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Take the Childhood Emotional Neglect Test


Take the ENQ

During twenty years of practicing psychology, I started to see an invisible force from childhood which weighs upon people as adults. It’s a “non-event” which is unnoticeable and unmemorable and yet leaves a profound mark upon the child that endures throughout adulthood.

72 thoughts on “Take the Childhood Emotional Neglect Test

  • August 7, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    22 to 22 could be great or really awful.

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  • August 7, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    13. Glad to see I’m not alone. Interesting list- glad to find it posted it makes more sense to me now.
    Thank you.

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  • August 8, 2014 at 6:03 am

    I circled all of them :/

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  • August 8, 2014 at 6:46 am

    all but one apply to me.

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  • August 8, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Every. Single. One.

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  • August 8, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Gosh, I circled all of them.

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  • August 8, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    I would imagine that most of us if not a vast majority of us would score over 6 on this “test.” I too got a perfect score of 22 out of 22!!

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    • August 9, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      You would be amazed how many people circle very few items on the test. I think when you grow up feeling this way, it seems normal to you and you assume everyone else does too. It’s part of what makes CEN so insidious, and it is part of the reason I am trying to raise awareness about it. Thanks to Jim and all for sharing your experience with the test!

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      • January 4, 2017 at 12:36 pm

        Your books spot on. I have got into so much trouble because I do not have self control. So glad you put the exercises in so that I can practise each day. I have been puzzled when people say you need self control as I had no idea how. I was left to do anything I wanted, nobody kept me safe. No one said they loved me, no one touched me and if I cried everyone freaked out. Its a lonely existence then I was married to someone 28 yr who ignored my emotions, I,m divorced now. Over the years I’ve worked a lot out myself also counsellors helped. Your book gave me my final piece. I have put a few simple visual help myself books together because I was the only one I knew dealing with it. My counsellor said I need to get them published. But I had no idea how to get self control, it was a mystery to me. I have mostly no feelings just numb each day. I thought of death a lot, not having to exsist detached from everyone. I brought my children up the complete opposite of my upbringing. They are successful even with their disorders. I was their support. I listened to them. I explained how to deal with life. They are both happy now. They tried everything that interested them and they are so content. Thank you for putting this book together you explained it perfectly. Jayne

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      • January 4, 2017 at 12:36 pm

        Your books spot on. I have got into so much trouble because I do not have self control. So glad you put the exercises in so that I can practise each day. I have been puzzled when people say you need self control as I had no idea how. I was left to do anything I wanted, nobody kept me safe. No one said they loved me, no one touched me and if I cried everyone freaked out. Its a lonely existence then I was married to someone 28 yr who ignored my emotions, I,m divorced now. Over the years I’ve worked a lot out myself also counsellors helped. Your book gave me my final piece. I have put a few simple visual help myself books together because I was the only one I knew dealing with it. My counsellor said I need to get them published. But I had no idea how to get self control, it was a mystery to me. I have mostly no feelings just numb each day. I thought of death a lot, not having to exsist detached from everyone. I brought my children up the complete opposite of my upbringing. They are successful even with their disorders. I was their support. I listened to them. I explained how to deal with life. They are both happy now. They tried everything that interested them and they are so content. Thank you for putting this book together you explained it perfectly. Jayne

        Reply
  • August 8, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    I find this line of questioning irresponsible and suspect. Anyone, no matter how “well” or lovingly they were raised may well feel ALL of these things at different points in life because it is THE HUMAN CONDITION to feel these things and sometimes the WAY THROUGH these things is essentially how we evolve, become responsible adults and learn to take responsibility for OURSELVES. Ascribing these emotional symptoms to a deficiency in , let alone LABELING IT?!…is NOT helping anyone and in fact, may only serve to reinforce a sense of helplessness, blame, bitterness. What about the notion that we are all here to learn how to love ourselves and others REGARDLESS?? How about the broader picture that there may be a really big part of the population who ACTUALLY ARE outsiders, in that they’re here to teach us how to live outside “the box” (which less evolved, less courageous, primarily main stream focused people tend to blindly live inside)?? Discomfort does not always have to be bad and it most certainly does NOT have to mean that your well meaning parents somehow NEGLECTED you. Life is a striving upward, period. Perhaps if we were all willing to take full responsibility RIGHT NOW for our lives, we could finally let go of this bull shit that we were somehow damaged by parents who were living in less informed times and probably did the best they possibly could given what they knew of life themselves.

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    • August 9, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      CEN is not an issue of blame at all. It’s about understanding something that went wrong in your childhood, and why and how it happened; then taking responsibility for it and starting your own healing process. I wrote a blog post a few months ago about the parental blame issue. You can see it here: http://www.drjonicewebb.com/shall-we-blame-our-parents/. All the best.

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    • August 12, 2014 at 12:15 am

      There is a difference between excuses and reasons. For me finding “reasons” for my hurt and confusion and lack of connection to my family helped me heal and at the same time helped my relationship with my family heal. This isn’t about placing blame, its about understanding. the first step to change is knowledge.

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      • August 12, 2014 at 7:41 am

        @mariposa44
        Well stated. This is what it means for me as well. Let the healing continue. Knowledge is power. Power to heal and move beyond our history.

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    • August 17, 2014 at 8:39 am

      Neglect doesn’t have to be intentionally practiced in order to cause harm. For instance, a child prodigy whose parents “neglected” to ever provide a piano will be, if not derailed, certainly behind all the other prodigies.

      There can be a whole range of reasons for neglect of a child’s developing ego and worldview, but a developing child has no way of remotely grasping those reasons. That’s why one child can still thrive in the same situation another becomes stunted, because not every person needs the same amount of information to make judgements of this life. Internal processing of experiences is actually quite sacred to the individual, as it should be for humans.

      Being a grown-up isn’t something that humans are just awarded for turning a certain age, it’s the system of processing experiences in a manner that engenders healthy expressions of and responses to Life. If we have skipped a step of learning who we are somewhere along the line,making processing information rationally difficult,it helps the healing process a lot to know where that step is. Unless you are an individual’s therapist, it’s really not your place, or even in your power, to tell them they can’t discern the source of their own disconnect.

      You deride people for not taking responsibility, then also deride them for attempting to do exactly that, just because their answers don’t fit your cheat sheet. That isn’t exactly rational, itself. Perhaps you should discuss that in your own therapy and leave others to theirs. Peace.

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    • January 4, 2017 at 12:44 pm

      You obviously do not suffer. This book is spot on and helpful to me and others who struggle just to exist. The parents usually have emotional neglect too. But our generation are looking for answers so that we can mend ourselves.

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  • August 21, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    hmmm…interesting. i wonder if race adds yet another dimension? growing up under imperialist-white supremacist-capitalist-patriarchy can definitely lead to generational CEN.

