48 thoughts on “Raised By Parents With Low Emotional Intelligence

  • April 5, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Good read anytime and especially so on Easter Sunday.. Will share!

  • April 5, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Powerful article and very helpful for parents that are divorced from someone with a personality disorder to understand what their child experiences while with that parent.

    • September 4, 2019 at 6:54 pm

      Or perhaps for their own self help…

  • April 6, 2015 at 2:04 am

    This was my life, and it kinda came true except in the least desirable way. Shocker. I’ve been interested a long time in your book and have been waiting for an audiobook version. Every six months or so I check. It’s been a while. Perhaps I’ll look tonight. Fingers crossed!

    • April 6, 2015 at 6:48 am

      Hi Lisa good news. The audiobook should be out in the next 6-8 weeks. I’m just signing the contract. Sorry it’s taken so long. All the best to you.

  • April 6, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    I’m just giong to say this because it’s true: probably 90% of all Americans have this exact problem. No one cares. I was this little girl. At 10 years old I wrote a song which I performed at a school talent show about how “no one wants to see you cry so just pretend that you’re happy.” Do you think a single person in that school said “uh oh, something is wrong here.” Nope. Not one.

    I dare you to go to work and break down crying. Just go ahead and do it. See how fast you get written up. Have you ever heard the term “leave it at the door?” This is where this comes from. Parents raise their kids this way because the entire society is this way. Ignoring your emotions is paramount to surviving in this society. Why do you think people with depression and bipolar and anxiety struggle so hard to fit in? Because our emotions are explosive and real and raw.

    Yes, I was “too sensitive.” Even a co-worker today was telling me how she realized her dad woudl just yell at her to suck it up when she was down. She’s 25 years older than me and that’s exactly what my dad did. And we’re just two examples.

    This is a societal problem. No one can survive our society without becoming numb. You become numb by being made that way in childhood. It’s horrible. I raise my kids to think about their feelings and work out the reasons for them, because I have bipolar and I wasn’t helped ever and still am not. But I also tell them that they have to toughen up, to know that other people are mean and that teasing and being told you’re stupid, lazy, or bullied is part of life and you can survive it. Because thin skins in our society are torn to shreds.

    • April 9, 2015 at 12:29 am

      I agree with the comments by reality and democles provides some prof. Most aqantences don’t care or can’t. They have their own problems and emotions to deal with. Society does tell people to suck it up in general unless you are being physically abused on a regular basis.Being emotionally numb is anew asset at work and in public. The problem is that it’s usually not an asset in close relationships.

  • April 6, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    Read your book and enjoyed it. I thought my family was perfect and there was something wrong with me for feeling lousy about myself, tense or nervous around them for as a long as I could remember. I was tired of being ‘the problem’ and pulled completely away, cutting off all contact with them. I was scared to death, but after some time, I was able to relax and for the first time in my life–stopped self destructing, and started reflecting on my life. I’d always been told how to feel and how impactful things were. I see now how so many of my fears and incidents were mocked, trivialized or blamed on me. But we were fed, clothed, disciplined and told ‘how lucky’ we were..so how could I be so ungrateful and selfish?
    It took a long time to see this. Now, I have so much anger that I’m dealing with, but glad I’m no longer ‘in the dark.’

    • July 23, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      Like you, Sam, my family was just great and I was “the problem”. I get tired of hearing from people who know my siblings how wonderful it is we are all “so close” and etc. True for them, never has been true for me. Like you I keep my distance from them. I’m much better off and am now dealing with the anger.

    • April 22, 2016 at 6:56 pm

      nice to be able to relate.
      My 10th grade poem was “Suicide” – very graphic and detailed. I got an A+ & my teacher said I had “an exciting flair for poetry” and my mom said “good job”.
      Never a hug or “I love you”.
      Yep, it’s confusing for sure cause I thought my family was perfect…it was me who was unloveable and selfish.
      Like Sam I detached from my family- sometime in my 20s. I feel like crap when I am around them and they don’t understand why.

