allowing the deep feelings : facing the truth of emotional abandonment and neglect

I just caught up on a few very raw posts from a fellow blogger that I had not seen for some months and was touched by the courage her deep dive into the raw honesty of feelings of emotional abandonment she expressed.. .She was deep deep in the abandonment emptiness and the sharing was most appreciated by several people who follow her blog.. It made me realise how often we invest in denial and gloss over our painful feelings, simply because we were so dismissed in childhood it was almost impossible to admit to these feelings, and yet our healing requires we fully feel and acknowledge the pain and emptiness instead of trying to gloss it all over. It also seems that in our society it is rare to find someone who is prepared to expose that level of rawness and emptiness, but when they do it gives others the courage who feel the same to be honest and vulnerable too.

We have to acknowledge our past true feelings to move through them, and even though they can bleed through into the present, these feelings about a difficult emotional past are reality, they may stay buried for some years before being triggered by a life event, such as a separation, betrayal, divorce, loss or illness. The hardest thing is, when these feelings burst out, to be with someone who shames us for them or leads us to believe we are wrong or bad or sick for having them. Deep soul pain cannot be glossed over, or if it is the hurting soul still remains in that dark pit trying to get our attention some way.

Another deeply painful problem with suffering anxiety and depression (symptoms of childhood trauma and neglect) is being sidelined for these symptoms and it not being understood that such things are only symptoms. .. being unacknowledged and affirmed in the deeper reality which often requires therapy or a hell of a lot of emotionally engaged introspection.. something not very favored or applauded in our society either.

I cannot tell you how grateful I was 6 or so years back to come across the work of Complex PTSD therapist, Pete Walker, reading his book Complex PTSD ; From Surviving to Thriving helped me to understand the core wound of abandonment I pretty much entered in 2004 and had to stay with until very very recently. Truth is now I am not in that core wound all of the time and i I have times of bursting out, but for over 15 years I was truly living in the wound and was attracted to relationships that deepened it.. Sad as it was to let the last one go, it was better for me.. and it was also necessary to find a good therapist and that took me until 2016. Without a good therapist I simply could not make the best progress.

Also one of the hardest aspects of recovery for me has been working through my blog and therapy to expose and turn around the self blame that so often accompanies childhood neglect and emotional trauma. We learn to blame ourselves in unresponsive families where we are not seen, mirrored, attuned to, or given help to understand our feelings.. often we were actively shamed for self expression either of sadness or anger (something Pete Walker deals with extensively in his work)..

I still was being shamed for my sadness and anger up until a few years ago by my family and it only now I see that more clearly. There are times I sucked up bad treatment when I should have really set far better boundaries, however, the core wound of problems with boundary setting is one that accompanies not being helped as a child to define our own personal psychic, mental, emotional and physical space and life.

Looking back my own boundaries were so often over run by parents, I suffered at least 5 serious injuries due to them being out of control with addictions or just not paying attention and, of course, when I nearly lost my life at 17 that was the most massive of traumas but one I was not able to know the full impact of until many years later. In fact a moment ago I was just sharing with neighbor who has become a close and loving friend about that trauma.. it still affects me on Saturday mornings and may always do.. And much as we can say not to think about our traumas and just put the focus on the present, sometimes they just possess us from a profoundly somatic level that would not enter the reality of someone who never underwent such trauma..

The trauma of that accident, still stored deeply within as vibrational charge recurred when my husband and I separated (actually on the first anniversary of that in 2005). I still suffer from it as it was a bad head injury I sustained. I was also reading a book on emotional sensitivity and the truth is that empaths react a lot to different foods and energies around us anyway, past trauma makes our gut more sensitive and and it wires our brains and responses and may make us hypervigilant too, which arks up the sensitivity.. Its not just something we can actively block, only become aware of.

Shaming ourselves for our pain and trauma, treating ourselves with the same lack of empathy and dismissal as was shown to us is a core problem in healing from Complex PTSD, abandonment trauma and neglect.. In the end, as so many of us know, its up to us to ‘get it’ but that often requires a lot of help.. Without those loving, affirmative attachments in childhood we struggle more and are more like to attract those who are not helpful either.. This is especially true if we seek a spiritual or biblical cure. More active shaming can be shown by some with religious convictions if they also remain blind to the core of childhood trauma. There is a term given to this by a therapist called John Welwood of spiritual bypassing. Welwood reminds us that psychological work must be undertaken before we reach for spiritual cures..

To clarify there is a saying :

the way through this world is often more difficult to find than the way beyond it..

When we try to locate our healing and re-unification in a far off place, or pain free ‘afterlife’ we are only bypassing the work we need to do to take on board how and why we suffer and can continue to keep perpetrating such suffering on ourselves and others.. So those who have the courage to give an active voice to core wounding and abandonment, to my mind are the deeply important people we need to honor and stick close to on the path of healing from Complex Trauma and childhood emotional (attachment) trauma, and neglect.

2 thoughts on “allowing the deep feelings : facing the truth of emotional abandonment and neglect

  1. I agree, for myself, I have found relief for my pain seems connected to going to where my pain is. It can be a very overwhelming process as the emotions of that part of me flood through me. At first after I would think, “why did I do that to myself? What’s the point?”. But amazingly as the next couple days go by I notice there has been a release of sorts and small but tiny changes are available to me.

    It seems by learning to listen to myself wherever I am in that moment and respecting it I am learning to always be in contact with myself/always be there with myself. And that presence, that feeling of not being alone, does wonders for my soul. It is powerfully healing for me. I try to always remind myself that now, “no matter what happens I will be here for you”.

    This might be confusing but I think of it as – where YOU are is where YOU should be. To me this means I strive to always be in compassionate contact with myself.

    What you shared here reminded me of this process of going to wherever I am, which I feel has been so healing to me. 🌸

    1. How beautiful is it to be able to say…”no matter what…I will be there for you”. I found that gift only recently. Of self containing and self witnessing. It truly is transformative.

      Thanks for sharing all that here.

      Much love to you. 💙🦋

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