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    • October 27, 2019 at 3:57 pm

      I wonder how much CEN the people in communist Russia experienced.

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      • March 8, 2020 at 4:23 pm

        While the issue of “communist” Russia is avoidant, as politicization is, having known quite a number of Russians, Ukrainians, Moldovans and others , I have NOT found the intrinsic culture to seem highly neglectful of offspring.
        From the highly inclusive and loving traditional native Siberians to the successful artists and scientists, to the refugees (and make NO mistake – there ARE refugees from the USA across the world. The issue is far more significant and complex than those who refuse to explore may be aware. See Philip Tetlock’s discussion of Isaiah Berlin’s The Hedgehog and The Fox, wherein Hedgehogs are described as “knowing one big thing” and exteriorizing error (Blame!), while a foxlike thinker realizes the extreme complexity of causation.

        We find repeatedly the former misattribution of Dr. Webb’s work in comments. I abandoned psychology for more honest animals and their cognitions precisely due to aggressive, dogmatic, and violent human misattributors.
        Needless to say neither form of avoidance, mine or those who choose to deny and attack, are appropriate methods of healing.

        A someone who deeply desires that not a single person falls into the dogmatic/denial error, I respond here. not to initiate ANY debate, but ONLY so that those who personally suffer from lack and want to enlarge their love and compassion are not sidetracked by aggressive rejection and denial of their beauty and validity, however attractive rage and blame may seem.

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  • September 17, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    I circled 16 and three of them with double or triple circles. How is one supposed to deal and heal the scars. I am married to a man who is negative and enjoys very little. I have been blessed with talents (so I’ve been told as an adult) but have barely been able to use them. I am 55 and sometimes feel trapped and stifled. At the same time I am afraid to go it alone. The only thing that seems to make me feel better is being around those less fortunate and trying to be of help some how. Life is too short for learning from mistakes. Parents need to encourage and empower their children or don’t have them in the first place.

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  • October 17, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    21 of 22,anyone that reacts negatively to the questionnaire obviously doesnt understand.i read your blog on not sad not hurt not angry:empty and you nailed just one of many aspects that “rules?”my life mix it with bpd etc ….look forward to getting your book running on empty,even though in therapy the more i can understand the more can try and fix.ty you are a clever lady

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  • November 6, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Sadly, I circled 22 out of 22.

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  • November 18, 2014 at 4:23 am

    Notice how there are some very strong opinions reacting to this, from what I’ve experienced they’re usually the ones guarding very strong pain or defending their parents or themselves as parents.
    I circled most.
    Studies are Finally finding that children need emotional care and love more than was previously thought, yes we survive without it or with less, but my goodness it cripples us as adults.
    And Yes the parents Are responsible for this. They are the adults, we were the children. Children are innocent and they take in everything. Adults now have access to infinite information like this book. It’s time to end this cycle and hand me down of pain and neglect. I’m stopping it on my branch of the family tree, no more. It’s the best thing we can do for ourselves, our children and the whole world to heal this.

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  • November 18, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    I did the questionnaire, “yes” to all but a few questions. I kinda know why I’m emotionally detached and distant. Every time I asked “Hey Mom?” it was “WHAT DO YOU WANT NOW??” in reply. Verbal face-slap that never shows on the outside but slams the spirit bit by bit. After a short while I stopped asking. Mostly it’s because I hate drama, and my mother and her family were full of it. Also, mom wanted a boy, and all she got was girls. Three of them who needed her, and all she did was basically “adopt” every wayward boy who came along and lavish affection on them. My two younger sisters adapted after a fashion, I know they don’t feel as emotionally stunted as I do, they managed to make friends and have social interactions. Still, I’d like to know what I can do as an adult to unlearn the neglect I endured as a child. I know why I’m broken, how can I fix me?

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  • November 22, 2014 at 9:10 am

    I think many people will score highly on this test, but that doesn’t make the test invalid, I believe it reflects an inadequacy in widespread parenting practices. People unwittingly perpetuate the patterns of behaviour they were raised with, which means the same old cycle of emotional neglect just goes on & on from one generation to the next. Some emotionally neglectful parenting has become so ingrained that it is considered normal or even “good” parenting.

    Endless parenting “experts” and generations of well-meaning friends & relatives have advised parents to raise children in ways that invalidate their emotions, needs & sense of self worth. Things like leaving a young baby to cry to sleep (teaching her them that their parents cannot be relied on for comfort, and that their attempts to communicate emotional needs are pointless), ignoring or punishing displays of emotions in children (teaching them that their emotional displays are “bad” or unimportant & that they are alone in learning to manage them), etc. Doing these things doesn’t make you a bad parent, you are merely doing what “normal” parents do! I made many of these mistakes with my older children because I didn’t know any better, but since my youngest was born I have realised there is another way. I can already see the damage that has been done to my older children & I’m working hard to undo it but it’s very difficult. My youngest, on the other hand, is already much more emotionally intelligent than the others were at her age, is easier to manage, has fewer tantrums, has a well developed sense of empathy, is confident & happy, and we have a wonderful relationship (though she is not by any means an “easy child”, she is strong willed, full of energy, curious & cheeky! But I no longer find these traits as challenging to deal with as I did in my son, who was very similar).

    If you are a parent who is looking for a way to break the cycle look up “gentle parenting” for some ideas. The first step I would say is to learn to parent mindfully & with empathy, validating your child’s feelings before trying to discipline them (and discipline doesn’t necessarily mean punishment, it literally refers to guiding & teaching which can be done in a way that respects the child & teaches them to take genuine responsibility for their actions rather than just “behaving themselves” out of fear). Parenting gently doesn’t mean being permissive & letting them “get away” with bad behaviour, it is just a different way of handling things & can actually be far more effective at producing children who behave respectfully & thoughtfully than more authoritarian styles of parenting!

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  • December 18, 2014 at 1:40 am

    Sick. All of them. Not really shocked n yet the reality of it just seems hopeless in many ways. The art of ‘covering up’ may be mastered… But it sure is exhausting.

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  • January 15, 2015 at 6:15 am

    I was never neglected as a child. I was surrounded by love and encouragement from my parents and eight brothers and sisters. I am now 66 years old but I could still circle all of the questions asked. Could someone please explain that?

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    • January 15, 2015 at 10:34 am

      Dear Cricket, there could be several explanations. One is that as a child, you can be loved, but unseen. When this happens, most children have no idea that anything is missing for them. As adults, they blame themselves for whatever feels missing in their lives. People and psychology are complex, and there is no “recipe” or template that applies to everyone across the board, for anything. So I’m sorry but without knowing far more about you, I cannot tell you why you have all of these signs of CEN. Thank you for your comment, and best wishes!