      • April 23, 2016 at 1:21 pm

        thank you for your comment, especially “I thought my family was perfect…it was me who was unloveable and selfish.” Boy, can i relate to that. i’m now 65 and am finally (through good therapy) understanding that the problem wasn’t ME. it was THEM!

    • December 5, 2016 at 12:28 am

      Hi, Sam
      Thanks for your note. I could really relate.
      I was invisible to my family — parents and siblings. I thought I was a failure and they were all fine. Years of therapy, medication and self-help books later, at 67, I now know that I’m not a failure. I’m better now — but what a waste of decades.

  • April 7, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Even tho I’ve lived most of my life (I’m in my 70s), I found so many answers in Jonice Webb’s book and website and other books she recommended or I found that were along the same lines. It’s been a blessing and I try to pass on what I can to my grown children and my grandchildren as well as my siblings. Not a lot of it sticks because they have busy lives and have settled into their own ways of dealing with their emotional shortcomings and who can blame them. My sibs and I have always differed in our feelings and ideas as to who our parental units (incl my maternal g’mother, who lived with us most of our growning up years) really were. Still the new material that Jonice’s book brought to my life I can only term a Godsend. So glad you took the time and had the intelligence and skills to bring this unseen emotional level to our attention.

  • April 7, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    forgot to ask for notification of followup comments via email on previous comment

  • April 8, 2015 at 11:35 am

    My parents had NO emotional intelligence (of course, they were raised by similar parents). I remember once asking, hopefully, if I was adopted. My mother, thinking she was reassuring me, told me I was definitely not adopted. I kind of knew it, but my heart sank anyway. I am now in my 60’s and through relational therapy, am finally finding out what being a human being is about.

  • April 8, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Thank you for this. I am 53 and am just now learning how deeply “squashed” my feeling s have been. Dad with undiagnosed Bipolar & Mom with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I too had fantasies of being rescued from these people who had no clue (or cared) about who I was. I severed ties with my mother last year (Dad is long gone) and I may have to cut ties with the rest of my siblings. Now I claim to have been stolen from the Gypsies.

    • April 23, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      my parents had the same diagnoses. well, my dad officially, my mother by inference. i’ve felt so alone in my struggles – didn’t know of others like me. it’s nice to read these comments and feel a bit less alone.

    • December 5, 2016 at 12:30 am

      I like the Gypsy explanation. Thanks, N.

  • April 8, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    This really comes off as “get over it” to me. My dad didn’t even want to hug, you just adapt. This isn’t some huge and crushing thing, it is life. This isn’t abuse. This is just how some families are. You can’t expect every household to care about everything that happens with the same level of perspicacity or fervor. I get what this is about, and being someone from a similar household as the one described, nothing here strikes me as anything but what it is: life. If this does assist in some people moving forward because they have garnered a level of deeper insight into their own lives and how they do or don’t feel, that is awesome, but at the same time it isn’t really all that blazing with import. My son is well loved, and I hug him, I support him and I make sure that he knows that I pay attention and love him. Conversely, I don’t go to massive lengths to baby him through every trial, for without toughened skin, how can one handle every day life?

    • April 9, 2015 at 3:51 pm

      I don’t think providing emotional support is babying your children. What you’re doing — seeing your child for who he is — is what it’s all about. We have to teach our children when it’s appropriate to express certain emotions. Crying at work isn’t appropriate. For me, the damage happened when I was told to take my bad moods or tears to my room because nobody wanted to see it or I was mocked for my feelings, which left me thinking something was wrong with me. Until I knew better, I turned around and did the same things to my ex husband and (I hope to a lesser extent) my children. Home should be a safe place.

  • April 9, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    You have to talk back to those false messages you hear or just plain think too much of.
    I know I didn’t want to change the messages bc I thought they’d go away. My parents were OK most of the time but some of the extended family was out of touch with emotions. And some days they were stuck in their own insanity. I finally had to say these relatives were people I should have avoided. So it is unfortunate it took till I was 35 years to get it. But better late than never.

