Childhood Emotional Neglect
I’m an adult, I’m not a kid anymore, so why do I keep holding out hope to get my parents approval and love?
For some reason, I keep thinking that my parents are going to come around and become the parents that I always wanted. You know, the parents that you hear about, the ones who supported and loved their children through everything. Instead, I got the parents who just thought I was in the way. They had me because they thought that’s what they needed to do, that’s what everyone else was doing. It’s sad to realize that my parents are still the same. I’m just in their way as an adult. If I ask them if they want to come to something their response is usually, ‘Well, we are out of town,’ or ‘We have something going on.’ Not, ‘Yes, we will be there no matter what.’
Once I learned about CEN a lot made sense about why I am the way I am.
You probably went to prom, didn’t you? I did too. You probably had your parents taking pictures of you and your date. Telling you what time you had to come home — worrying about their little girl.
I went to prom too; this is how it went.
I picked out a cheap dress that didn’t even look like a prom dress; I think it cost $20, that’s all the money I had to spend on it. I told my parents that I was going to prom and they said they’d be out of town. I got dressed up in my fancy threads, did my hair and makeup the best I could, buckled on my strappy heels and waited at home by myself for my date to pick me up.
There were no parents slobbering over us, crying over how fast I’d grown, threatening my date with firearms that didn’t exist. It was uneventful.
My parents were gone, where they wanted to be.
They would be back later that night after I had left to go to this milestone event in my life.
We went, we danced, or we tried. We ate and drank. Then we went to the school organized after party, it wasn't fun for us, we were both shy, and weren't enjoying the ‘wild night.’ We wanted to leave the after party, but before we could, they had to call our parents to make sure it was OK for us to go. I panicked, it was late, my parents would be upset that they were being called unnecessarily. I wasn’t scared that my parents wouldn’t want us leaving the party or because they would care where we were and what we were doing, because they wouldn’t. I was worried they would get mad at me for waking them up.
But they called them, that was our only way to leave. My mom answered the phone, half asleep, I explained to her why I was calling and handed the phone over to the adult who cared about the future of the children in their lives.
We left, we sat in a parking lot and smoked a nice cigar I bought. It was the only bad stuff I could legally do and the only bad stuff I had done in my life up to that point, still now the list is not all that long or bad. We were awkward, didn’t talk much.
Neither of us had much self-esteem, both thanks to our parents.
We couldn’t figure out anything else to do. We drove around for a while. I told my date to take me home. I didn’t have to sneak into the house. There was no curfew discussed, as long as I was quiet and didn’t wake them I wouldn’t get in trouble. If I didn’t come home at all their lives would probably go on, and they’d forget I was even there.
I came in, took everything off, and went to bed as if nothing had happened. The next day my parents didn’t ask questions; they just went about their day.
Having a daughter of my own has opened my eyes to my parent’s faults, to their lack of caring, and knowing how to show love. I have decided not to be like them; it was an easy decision. I am so emotional it’s sickening; I am going to annoy my daughter with ‘I love you’s’ and hugs.
I’m sure I’ll create different issues for her than I had, but at least she will know she is loved.
What do you think? Have you suffered Childhood Emotional Neglect? How has it affected you?