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  • January 31, 2015 at 7:17 am

    I got 16 out of 22. Though I can’t really be sure if it’s accurate cause, one, I’m only 14 and, two, there were some questions that no matter how hard I tried to comprehend I couldnt, in a way, understand so i just ignored them. But well 16’s pretty high.

    Well I guess this could explain why I think my family is dsyfunctional, we don’t really talk about our emotions in my family so when I feel sad I just lock myself in my room and cry myself to sleep.

    Oddly enough although I don’t really associate with my siblings ( one older brother and one younger brother ) I feel like I connect with them in some way. Maybe it’s because we rarely talk about our negative emotions, aside from anger which is usually expressed at least once a day, so I feel closer to my siblings than my parents

    Is it weird that I think that I wouldnt be all that sad if my parents die? Well It’s not that they were bad parents, on the contrary they gave me the things i wanted most of the time, but I don’t really think I would cry if they died, probably be glum for a day then get over it the next.

    There are times where I tell my mom that I feel sick and she would listen for a moment before ignoring me again, and for some reason my parents think I lie when i say i feel sick, i dont even lie to them about being sick, not even once. But they believe my brother when he says he’s sick though he just acts sometimes.

    Well knowing that I may be an emotionally neglected child makes me somewhat at peace knowing that there are others like me, that I’m not the only one feeling like this, cause i feel guilty sometimes when I feel sad and dissatisfied with my life when there are others who have it worse than me.

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    • January 31, 2015 at 2:53 pm

      Dear Bunnies are Cute, I am so impressed that you’re thinking about such difficult things at your age. Do you think your parents might take you to see a therapist if you asked them? Or is there a counselor at school who you could talk to? It’s amazing how much it can help to get an adult’s guidance and help. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience with us.

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      • April 8, 2015 at 3:10 pm

        Don’t you think it’s BunniesAreCute’s parents that need to get help?

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    • June 27, 2015 at 6:07 am

      well, I don’t think I’m gonna tell anybody anytime soon. Cause my parents are somewhat fixated on being the normal family, one time I heard them talking about a friend of theirs who killed himself and all they could say was he was stupid for doing that, and that he’s going to hell and all that other stuff. So just imagine what would happen if i tell them I want to go see a therapist.

      And as for a councelor at school, i don’t really trust teachers, well adults in general. Cause the councelors in my school like to gossip about things that happened mostly to other teachers, and news travel fast in our school, so I’d rather not want to be called the person with something wrong in their head.mSo yeah, maybe I’d go visit a therapist once I’m able to support myself. Just to be safe

      @canny
      Well to be honest, my mom is an over achiever that has high expectations of us (me and my siblings) while my dad had a probably messed up family (Info i got from my mom) so he has a hard time communicating, he usually shouts when he’s worried, and that makes him sound mad. I understand that so Im not really angry at my dad but my siblings are another thing. Well I think my parents would do well in therapy but the thing is, they’re highly prideful, and who listens to a kids opinion anyway?

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  • February 14, 2015 at 9:01 am

    I feel so envious of those who in spite of their CEN have been able to form a good enough relationship to marry and have children. I have only once in 60 years been ‘in love’, so I am single, childless and friendless. No chance of me passing it on. I suppose that’s a good thing?

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    • February 14, 2015 at 10:06 am

      Hi there, my heart aches for you and I just needed to tell you that. I’m in my 30’s now n have not experienced it either, and tell myself I likely never will because in all reality, I don’t know how. I tell myself it’s a good thing too, but deep down I don’t want to believe it.

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    • January 4, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      I don’t have any friends out of Choice. Apart from my children every other relationship has failed. With something missing inside of us its hard to relate to others. I find myself looking at others and its a mystery. I like my own company. How are you today?

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  • March 13, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    22 out of 22. I’m sixteen and while the results themselves aren’t surprising, the idea of emotional neglect is. I didn’t know there was such a thing really, just emotional abuse like getting screamed at or mind games and that sort of thing. This is really helpful, thank you. I have to talk to a Children and Youth officer this coming week and I was really scared because I’m horrible at explaining things and talking out loud and I have trouble understanding my feelings, but if I show her this, it’ll help so much. Thank you truly and sincerely, and God bless you xx
    I feel so much less confused now.

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  • March 26, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Can you advise of any treatment for Centuries many who circles over ten will be treated for depression and anxiety. In this world of quick fix one pill cures, if not have another, how do we learn or increase eq when we never experienced it or learnt it. We seem to have skipped that stage can we catch up. Why oh why do children learn equations they will never use but nothing about emotions and self worth. Thank you for your post as feel being proactive approach and acceptance is the way forward.

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  • April 6, 2015 at 8:39 am

    I circled 19 of them. But I think the 3 I didn’t circle still apply to my case, albeit not as precisely as the other ones.
    I am also undergoing a period of serious anxiety and depression: do you think this might influence my perception of what I lack?
    I find it very hard at the moment to understand which judgments are valid and which ones are just dangerous fantasies and projections…

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  • April 8, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    To me it seems like the more of these you circle, the more highly sensitive you are. Some people are just plain tough and don’t even notice feelings in themselves resulting from neglect as children. Those people, if they saw a link to this article, wouldn’t even click on it to take the test, because as long as they grew up with parents (or a parent) who provided well for them, they figure this test surely wouldn’t apply to THEM! Whereas OTHERS of us, even if our fragile, developing psyches were tended to better than most as we grew up, are so highly sensitive that there was no WAY for our parents to shield us or buffer us or validate us enough!

    And on a completely different subject, I drive a public bus and overhear all sorts of conversations and relational dialog between parents and children that would curl your toes. The horrible things that parents nowadays say to their children are unforgivable and usually unwarranted — if they only REALIZED the damage they are inflicting on the souls of their kids!!!! I feel sooo terrible for many of these children.

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  • April 9, 2015 at 4:16 am

    I answered yes to 19 of these. It honestly felt as if I was reading a description of my daily life.

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  • April 9, 2015 at 4:18 am

    But my parents also did cocaine periodically so im not surprised

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  • April 27, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    I got 12 haha wow. My parents are wonderful though; I suffer from major depression (which multiple therapists and psychiatrists have decided is caused predominantly, if not wholly, by biological factors rather than environmental ones based on my home life/school life/unresponsiveness to psychotherapy/etc.), asperger’s syndrome, and gender dysphoria. A lot of my reason for circling things is from the dysphoria actually and I don’t think my parents had anything to do with it considering I’ve felt dysphoric since I was very young (parents are trying to help me transition socially now and said they will help with physical transition when I’m an adult). My mom especially is always there for me and always tries to talk me through emotional lows or problems and both of my parents are really understanding. My mom used to be a therapist actually (though she quit her job about a year and a half ago when I had really severe depression so she could watch over me).

