11 Comments to
How to Spot Childhood Emotional Neglect in a Loved One

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  1. Dear Dr Jonice!
    I was astounded when I read this, because I can recognize myself in a lot of the sigals.

    Also I have heard from ex husband that he feels I am inside a big glass bubble. I suffer a lot cause I don’t only feel, but have proven to myself when i visit him, that he does’nt care at all how I feel, I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to my ex husband was a narcissist and then I got Ovarian Cancer at age 38, my only child a son, was only 12 years old, and the progonose was’nt very good, I learned afterwards from my dear doctor.
    I left my narcissistic husband at the same moment cause somehow I felt I¨m not gonna make it if I have a person who is completely self-absorbed and not even bothers to get to the hospital I was operated twice, and then 6 months of chemo. When a friend brought me home from hospital, he did’nt even care to come out from his so called “office” so I crawled around on my knees to gt the deep frozen dishes I had purchased beforehand. It was an unworthy life. So some friends helped me to move, to a small apartment with my son, I got to a pshychiatrist and was set on antidepressants to cope, and prayed to God that I would make it. My father at this time, who lives in France as retired, I live in Sweden, did’nt care much, though my mom had died a few years before in breast-cancer, only 66 years old. I know she was very unhappy with him. But she had no choice but to stay, she came from Norway after the second WW and had nothing, but was very beautiful and had a great intellect and couldl be very amusing. So she married this man who was from a higher middleclass family, just to get a good family, and sure in the beginning I think they were in love. But it was always about him. (suspect narissistic personality) what can I do about myself. I am now on sick leave for PtSD and Panic Disorder, and who is it who got childhood neglect here????? That’s my question. Sorry to have bothered you!!! thanks.

    • Hi Anna, your comment is not a bother! Thanks for sharing your story with us. It sounds like you’ve been through a lot. I suggest you read as much as you can about CEN, via all the posts in this blog and consider talking with a trained therapist. I wish you all the best!

    • Hi Anna,get some EMDR which is tried and tested for PTSD as it really helped me. And keep going 🙂 xxx

  2. Dr. Jonice-CEN seems to affect so many aspects of our lives; it’s mindboggling. My only sibling has CEN, having grown up in the exact circumstances as myself.I know I have CEN; she does as well but no introspection. Great article with a question- when mentioning how flexible she is and asking why, the usual response would be I don’t know or perhaps a ‘flip’ answer. In trying to help what would be the most helpful/appropriate response to put her on the right track without being ‘in her face’ about it? Thank you so much for this epiphany on CEN. Just knowing really helps.

    • Hi Riptide, you might be able to reach her by talking about yourself and your own CEN. Then when you see her being overly flexible you could say, “I’m that way too, you know.Remember that blog/book I discovered? I’m really changing. I’m happy to tell you more about it if you’re interested at some point.” The reality is, she won’t see it until she’s ready, and all you can do is be there, and be supportive.

  3. Obviously, this is me. I have 2 brothers and a sister but this seems to fit me more than them. They are all married with grown kids. Me? Never dated, never married. We grew up in the same house, received the same corporal punishments. Never any affection, constantly felt like a burden. If I got attention at all it seemed like it was because I was in trouble. Are my siblings just dealing/hiding it better or are we all the same? There’s no fighting or arguing, but we rarely talk. No addiction or drinking. If someone in the family needs help, everyone is right there to help. I have no idea what their phone numbers are though. We are all extremely capable and independent. Part of that training of learning not to ask for anything. When I was 7 or 8 it seemed like my mother had “eased” up on me some. I got some, “they like you best” from my siblings. Looking back on it now I wonder if they had recognized how broken I was. Of course, it was too late. I was so afraid of my mother I walked on eggshells whenever I was home. I’ve never said “no” to my parents when they’ve asked me to do something, ever. Never any ideas of rebellion or standing up for myself.
    But having said this, I don’t really want to change. I don’t have the skill set to be social. I’m clearly avoidant, maybe even a little schizoid. It would be more stressful to try and change than to just keep going along with what I know. I can’t see the advantage. I might feel differently if I wasn’t 60 years old.

  4. This is so me. Always taking care of others , never any self care or attention to my needs.

  5. Boy did you touch a sore spot in me…hardly finished the first paragraph and the tears just started pouring down my face. Who knew these emotions still lie so close to the surface after all these years…I’m 64.

  6. This so me, I got 16 yes out of 22. I have been used, abused (sexually, physically, emotionally, verbally.) Raped as a child when I was 11 years old, taken from my mother at 13 and put in foster care for 2.5 years. (Horrible experience). I am having a hard time finding contentment in my life. I have felt unloved and unwanted all my life, my dad, my siblings, my children. I only felt love by my momma and she has been gone 28 years. She passed at 57 years of age. I feel lonely, alone all the time. I do my best to live like a lonely hermit.

  7. A useful article – thank-you!

  8. This is me also – back in college a girl even told me that it was like there was an invisible barrier that kept people from getting too close.
    On the other hand, when I have asked family members for help, they act like it is SO difficult- that I am putting them in such inconvenience. I end up always taking care of others – who is going to take care of me?

 

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