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Emotional Neglect

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Emotional Neglect

Postby amysh1995 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:15 pm

I have always had a bad relationship with my father, even as a kid. Growing up I remember I would try and get my dad to spend time with me but he would always want to do his own thing and would always say things like "Amy, I am dong this right now", "the game is on", "or I am tired I just got home from work". There would always be an excuse. Another thing which is important to add is that, I have only lived with my dad since I was 12 and not my mother, because at that time my mother ended up getting a stroke and she ended up being paralyzed and in a wheelchair so she wasn't able to care for me, so I was forced to live with my dad. And during that time when I was dealing with that, my father never really gave me emotional support or affection. I mean, he would give me a hug and would tell me that he loves me on my birthday or Christmas but it was never a normal thing and it felt awkward when he would, almost as if he didn't really want to do it, it was just an obligation. Even to this day as an adult, I will sometimes try and strike up a conversation with him and sometimes he ignores me and I will say something like "You hear me?" and he will just be like "Amy, I am doing something now". And he will just be on the computer reading news articles. I have also tried talking to him about it and telling him how it makes me feel and he just laughed at me like my feelings were dumb. And most of the time when he talks to me he talks to me in this angry tone, and there was a couple of times I stuck up for myself and told me how he was being but then he just raised his voice and told me to "shut up".

I feel like this "emotional neglect" over the years has made a very negative impact on my emotional health even as an adult. Whenever I make new friends in my life, I find it very hard to open up to them and talk to them about my feelings. Also, I love affection and I crave it, I really wish I had it but I am too afraid to even give my friends a random hug or anything. I always feel like I would be bothering them if I did so..

One time I asked my father why he didn't really show me he loved me and he told me "it will make you stronger". But, I realized now that by him not showing me love or giving me any emotional support only made me weaker. I was in a relationship with this girl for over 4 years and she would always cheat on me but I would always end up forgiving her because I only thought of the good times. She was my only source of affection that I got, and even though she treated me like $#%^, I still stayed because at least I was getting some sort of love. But, I broke up with her the last time it happened so that's progress.

I just wish I didn't feel like I do now. My father has two other kids and only talks to me that way.. It's almost like I am a burden in his life. And talking to him about it doesn't do anything, it just bothers him even more.
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Re: Emotional Neglect

Postby avatar123 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:09 am

This sounds like your father has an emotionally distant personality. People like that are often good providers in other ways, but don't see a need to provide emotionally or connect on an emotional level, because their emotions are mostly self-contained, and they expect that to be true of others as well.

That also explains his annoyance at your attempts to engage him and have an emotional relationship. If you aren't asking for something he can provide, he doesn't see the point and regards it as frivolous. But of course it's important to you, and that is not wrong, it's just unfortunate that you are inevitably hurt by his indifference, when he probably doesn't understand the problem that causes.

If it's any consolation, you are probably closer to normal on the spectrum than he is, in terms of emotional availability. It may be that you will have to accept him as he is, and realize it isn't personal, he just doesn't get that he could be more available and that this would improve your relationship. He probably could benefit from counseling or therapy, but he wouldn't see the need for that either, so unless something else happens that forces him into it, it's not likely.

Maybe if you realize that being emotionally available is a positive attribute that you have, you can allow others in your life to see that part of you, and in return get the emotional feedback that you need from them instead. You also could try counseling as a way for you to achieve this and deal with your dad. It would be great if he went with you but maybe that's not in the cards. But you can still benefit and become a happier person. Main thing is you need people around you with which to have emotionally satisfying relationships. Most of them should find it satisfying as well, so you shouldn't hold back or be afraid to try.
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Re: Emotional Neglect

Postby thegentlepath » Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:34 pm

I’m sorry your parents weren’t able to be emotionally supportive. :( I can relate. A book that has helped me is Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect by Jonice Webb, PhD with Christine Musello, PsyD. Maybe pass it along to dad after you’re through.
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