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  • May 17, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    Eye opening. I circled all 22. This is the first I have heard of the term CEN as applied to all of these symptoms and can find next to no reference to it outside of the book “Running On Empty.” Is there something else this has always been referred to in psychology circles? Situational or biological depression? Core trauma? Verbal / emotional abuse? Minimisation?

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  • June 17, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    I got all 22. This explains so much! I have subconsciously known for a long time now that I have suffered from CEN, but this clarifies it. I probably wouldn’t have been as vulnerable to being manipulated by others if I hadn’t experienced CEN.

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  • June 26, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    21 out of 22.

    I’m the oldest of five. My mom chain-smoked and drank throughout her pregnancy. She was more careful with the others. I was born 58 years ago; a very different time.

    I am ADHD – most likely because of a toxic womb. I was the pain-in-the-patootie child. I tried so hard to be good, but my parents withheld their love. I saw it lavished on my more worthy siblings. I often got a beating. I was the only one who did.

    Here is the part that is weird: my siblings were affected by the obvious lack of affection shown to me. They find it harder to forgive my parents than me. I took care of my dad till he died and my mom lives with me now.

    My mom thinks my ADHD diagnosis is nonsense. We seldom discuss it. What she doesn’t know is that the diagnosis, medication, and therapy have made our relationship possible.

    This is my very long circuitous way of saying: this article may apply to many ADHD sufferers – and may really help. Thank you

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    • January 4, 2017 at 1:01 pm

      My son has ADHD and your right without medication relationships would fall apart. But he doesn’t suffer emotional neglect. As his mother I suffered but made sure brought him up completely opposite to my upbringing. He’s content in his life and always has my support. Hope u have a. Contented life

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  • June 30, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    This has brought me solace in knowing I am not alone after all, I am not just some weird entity but there are people just like me put there, suffering in silence. I am 30 years old.

    I was born into a the most disfunctional home no child should grow up in. I grew up with my dad and never got to meet my mother until far into my teens. My dad, intelligent, extremely principled and benevolent was also the most vicious and sadistic father I have ever met. I grew up living in absolute fear of my father, emphasis on the word “absolute”. Unlike my friends I never had a mother and W’s often mocked for it. At school I cook up stories about having a mother and tell nonexistent stories of my mom just to feel among. I never had motherly care and love.

    My father most timesuccessful blame me for his woes and never shy aware of telling me how worthless I am,this was before I was even 10 years old yet I remember vividly the cold wards, they are forever etched in my memory. Lacking in motherly care and livING with a father the pain and fear I felt made me lose so muche weight. When everhe is mad or any he takes it out on me. I remember him telling me to my face to “just look at your self, you look like someone who has AIDS”, the disgust on his face all too real I shudder. He lost his joband as usual I am to blame. I was the poorest guyboth at home and in school. My school uniform was so dirty and patched that I wake up very early, as early as 6 rush to school (schoold resumes 8) just to avoid the embarrassing stare I get romantic anyone whother sees me. I get to school I hide in class while others go tot he assembly field juSt so I won’t be laughed at. While others wear sandals I wear two different legs of bathroom slippers, sometimes I go barefooted. Lacking in friends and care my self esteem was rock bottom.

    If I do wrong he metts his anger my having me take off my cloths,lie on the table then he brings out a very thick rubber pipe with sharp geometric patterns, I don’t even want to remember the excruciating pain. Failure for him to secure a job he wentinto substitence farming and as usual drags me along. If I mess up in farm he uses thick twigs with so much force on me like his life depended on it. We work long hours under the hot sun from 8 am to 6 pm every fucking day. Holding a cutlass and hoe while going to farm I pass my classmates who just laugh. At this point I was arguably the most miserable guy in the history of this planet but in my age I could not understand why my life was so different, why I couldn’t be like my friends. At home at the creak of his door opening I go I to panic mode by default. It’s so bad i stutter ,it takes me nearly 20 seconds to say” good morning dad”, I am lucky if his response doesn’t come with a mighty slap. I could not figure out why I could speak normal to anybody but in the presence of my dad I just can’t stop stammering, it feels so mechanical I cannot control it.

    At the age of 12 I have had enough,I woke up one morning an decided enough is enough, I am not going to school to be mocked at again because I had no shoes, I took my nag and some cloths and ran away from home. I had no idea where I was going I just knew anywhere will be better than this evil place I call hoke. It was this time I experienced first hand the word “walking in circles”.I trekked and trekked and trekked without food or water till it was dark, I knew I was going in circles because I kept seeing the same ole Mr Biggs signboard no mater what route I take.

    It was during this experience I knew first hand a God exists and he loves me. At about 9:30 pm going on ten, after walking such distance without food I came across some group of guys, or men I should say. They asked where I was going, I lied I was headed home but missed my way hence….I could see the surprise on his face…A 12 year old kid walking around the streets of Lagos LOST.He took me home, gave me somehting to eat and allowed me sleep on a his bed. May God forever bless that man where ever he is. Next morning he woke me up and the I was again walking. Now by this time I was very tired, hungry and helpless but this was paradise compared to where I call home. I decided to sit on a pavement to rest before continuing my journey to “Neverland” and lo and behold there was my dad’s friend. ShIt !!. In shock and horror I attempted running away but I wasneed fast enough, he grabbed me by the arm, all I could do was scream “he wants to kill me, let me go”. We boarded a bus and 9 ft we went. ,, the closer we got to home the more difficult it became for me to breath. I was petrified, scared ShIt and panic. For the sake of time I will cut this short.

    Barely days after returning home I knew I was in for a rough timestimate. To my suprise and relief he did not give me the take off your cloths lie down treatment. He stares at me in he face with us here disgust and contempt I wish the ground could open up and swallow me whole. Without a job the economic realities of Nigeria was really hitting home. We ate oncentre a day and that is under the blistering sun in the farm labouring like slave while my mates are in scool. He spits on my face when he’s mad and lay punches on my face like we were in a boxing ring. I can only run and when I do he roots out his machette, this was the period I knew I had the potential to be anotified athlete, a sprinter. On several occasions he tells me to face how his friend or father (which ever, can’t be sure) was in his farm with histrouble son and one day he decide to kill his son and Burry him there without anyone knowing, then he beats his chest and tels me to my face “I CAN DO THAT”.

    There are times he tells me to go and commit suicide because I am worthless, a non entity. He once told me to my face “YOU WILL DIE YOUNG OR GO TO PRISON BEFORE YOU ARE 20, I AM NOT SWEARING FOR YOU, BUT THAT IS WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE USELLIS!” I have twin brothers ( I am the first son) who treated me like an imbecile. Years of seeing my dad insult and demean me mad them lose respect for me. I am ganged up against and fought. The list of abuse is endless and if I am to state them one by one it will take me a whole day.

