13 thoughts on “How Childhood Emotional Neglect Makes You Doubt Your Own Memories, Experiences, and Feelings

  • June 7, 2020 at 9:05 pm

    Very true thanks

  • June 8, 2020 at 5:11 am

    My mother’s message to me was to ignore bad behaviour of selfishness on behalf of others. Never let people know how you are feeling. Take the attitude of it doesn’t bother me. When my bullying brother was rude to her she would tell me that she just didn’t take any notice! I was told not to react, just ignore. When my brother and I parted company in our late 50s, there was no way we could resolve our differences.

    • June 8, 2020 at 9:05 am

      I’m sorry, Di. Your mother had very limited emotion skills. She probably taught you everything she knew, but it wasn’t enough. You can learn the skills now, though. You can contact your own emotions and start feeling and using them to protect yourself.

      • June 17, 2020 at 11:26 am

        my experience was similar to Di’s in her comment here. I learned nothing about how to cope with any bullying or selfishness, effectively, from either parent, other than be a Stoic.

        I just realised that in fact, the message sent, was that I had no ally in them either, leaving me with nothing effective against injustice and all the emotions that come with that – anger, feeling impotent, silenced, on and on.

        I am very keen to learn the emotional skills needed to cope with injustice. Loving your work, Dr J!!!

  • June 8, 2020 at 9:04 pm

    Thank you, Dr. Webb.

    • June 8, 2020 at 9:15 pm

      You are welcome! I’m glad you like the article.

  • June 10, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    Thank-you for this. Brought up memories of the frustration I felt in the final yesr of therapy. My therapist evidentally struggled with his own issues, stopped taking his meds and started abusing alcohol again. Came to sessions manic, sometimes drunk, but angrily denied it when I mentioned it. He talked all through sessions ignoring my nèeds and only focusing on his own. It wss a nightmare because I was in therapy to work through my own history of physical and emotional abuse by my mother and the myriad of issues that brings.
    The worst part is I have had no luck finding a therapist that will listen to me about this experience and how deeply it has affected me. So I had burried it deep until reading this article. Maybe I can let myself think about it and put it to rest.

    • June 11, 2020 at 9:54 am

      Dear Anne, what a terrible experience with therapy. I am so sorry that happened to you! I recommend you ask your primary care Dr. for a referral to a licensed therapist near you. Make sure they are someone you’re comfortable with before you open up. You deserve much better and there are many excellent, caring therapists who can help.

  • June 10, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    Thanks Dr. Webb! Great article!

    I can totally agree on the importance of this topic because trusting our feelings (when not related to ego-patterns or limiting beliefs) is allowing us to use it as our inner compass to find direction in life. I also believe it is part of our foundation that enables us to experience life in the present moment instead of living life through the mind.

  • June 16, 2020 at 2:39 am

    All of your work is wonderful, Dr. Webb, and has been key in my own self-healing in late 60’s and 70’s. As an only child of two very educated but neglectful parents, I struggled in my younger years with anger and self-blame then after divorce, I realized that my father was the cause of a lot of my struggles but had to remain in contact to take care of him in his last years.

    It was not until recovering from a catastrophic spinal infection at age 65 that I broke out of denial and was forced to admit that I had been seriously neglected. Your book, “Running On Empty,” was a recommendation from another less helpful book I was reading at the time, changed my understanding completely and explained why the lifelong attraction to narcissists and abusers.

    I still struggle with identifying emotions but am a work in progress and have learned to trust and even like myself much more than in the past and am starting to give myself credit for some of my strengths instead of “taking on” my father’s constant criticisms (15 years after his death) to the point of deep depression.

    Thank you for your life-changing work.

  • June 17, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    A really interesting and thought worthy article. Thank you for submitting your work.

  • July 26, 2020 at 7:19 am

    You have given this old gal some insights that I wish I’d had nearly 60 years ago. My father, then my husband had their good moments, but also were controlling and selfish people. And stupid me, I accepted it, complaining internally, almost never voicing my hurts. I haven’t been able to forget all these instances, and of course, there were hundreds of them. I feel like damaged goods, but I also feel liked and respected by some fine people. My prayers are for not damaging my own children as I was. The sons I had are not good to me, but seems to be in very happy marriages. My daughter loves me very much. I must keep moving forward.


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