  • April 9, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    I can completely relate. I’ve read your book. The story about the parents ignoring a child’s emotional needs following deaths in the family was particularly relevant to me. Also being teased for expressing emotions…
    I remember myself hoping some day someone to show up saying they were my real parents..
    I’m 33 now and learning to express emotions and open up to people. Better late than never.

  • April 9, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    I was raised in the 60’s by parents who actually attended parenting classes to try to become the most supportive parents possible for my sibling and me. We always were treated fairly, compassionately, and firmly. Strict guidelines were set early and enforced, and the reasons for the guidelines explained early and often. No meant no; no compromises until we reached an age of understanding compromise, about 12 years old.

    My husband was raised by parents who basically had no understanding of how to not have children one after another, let alone how to support and care for 9 children adequately. Love was shown, but was conditional on whatever mood the parent was on at the time. The children were used as pawns to get back at each other during their constant and numerous fights and battles. Dishes were thrown about as frequently as hateful words between the parents. The parents had NO self control of their feelings or emotions, and had no ability to teach self control and positive emotions and responses to conflict to their many children. The father actually resented having so many children in the first place (Catholic mother) and did not hide this feeling from the children.

    Because of this upbringing, my husband has the emotional maturity of a five year old. He has been going to therapy and sees a psychiatrist, but not often enough. Insurance only pays for so many office visits a year. 15 minutes with the psychiatrist every two months is not enough to exorcise the demons he has embedded in his head and soul. He is still emotional abusive towards me, although it has improved somewhat. It is extremely hard to not to want to just tell him what an immature idiot he is when he acts just like his parents.

    We have been married 33 years, and as he ages, the inappropriate reactions and behaviors are slowly getting worse, a certain degree of dementia is occuring and I can sense and feel it. His father is almost total mentally absent due to senile dementia and I really don’t want to live with the person my husband is becoming. He needs better and or more help, the psychiatrist cannot begin to recognize and treat him in the short 15 minute visits the insurance will pay for.

    • September 16, 2015 at 10:39 am

      Hi my dear, just read your post re the insurance limiting your husband’s visits. This sounds so hard for you, and I’m wondering if it’s something you can challenge. I’d thought insurance companies couldn’t break out mental health any longer as you’re describing, putting limits on visits-?

      You may be able to challenge this with your insurer or maybe even the state regulatory agency.

      If his condition is shifting to dementia, that’s terribly sad but maybe this gives you more recourse to medicine? Keep an eye on your safety and health. I’m wishing you strength.

  • April 9, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    It is hard to know if these were “good” people or even intelligent in the traditional sense. Maybe they were clueless, maybe they just didn’t care. Clueless parents are usually do not cause harm if they love their children, as you say these do. Why did the child come to believe she was lazy or overly emotional if the parents didn’t tell her she was? Only abusive parents would give her this impression. What is the solution to emotionally unintelligent or neglectful parents — or even worse, abusive, narcissistic ones? Should there be a prospective parent test? These people, who do not seek help or even think/know they should, produce unhappy people who become the psychiatric clients, often stigmatized, whereas it is the parents who should get help or not become parents.

  • April 13, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Wow I am 39 and have never heard what I grew up with put so poignantly. I felt like I was reading my own autobiography. I don’t have any “it gets better” or other smoke to blow, but this is real. And it’s hard. Forever. That’s all.

  • May 23, 2015 at 7:59 am

    I grew up with an autistic parent.

    I think more needs to be said about the effect a well meaning but emotionally unavailable parent can have on their child.

  • July 23, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    As a child I used to wish for my “real family” to come take me away. My siblings (all older) used to tease me and set me apart from the rest of the family by telling me I was adopted, how my real family didn’t want me either. I didn’t exactly believe them, but I wished some family would come that loved/liked me.

    I have built my own family made up of friends, these are my siblings.