    However the first time I knew I was seriously different was when I was out with my younger brother, seeing his classmates he distances himself fromy me. Weird the brim conversation between them both went like this”

    Friend:Hey,where are you going? So this is your brother.
    Brother: No pop, how can this one be my brother.
    Friend: laughs, why are you lieing , is he not your brother?
    Brother: No, how can this one be my brother.

    Ha!there i was standing in embarassment watching the drama unfold. Yearso of hunger, pain and emotinal distress has made me look like the most horrible looking return ever made, think, sunken eyes, someone once told me when he looks I to my eyes I seem lost, dejected. I must have behaved abnormal or odd sometimes but without even knowing it, I could pass for a mad man and one wouldn’t be too wrong. So the I was, ugly, hungry,in pain and one to ask for help I quietly resigned to my fate. Everyone called me “born throway, abnormal, imbecile,”. I was written off as one with no prospect, no future, no potential. My brothers were the stars, I on the other hand was the embarrassment.

    But, GOD loves. I am not a saint, I barely even go to church, but neither am I a bad person. I am benevolent, I hate to see people get hurt but I was always at the receiving end of the unimaginable emotional pain and suffErin. I endured growing up. My mom has been living abroad since she left my dad when I was at the age of two, so after all these years she established communication with us and made plans to come back home. I was never privy of her coming, no one bothered telling me until I was 3 days to her arrival, yes I was this “worthless in the eyes of my family”.when she came we met her at the airport. Going home the steady stare of my own mom made me contemplate suicide, it was official I was the most worthless and weird piece of ShIt, a freak of nature, as is the custom my brother got PlayStation 3 game console, the other one a camcoder, my nephew (momssister) a Toshiba Laptop,…….then me, A short sleeve shirt with the word Aloha write all over it.

    Enter the present:

    God decided to intervene in my life in the year 2007. To save you the details and time I metarmofoused from a low life unloved freak of nature to a guy everybody wants to hang around with. I never quite understood why God W’s being so nice to me, I hardly attend church services, I was not born again but the blessings came pouring me it mystifies me even to this very day as i type these words. In one stroke I have become the richest man in the history of my family and I mean every word I said, it is not an exaggeration. With God giving new found financial clout started having confidence and as my confidence grew so did my physical appearance. I went from UG-LEE to Brad Pitt. Despite the past I love my family and never hesitated to help each and every one. I boughthink a car worth N4.5 million and invested on my family, fixing the house, taking care of financial issues. ..at a point I gave my dad N20, 000 every 3 days for no particular reason, just so he can do whatever he likes with it. I send one to my mom abroad. Generally everyone around me is always happy.

    Conclusion:

    While I have forgiven my family and will never hold them accountable nor use my financI also clout as payback it is extremely hard to forget, it is etched forger in my head and years ofabuse, hurt, tears and pain has greatly affected my life. I have no girlfriend because I have borderline personality disorder, in essence I amight overtly too sensitive yeto emotional cold. I shower them with the good things of life but shy away from emotions. I do not know how toften emotionally connnect with a girl because I have never had that kind of connection. I have no friend because everybody thinks I am weird and too sensitive. I flare up over the slightest spark. Swift to anger, swift to forgive I have no emotional connection to anyone in the 7 billion people populated planet. I have no emotional tie to my dad, mom, family and friends. People who come close to me doit for the material gain and when they get what they want the dThis has brought me solace in knowing I am not alone after all, I am not just some weird entity but there are people just like me put there, suffering in silence. I am 30 years old.

    I was born into a the most disfunctional home no child should grow up in. I grew up with my dad and never got to meet my mother until far into my teens. My dad, intelligent, extremely principled and benevolent was also the most vicious and sadistic father I have ever met. I grew up living in absolute fear of my father, emphasis on the word “absolute”. Unlike my friends I never had a mother and W’s often mocked for it. At school I cook up stories about having a mother and tell nonexistent stories of my mom just to feel among. I never had motherly care and love.

    My father most timesuccessful blame me for his woes and never shy aware of telling me how worthless I am,this was before I was even 10 years old yet I remember vividly the cold wards, they are forever etched in my memory. Lacking in motherly care and livING with a father the pain and fear I felt made me lose so muche weight. When everhe is mad or any he takes it out on me. I remember him telling me to my face to “just look at your self, you look like someone who has AIDS”, the disgust on his face all too real I shudder. He lost his joband as usual I am to blame. I was the poorest guyboth at home and in school. My school uniform was so dirty and patched that I wake up very early, as early as 6 rush to school (schoold resumes 8) just to avoid the embarrassing stare I get romantic anyone whother sees me. I get to school I hide in class while others go tot he assembly field juSt so I won’t be laughed at. While others wear sandals I wear two different legs of bathroom slippers, sometimes I go barefooted. Lacking in friends and care my self esteem was rock bottom.

    If I do wrong he metts his anger my having me take off my cloths,lie on the table then he brings out a very thick rubber pipe with sharp geometric patterns, I don’t even want to remember the excruciating pain. Failure for him to secure a job he wentinto substitence farming and as usual drags me along. If I mess up in farm he uses thick twigs with so much force on me like his life depended on it. We work long hours under the hot sun from 8 am to 6 pm every fucking day. Holding a cutlass and hoe while going to farm I pass my classmates who just laugh. At this point I was arguably the most miserable guy in the history of this planet but in my age I could not understand why my life was so different, why I couldn’t be like my friends. At home at the creak of his door opening I go I to panic mode by default. It’s so bad i stutter ,it takes me nearly 20 seconds to say” good morning dad”, I am lucky if his response doesn’t come with a mighty slap. I could not figure out why I could speak normal to anybody but in the presence of my dad I just can’t stop stammering, it feels so mechanical I cannot control it.

    At the age of 12 I have had enough,I woke up one morning an decided enough is enough, I am not going to school to be mocked at again because I had no shoes, I took my nag and some cloths and ran away from home. I had no idea where I was going I just knew anywhere will be better than this evil place I call hoke. It was this time I experienced first hand the word “walking in circles”.I trekked and trekked and trekked without food or water till it was dark, I knew I was going in circles because I kept seeing the same ole Mr Biggs signboard no mater what route I take.

    It was during this experience I knew first hand a God exists and he loves me. At about 9:30 pm going on ten, after walking such distance without food I came across some group of guys, or men I should say. They asked where I was going, I lied I was headed home but missed my way hence….I could see the surprise on his face…A 12 year old kid walking around the streets of Lagos LOST.He took me home, gave me somehting to eat and allowed me sleep on a his bed. May God forever bless that man where ever he is. Next morning he woke me up and the I was again walking. Now by this time I was very tired, hungry and helpless but this was paradise compared to where I call home. I decided to sit on a pavement to rest before continuing my journey to “Neverland” and lo and behold there was my dad’s friend. ShIt !!. In shock and horror I attempted running away but I wasneed fast enough, he grabbed me by the arm, all I could do was scream “he wants to kill me, let me go”. We boarded a bus and 9 ft we went. ,, the closer we got to home the more difficult it became for me to breath. I was petrified, scared ShIt and panic. For the sake of time I will cut this short.

