Childhood is supposed to be a carefree time, filled with love and laughter. However, while most children do have that, there are some that end up emotionally neglected during those precious years.
Unfortunately, because our parents are supposed to model love for us, to teach us healthy attachments by providing us with love and support, when they don’t, it can be devastating to our development. Not only that, but when healthy and nurturing love isn’t modeled for you, it’s going to be harder for you not to carry those emotional wounds with you into your relationship.
I think some people laugh at the notion that a bad childhood has a lasting impact on us, because it may sound cliche. But, the fact of the matter is- that our parents are so important in shaping us into who we become as adults. And while that doesn’t mean that we are doomed to live terrible lives if we had a rough upbringing, it does mean that there are ways in which that experience lives in us forever.
Here are 6 emotional wounds carried into relationships by unloved daughters.
1. They have unhealthy attachment behaviors.
Attachment behaviors are a direct reflection of our relationship with our caregiver. When our caregivers (most often parents) bond with us, and help us to feel secure and loved, we have healthy attachment behaviors later in life in our relationships with others. But, when our parents emotionally and otherwise neglect us, it can cause us to have unhealthy attachment behaviors. Examples of this are insecure attachment, which can cause obsessive and clingy behaviors that push others away. Or, it can cause avoidant attachment behaviors, which ultimately cause us to build walls between ourselves and the rest of the world.
2. They don’t know how to trust.
Another side effect of being raised in an unloving situation is that we never learn how to trust others. Trust is an important component of any romantic relationship. One could say it’s a necessary building block to a healthy relationship. The good news is, that through therapy and growth techniques, there is hope to move forward and learn how to trust, despite a bad childhood.
3. They fear abandonment.
Children are vulnerable- and are born with the need to be loved and to feel secure. Unloving parents do not provide these necessities and feel the pain of abandonment trauma early on. And in turn, they ultimately end up learning to fear this pain for the rest of their life. In some cases, they may fear it so much, that they misunderstand signs and believe it’s happening to them in their relationships later in life when it is not.
4. They don’t understand boundaries.
Boundaries are also taught by our primary caregivers and when an emphasis on boundaries is not made, we are at risk of giving too much of ourselves, due to lack of boundaries. Or conversely, we may end up running over the boundaries of others.
5. They find it difficult to express their feelings.
Emotionally neglected parents do not have the experience of a parent who checks in with them and who is considerate of their feelings. Instead, they are often met with invalidation, which can ultimately make them fear emotions rather than learn how to deal with difficult emotions. Later in life, they may bottle their emotions up which only makes matters worse.
6. They struggle with their sense of self.
When we have a healthy relationship with our parents, we learn that we are worthy of unconditional love. However, when a hypercritical or neglectful parent is present, they end up making their children feel as though they are unworthy of love. And this can be catastrophic for the sense of self in a child.