to their emotional needs and feelings at this stage of their life would have protected them but now it will no longer serve 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.