    Barely days after returning home I knew I was in for a rough timestimate. To my suprise and relief he did not give me the take off your cloths lie down treatment. He stares at me in he face with us here disgust and contempt I wish the ground could open up and swallow me whole. Without a job the economic realities of Nigeria was really hitting home. We ate oncentre a day and that is under the blistering sun in the farm labouring like slave while my mates are in scool. He spits on my face when he’s mad and lay punches on my face like we were in a boxing ring. I can only run and when I do he roots out his machette, this was the period I knew I had the potential to be anotified athlete, a sprinter. On several occasions he tells me to face how his friend or father (which ever, can’t be sure) was in his farm with histrouble son and one day he decide to kill his son and Burry him there without anyone knowing, then he beats his chest and tels me to my face “I CAN DO THAT”.

    There are times he tells me to go and commit suicide because I am worthless, a non entity. He once told me to my face “YOU WILL DIE YOUNG OR GO TO PRISON BEFORE YOU ARE 20, I AM NOT SWEARING FOR YOU, BUT THAT IS WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE USELLIS!” I have twin brothers ( I am the first son) who treated me like an imbecile. Years of seeing my dad insult and demean me mad them lose respect for me. I am ganged up against and fought. The list of abuse is endless and if I am to state them one by one it will take me a whole day.

    However the first time I knew I was seriously different was when I was out with my younger brother, seeing his classmates he distances himself fromy me. Weird the brim conversation between them both went like this”

    Friend:Hey,where are you going? So this is your brother.
    Brother: No pop, how can this one be my brother.
    Friend: laughs, why are you lieing , is he not your brother?
    Brother: No, how can this one be my brother.

    Ha!there i was standing in embarassment watching the drama unfold. Yearso of hunger, pain and emotinal distress has made me look like the most horrible looking return ever made, think, sunken eyes, someone once told me when he looks I to my eyes I seem lost, dejected. I must have behaved abnormal or odd sometimes but without even knowing it, I could pass for a mad man and one wouldn’t be too wrong. So the I was, ugly, hungry,in pain and one to ask for help I quietly resigned to my fate. Everyone called me “born throway, abnormal, imbecile,”. I was written off as one with no prospect, no future, no potential. My brothers were the stars, I on the other hand was the embarrassment.

    But, GOD loves. I am not a saint, I barely even go to church, but neither am I a bad person. I am benevolent, I hate to see people get hurt but I was always at the receiving end of the unimaginable emotional pain and suffErin. I endured growing up. My mom has been living abroad since she left my dad when I was at the age of two, so after all these years she established communication with us and made plans to come back home. I was never privy of her coming, no one bothered telling me until I was 3 days to her arrival, yes I was this “worthless in the eyes of my family”.when she came we met her at the airport. Going home the steady stare of my own mom made me contemplate suicide, it was official I was the most worthless and weird piece of ShIt, a freak of nature, as is the custom my brother got PlayStation 3 game console, the other one a camcoder, my nephew (momssister) a Toshiba Laptop,…….then me, A short sleeve shirt with the word Aloha write all over it.

    Enter the present:

    God decided to intervene in my life in the year 2007. To save you the details and time I metarmofoused from a low life unloved freak of nature to a guy everybody wants to hang around withme but soon as they get what they want they dissapear. I have so much friends yet very lonely. I cannot keep a relationship because I am abnormally too sensitive and jealous. I have no one I can truly call family except God almighty.

    Borderline Personality Disorder is real. The way child is cared for in its formative years determines how mentally sound the child when they grow up. No parent should asault, hate or abuse a child. Just because you gave birth to them doesn’t mean you should deny the right of a child to be jus what it is, a kid. I am a victim of emotional and physical abuseright from when I was a child, now I am paying the price, a terrible one at that. Extremely handsome, relatively well to do but lonely. I’m jus a lost soul looking for my home.

    Reply
  • July 30, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    I circled nearly all, but my parents never abused me. How does that work?

    Reply
  • July 31, 2015 at 3:25 am

    As I suspected. I circled almost all of these, apart from the whole ‘harshly judge myself’ thing. I didn’t circle that one because I quite frankly don’t care about that.

    It’s a shame having to grow up like this. Sometimes I want to live, I wanna stick around to see what happens. Then again, when I finally start feeling empty again; when everyday feels like a dream, thats when I contemplate whether its worth it to stick around.
    It’s like watching a movie for me. Most parts are boring, I almost walk out of the theater a lot.. but then theres that one line. That one screenshot of scenery; whiff of adventure. And its just enough to keep me seated.

    Ive been feeling this way since I was little. I’m 14 now. I can hardly distinuish my daydreams from reality anymore, day-to-today living is a battle between me and my over active imagination. Put yourself into my shoes: youre 9 or 10, youve got no friends, your mother is a verbally abusive achoholic, you cant share your feelings with anyone. Now, whats a girl to do? Why, daydream, of course! To get away from it all, you daydream. You daydream about many different things. You create vast worlds with stories; characters with rich personalities, other wordly powers. You daydream of anything and everything. Of course, when you arent daydreaming things must feel pretty lonely and boring, huh? I know, you pretend that the characters are with you! So you have some little imaginary friends with you, everythings fun again! And then the paranoia kicks in. What if the characters are really alive? What if theyre judging you? What if they can read your thoughts? Oh, man! You better put these guys back into imagination town! So you do, but then youve gotten into the habit of thinking about them constantly. Even though you dont WANT to think about them, you do. So your haven slowly becomes your hell. Theyre always there with you. Their judgement is too much for you, you care about their opinions way too much! You are forced to give up daydreaming in a last resort attempt to get them away from you, and it works… Somewhat. The paranoia isnt as severe, but theyre still around. Its a lot better than before, but at a price. Since daydreaming was your own way of feeling things, you begin to notice how empty you feel. How life doesnt feel like… Well, life. So, youre left with two choices. 1: go back to daydreaming and suffer, or, 2: continue feeling empty until you dont bother living anymore.

    Gah, things suck.

    I believe CEN is the source for all of this stuff, but ive been wrong before about where all of this originates from. What do you think?