  • July 28, 2015 at 5:18 am

    Powerful article that has made me sad as I am often worried about whether or not i have done the wrong thing with my daughter (surely)but hopeful as perhaps there are things I can do to improve it. I have a daughter who is 10, whilst I think I have a certain ammount of emotional intellegence (I hope), I have lots of failings and low emotional intellegence too. I wondered if you had any advice or support materials I could use to undo some of the damage I have probably already done to my daughter whilst there is still time left and help her grow up to be a more emotionally healthy person. I also have a 3 year old daughter and so I am trying to not make the same mistakes with her. Thanks for anything you can let me have.

    • July 28, 2015 at 10:27 am

      A really good book I’ve read about parenting is Parenting from the Inside Out by Daniel Segal (and someone else whose name I’ve forgotten). It takes into account research into neurobiology and how interpersonal interaction can be harmful AND still be repaired – by the parent. It’s got anecdotes in it from the authors life and is very readable.

      • July 30, 2015 at 5:47 am

        Thank you very much, I will be getting the book.

  • July 30, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    I agree. Nowadays the robotic life and the parents who are lost in putting food on the table have no idea of the mental status and emptiness of the heart the children have.


  • August 1, 2015 at 4:38 am

    I know my parents mean well (even if it doesn’t feel like it), and I am grateful that they worked hard to provide for us, but something about my relationship with them has always felt empty and forced. It was like we were merely going through the motions of being a family. It’s been difficult to put my finger on exactly what was wrong, but I think this article describes it pretty well.

    I was always told that I was “the problem” in our family because I was inherently bad – too self-centered, too sensitive, too irritable and combative… Any arguments were one-sided and I always felt like my voice was never heard in that house. At first it made me angry, and in my desperation I tried to come up with elaborate ways to spell out what I was feeling for them and force them to listen (i.e. writing them a letter). When these didn’t work, however, I realized that the real problem wasn’t that they didn’t know, it was that they didn’t care – or, at the very least, they lacked the ability to bring themselves to care.

    When I was depressed to the point of contemplating suicide, my parents told me to suck it up and deal with it “like everyone else.” I’m lucky I had other coping mechanisms or I could very well have gone through with it, and they’d be standing over my grave saying “this came out of NOWHERE, there was NOTHING we could have possibly done!” Later my younger sister actually *did* try to kill herself, and it felt like they barely reacted. They never talk about it and it’s as if they’re pretending it never happened. They also focus completely on doling out punishments when we mess up instead of teaching us what we could have done differently or bothering to find out WHY we did what we did. They never ask us how we feel, they never seem to notice or care when we are upset, and they constantly belittle us and make us feel ungrateful and unreasonable anytime we complain.

    I actually remember thinking that if I were in a tragic accident and my mother found me bleeding to death out in the street, she’d refuse to call for help until I asked her politely.

    • December 5, 2016 at 12:50 am

      ” but something about my relationship with them has always felt empty and forced. It was like we were merely going through the motions of being a family. It’s been difficult to put my finger on exactly what was wrong,”

      I can relate. I think my parents just basically didn’t much care about my feelings. My mom is very narcissistic — and would never admit that she was less than a “perfect” mother — and my father was gone a lot of my life.

      Most people understand that physical and sexual abuse are very damaging, but very few understand that NEGLECT is damaging also. I was over 60 before I finally got it. Neglect IS abuse !!!! I hope psychiatrists will do more research on this so it’s better understood and others don’t have to spend years in therapy to work it out.

  • August 28, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    My parents are baby boomers. Nothing else needs to be said.

  • August 29, 2015 at 12:20 am

    “Psychological projection-Blaming Others for our Shortcomings”… look it up.

    We are a culture that blames others, and a classical psychological “feel good” emotion is to blame the parents. I did too because it was easy, but I eventually took responsibility for my emotions and failings.
    I am sure there are cases that parents should be blamed for the child’s unstable emotional health, but most of the commenters seem to find the victim mentality appealing, it is not my fault, blame my parents, an emotional hanger.
    It takes guts and courage to stop hiding behind the ‘victim’ mentality and take a good look inside us.

    Commenters.. need to read about “Psychological Projection” and maybe get another perspective.