    Reply
  • August 18, 2015 at 8:39 am

    SO these are the reasons why i feel so abnormal than others, i thought, i was just an introvert, but i am feeling i am more than that.. 🙁 I wanted to hate my parents why they did that to me, and to my sisters and brothers.. That we are gonna live our adult life abnormally. 🙁 Lord, please help us Lord, i dont want my sisters and brothers feel the same way i felt.. Its so sad and hard, Lord.. Help them oh Lord.. Thank you..

    Reply
  • September 4, 2015 at 6:54 am

    I’m now 60yrs old,iv got children of my own, who are now adults,my hurt + upsetting life has been well hidden because of the shame + embarrassing childhood I had,but by me reading about cen + doing the questionnaire I can relate to all of the questions.I always thought I was the only one who had this kind of childhood, I am sorry to learn how many others have been effected, I found reading about your book really comforting to know that I am not all alone in this journey of life, I will be going to buy your book,+ show it to my son + daughters. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH JONICE.

    Reply
  • September 18, 2015 at 12:07 am

    Honestly, a lot of these things describe various aspects of the 9 criteria for a condition known as Borderline Personality Disorder. To receive a diagnosis of BPD, a person must fit 5 of the 9 criteria….those 9 are:
    1. Extreme reactions to abandonment, real or perceived
    2. Pattern of intense, stormy relationships often veering from idealization to devaluation
    3. Distorted and unstable self image, leading to dramatic changes in schooling, career, etc.
    4. Impulsive and dangerous behaviors occurring frequently (ie risky sex, spending money in excess, reckless driving, etc)
    5. Recurring suicidal behavior or self-harm behavior (ie cutting)
    6. Intense and highly changeable moods, with swings lasting from a few hours to a few days
    7. Chronic feelings of emptiness or boredom
    8. Inappropriate/intense anger or anger control issues
    9. Having stress-related paranoia spells or strong dissociative moments (ie feeling like you’re on autopilot, out of body observer, etc)

    This affects approximately 1.6% of adults….I say this not to disprove you or anything like that, but maybe the 2 are closely linked as BPD tends to begin in adolescence or young adulthood (perhaps as a means of coping with CEN?)

    Very good blog posting, but it would be nice to see you compare and contrast it with other psychological conditions (cause and effect, symptoms, etc)

    All information on Borderline Personality Disorder obtained from
    http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/borderline-personality-disorder/index.shtml

    Reply
    • September 18, 2015 at 8:22 am

      Hi Twillard86, thank you for your thoughtful comment. CEN is a part of the formation of Borderline Personality, but is very, very different. People with only CEN tend to be unemotional, and BPD over-emotional. CEN people have very steady, one-way relationships where they sacrifice themselves, and BPD has very unstable, intense relationships. I will write an article about the relationship between CEN and BPD, so watch for it, OK? All the best to you.

      Reply
      • September 18, 2015 at 8:30 am

        Dr. Webb, could you also clearly spell out how BPD differs from being highly sensitive as well. It seems that there is a very fine line between BPD and high sensitivity as well, especially considering CEN.

        Reply
      • September 18, 2015 at 9:17 am

        Good question. Yes, I’ll include that Sheila. Thanks for your question! Take care.

        Reply
  • October 23, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    19 out of 22.
    I would’ve been higher a few years ago, but after years of therapy I have overcome some of this. It took me a long time to realize that my parents were neglectful. I didn’t realize that most people were not left alone at the age of 2. I didn’t realize that most children didn’t try to run away as soon as they could walk, only to return home to a family who didn’t notice their absence. Most people are not abandoned by both parents before the age of 10. Most 9 years olds who ask their father for help when being beaten by neighbors and classmates are not told that sometimes people just need a punching bag, and we take the punches so others don’t have to.
    Is it really any wonder that I am not like most people?

    Reply
  • November 23, 2015 at 10:53 am

    I circled over 7 answers but I’m worried that some of them maybe due to my Aspergers and therefore natural less than social tendencies. However,I’m sure my father was emotionally abusive and was rarely physically there and when he was, not interactive. On the other hand,my mother was kind and loving and not neglectful at all.

    Reply
  • December 8, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    I scored 13… I used to have way more of them, though. My actual diagnosis is borderline personality disorder, but I have read the criteria for the proposed complex PTSD criteria and I fit those, too, because they seem to be the same as in BPD. It makes me wonder if BPD is actually more of a trauma-caused illness, even among people who don’t think or “know” they have “trauma”.

    Reply
  • January 2, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    I circled 12 of them. It’s funny really, my mom thinks that the reason I’m a hermit was because she and my sister used to fight constantly when I was young. So I guess CEN?

    Reply
  • January 2, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    I got a 20/22. I never have been a pet person and over the years, I’ve learned to calm myself with breathing and a highjacked version of meditation (as in, I do it long enough to calm down but can’t get into it deeply. I’m sure that’s due to my inner voice berating me). I know my childhood left me deficient in so many ways. Our mother was a narcissist and our father was a workaholic. And the saddest most heartwrenching part of the whole connection of childhood neglect and adult dysfunction is that as a little girl, I knew my family dynamics was messed up. And so I made a deal with myself that I’d never be like them. “Joke’s on me” I found out years later in therapy when I came to the realization that if our formative years are destroyed emotionally, we are never whole. So attempting to fix the broken person is a just a waste of time but I take sad-laced joy in the fact that when my kids tell me I’m screwed up, it’s proof that I didn’t pass the poison on to them.

    Reply
  • February 10, 2016 at 9:23 am

    I am from a traditional chinese family and majority of it flavors son than daughter. when i was young i even wonder if i am not their real daughter but adopted. there is a distinct difference in the way they treat son versus daughter in terms of food, medication, clothes, education, etc. as we grew, apparently their son did not make it despite their investment on them. instead their daughter ended up earning more money. then they treat me better, or say similar, equally as their son. I feel this is worst then neglecting me. I find them fake. Yet due to traditional chinese behavior, children should be filial. sometimes i just feel like giving them a sum of money and end our relationship. what should i do? can you advise?

    Reply
  • June 21, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    I have more than half of these and I’m barely a teenager. Me and my parents are moving away to a different country due to the fact that I spend most of my time in my room and they are not wrong, but what the fail to see is that I spend most of my time in my room because they hardly communicate with me and just neglect me to be honest. Today I got my test results and I kind of felt pretty proud of myself but not my mom. She just started to yell at me to continue studying even though I always try my best in school and to fit in. I’m moving to a country where I will be judged on my hearing and I don’t think I can take bullying as well. Whenever I try to talk to my mom she ignores me and tells me it’s my fault that my childhood was wasted even though it is hers that she didn’t spend more time with me. Please help me in only a 12 year old girl and already think that I don’t fit in school or at home.

    Reply
  • September 22, 2016 at 4:00 am

    19 and I didn’t expect my score to be so high.