    • March 17, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      Sorry…that thinking is myopic and gets my blood up

  • December 2, 2015 at 11:29 am

    I am responding to the last comment. I did not read any of the comments as commenters blaming their parents or coming from a victim stance at all, but sharing their experience of what it was like for them with emotionally neglectful parents. I am all for taking responsibility, and not using a blaming stance to avoid taking responsibility once we are adults. Howeve, parents have a responsibility to care and nurture their child and respect their child’s emotions. And those that don’t are responsible for this, I’m not talking of blame or using the word blame, but the word responsibility, adults taking self- responsibilty for their own behavior and emotiins. Sadly if we have been victim’s of abuse and or neglect, we normally have to do much hard work on ourself in therapy and/or throughout life to work through the resultant consequences/damage caused. For eg a childhood where parents have projected out blame and shame from themselves onto an innocent child, a real victim, to avoid taking responsibility for their own feelings and behaviour, but instead projecting it out onto the child. Once we’re adults, we are responsible for ourselves.

  • February 24, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    If people are so good at “putting on braves faces” and hiding the condition, perhaps the condition is much more prevalent in a society than people believe it to be, and perhaps it’s the norm and not the exception?

  • March 3, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    I relate to this article on a deeply personal level. My siblings and I were emotionally neglected and emotionally abused by both our parents. They were both drug addicts who were emotionally and mentally unstable which had a profoundly damaging effect on my upbringing. Like Jasmine, I wished that I actually belonged to another family just because it was hell living with parents who didn’t make the effort to nurture my emotional growth and social skills. As a child I knew 2 things about myself: 1) That I was special and musically gifted. 2) That all I needed was nurturing and guidance to grow into a productive adult capable of fulfilling my dreams. Imagine my heartbreak watching both my parents pursue a career in music knowing that I too wanted to sing though they never took the time to encourage or help develop my own musical abilities or social skills for that matter. I’ll never forget trying to discuss music with my mother who told me “stop talking about that all the time!” It hurt me to the core that my mom did not care about or respect my true passion and first love. Or the time when I was squinting because of poor vision. “Stop doing that. You look ugly and it doesn’t make you cute” she said. It made me feel small having to explain that I couldn’t see. These exchanges taught me that I was not important, cared for and worst of all, not worth the much effort in the eyes of my mother. I am not sure if my mother understood the damage she’d inflicted but by her actions, this all seemed ‘normal’.

    It is not natural for loving, caring parents to neglect, abuse, disrespect or devalue the emotions of their children. I believe that both of my parents had unresolved familial issues which, sadly, manifested in their relationship with me. As a result, I went through most of my life with low emotional intelligence and no sense of self. I have compassion and empathy for them both and do not blame them for their behavior. Their drug abuse was a big factor. I realize now that they did their best given their own emotional circumstances.

    It took most of my life to overcome the trauma from my childhood. I still struggle with issues of worthiness but I am a lot better today. I advise all parents to nurture your children. Tend to their emotions, show them that it is safe for them them to be in their own skin. Please do your best to invest in them as early and as often as possible. They are your flesh and blood and they are worth it.

  • March 10, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Thank you so much for putting this out there.
    I have not been able to understand this situation.
    Now I do & thanks again for leading me to those sites for a solution.
    It really means a lot 🙂