    I’m in my thirties and on my second round of long term psychodynamic therapy. We were raised by a severely mentally ill mother and an abusive father. There were hugs and kisses, and we were told often that they loved us. Most of our physical needs were met but my parents were oblivious to our emotional needs. My upbringing was highly unpredictable which makes it all the more confusing for me.

    Both my parents had very strict parents themselves who used belts and shoes to disipline them. Children were very much seen and not heard on my father’s side. My mother was raised in a strict Roman Catholic environment. My father has told me a couple of times that he didn’t want children because he was scared of turning out like his father. When he married my mother, she wanted children. The youngest has severe learning disabilites so my mother’s focus was mainly on caring for her as best she could.

    I don’t have any maternal instinct and I’ve married a loving husband who doesn’t want children. I’m at the age where societal pressure to have children is all around me and it’s difficult because I feel abnormal enough. I was always told that my maternal instinct would just kick in one day. I have no desire to raise a family of my own. Part of it because I fear I’m too dysfunctional, although to others I seem extremely capable and they’re surprised at my lack of wanting a family.

    One of my friends who is a social worker recently told me that we as children should’ve been taken into care. My mother would make a point of telling us quite often that she didn’t want us to be taken from her. She was under a few psychiatists over the years and if she couldnt be seen as taking care of us we would have been. I believe the fear of us being taken away drove her to try hard to meet our physical needs. There was a lot of denial.

    Sadly, my mother doesn’t take any medication these days and she suffers with anosognosia. She shows all the hallmarks of paranoid schizophrenia but I can’t get any help for her.

    Thank you Jonice for shedding light on CEN. I had no idea that I was raised in such a dysfunctional environment til I got myself some therapy. I think most people who have been raised in what they think is a normal environment would be kind of comforted to learn why they feel and behave like they do.

    Reply
  • December 24, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    After reading about CEN and doing the quiz I realized that my parents have never cared about my emotions. They always told me I was too sensitive and rolled their eyes at me whenever I told them how I felt. I remember as a child, they would completely ignore me when I was crying even if I cried for hours. They would always criticize me and wouldn’t take me seriously. They would rarely include me in their discussions with each other and when I tried to join in they would ignore me until I annoyed them enough to get their attention. So I have grown up never expecting anyone to care about my emotions.
    The strange thing is that I don’t feel angry. I feel sad and most of all I feel tired. I feel sad realizing that my parents have never cared about my emotions. And I feel tired from the amount of pain I’ve had to endure because of it.
    I don’t know what to do. I hope I can heal from this somehow.

    Reply
  • January 4, 2017 at 11:05 am

    I read the book yesterday, this the last piece in my puzzle. Something’s I worked out something’s my counsellor helped me understand. I,m. 50yr and its been no fun carrying this hidden burden. So glad there’s a self control exercise as I have failed miserably for 50 yes. I already have designed simple visual books that I hope to publish. I needed to help myself and created my own. Thank you for the final piece of this agonising puzzle. Jayne

    Reply
  • January 4, 2017 at 11:17 am

    The book is spot on. I feel neutral every day I wake up. Never happy. Sometimes anxiety, unsettled, or guilty. I have no friends. I,m recently divorced thank goodness. 28yrs married to someone who did not care about my thoughts or feelings when I had some. I have cut off association with my family members as I,m an alien in their eyes. My home is the only place I can be me. I have to work on self control. I have none. Thank you.

    Reply
  • January 4, 2017 at 11:20 am

    I didn’t realise there were other people in the same prison as me. At least I,m not alone. Jayne

    Reply
  • January 18, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    I scored 18. My parents gave me CEN. It ruined my life, and will continue to do so. Dad hated me (I wasn’t his) He passed away. Mum has Alzheimers and now I’m grateful for the opportunity to return the ‘neglect’. CEN taught me to enjoy payback.

    Reply
  • January 17, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    I became an overachiever not a druggie, it could have gone either way, but after I retired and after my second divorce and an almost breakdown I went to a therapist who discovered CEN. It took months and months before I would tell him anything about my childhood, but now I understand what happened. He thinks I should open up to others but I can’t. I understand what the SOBs did to me, but habit patterns of hiding and shame have left me trying to unlearn being private and I can’t. I am so much better with so many things that I think I can just let it go, he doesn’t. What do you think?

    Reply
  • January 17, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    BTW, I have two kids I did a great job with as I knew not to treat them the way I was treated.

    Reply
  • November 8, 2018 at 11:57 am

    Hello, I had an abusive childhood- physically & emotionally. I looked in the table of contents of your book to see if that was listed- seems this is more for those whose folks “took care of them” but ignored them emotionally (for alot of reasons). I assure there was no such care in my childhood home, I ran away at 11 and never looked back. My father drove my mother to a mental hospital when I was very little, and allowed his addictions to kill him at age 59. He was dead to me long before that. He was a self centered sperm donor, not a father. Needless to say, I have spent much of my adult years figuring out who I am, how I feel and just trying to have a good life. Good thing I chose a good man to marry- 37 years now, 3 kids. Difficult YES, perfect NO… but moving alittle fwd – Better now than I was for sure, my faith has been a God send. Dr. Webb, Any book suggestions for someone like me- on a journey and seeking to be BETTER not BITTER!

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  • February 17, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    After being in therapy for years I have learned that I have major depressive disorder, Borderline Personality, and most recently dissociative disorder not otherwise specified. Before my present therapist I was with an ARNP therapist for over eleven years. While we taught each other a lot, he preferred to focus on the “now” rather than looking at the past to help understand things. I think he understood why I am the way I am but I didn’t.

    The therapist I am with now has been seeing me for a little over two years. She is much younger and I thought she would not be able to help me much because of her inexperience. Instead she is helping me. I think it is because she has an education that includes the new things that psychologists have learned. At the moment she does DBT therapy with me but she is going to incorporate some sort of trauma based therapy with me next week. I was assessed recently with ddnos so those things will be addressed.

    My actual comment is that I tell my therapist that I do not feel like I have had trauma or abuse because I compare myself with people who have been physically or sexually abused. Reading what you wrote, “It’s a “non-event” which is unnoticeable and unmemorable…” is exactly what I needed to see in order to really feel validated. My therapist tried to validate me but what she said did not help. Your words have.

    I’m going to get your book and try to read it. I struggle with my concentration. Maybe she will want to read it as well. She also talks to me about my attachment style being “anxious-avoidant” and that has helped me see a pattern in my relationships. It is nice to understand why I think, feel, and act the way I do. I don’t just feel like I am a defective loser. I still feel like a loser though.

    I could go on about the intense attachments I have had in my life, especially with my therapists, but Dr Webb, you probably already guessed that.

    Thank you for the opportunity to learn more about myself, the opportunity to share my experiences, and the opportunity to read what others think.

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