  • March 15, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    I am number 6 of 7 siblings and my parents came to America from Mexico. Since they had visas and my siblings did not – my five eldest siblings had to stay in Tijuana while they had their visas approved which took a long time. Fast forward to 1969 when I was born in U.S. and my brothers and sisters ages ranging in 6-15 years older than i had gone thru a lot by the time I was born. I not only had well-meaning parents with their own neglect issues but my oldest siblings were just as neglected as I was. I am certain all seven of us have this. Out of all 7 of us – only one is fighting addiction to meth and homelessness. The rest of us are surviving and all are hardworking and all married except my meth addicted baby brother – which I feel I failed in protecting. My parents were kind, loving and hard working. However their lives were very hard. They grew up very poor and also emotionally neglected and experienced things no child should. I also have trichotillomania and have had it since age 12 at onset of puberty. You can imagine my life. I was emotionally neglected and had to take care of my baby brother while everyone was at work or school. My family also had this idea that since my brother and I were little – we had no need for beds or rooms of our own. Instead we had sleeping bags and slept in my parent’s room on the floor.
    My poor parents. I was a good little girl and was not spoiled and was quiet. I had no voice and was never really told I mattered. I also had this horrible habit Trichotillomania that I chose to keep a secret. Not very good at hiding it but i did not talk about it. It was no secret I was bald half the time. I managed to live a somewhat normal social teen life and was quite popular in my group. I dated like normal teens do. I did have to hide my baldness which was hard but I think I was clever with it. At age 15 my father died suddenly and my world crumbled. I loved my father very much. He was tough but kind. In his own little way he would tell me I was smart. Not often but if I got a good grade he would say something funny but nice. I was in dance and drill team and often I was the kid whose parents would not be in the audience. I used to stretch my neck far to see if I could see my mom and dad in the audience – I did not. I still remember that feeling in my tummy after a performance – and I would work my way through the crowd searching for my mama and papa and nothing. I felt empty. So while my friends all took photos with their family I did not. Eventually in my early 20’s I was able to learn more about my trichotillomania and found out I was not a freak or alone in my suffering. I met the love of my life in 1995 and started dating in 1997 and married in 2001. Today we are happily married and have no children – mostly because I never felt maternal and he was happy not to have any at all. So we have each other and out pets. I still struggle with feeling i do not belong. I do sometimes feel a void and loneliness. I used to attribute this to my trich or perhaps being motherless – but I do not want kids. So I now know it is CEN. I am hard working, I love my animals, I love my husband and I do not ask for help and tend to do things on my own. I am a business woman and work with my husband and we are always together. I do tend to be quite tough and can be quite cold sometimes but not mean. I am able to push my emotions aside sometimes so I am working on being a bit more tender. I am loyal and I love my husband. He loves me so much I can feel it. He saved my life. it’s interesting to note here that I do not like being around my family. I see my mom because she is 84 but I do not have fond memories of my childhood. I have no resentment but I get anxiety around most of my siblings. I do try and take care of my baby brother still as he is homeless and we have tried to give him a roof but it always ends in disaster. I hope I can live the rest of my life in peace. I want to love myself.
    Thank you for this. I found this by accident on Twitter.

  • April 18, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    That moment you find the missing puzzle piece! This is it! Thank you so much for writing this article I feel like I can finally move forward and talk to a professional about this huge missing piece and before I have children of my own.

  • June 8, 2016 at 5:07 am

    Emotional Intelligence the term introduced twenty year back has started gaining its due importance nowadays. EQ has emerged as major job skill which many companies are looking for in their employees while hiring rather than IQ. According to a research people with low EQ doesn’t realize what important skills they lack. The people with high EQ are emotionally strong and work while keeping their emotions aside.. Working with people with less EQ is generally less rewarding sometimes becomes difficult to work with them. Certain ways have to be followed while handling people with Low EQ. Alan Garvornic https://goo.gl/IM8eu2 who is a successful business leader, innovator and entrepreneur with over 32 years of real life, hands on experience in achieving results has provided evidence-based recommendations for managing that situation when you are working with people having Low EQ.
    • Being Gentle. People with low EQ are generally grumpier and generally respond in an unpleasant manner. According Alan Gavornik one has to act as stabilizing and calming agent rather than ostracizing them which will prove physiological taxing , not just for others but the low EQ individuals themselves.
    • Being Explicit. People with Low EQ has less capacity of decoding others, they are more like stereotypical engineer or professor: disinterested in nonverbal communication, non-empathetic, and somewhat detached from interpersonal contact; happiest when on their own or interacting with their own thoughts rather than people. According Alan Gavornik one should avoid social subtleties while interacting with them to avoid getting misunderstood.
    • Being rationale. People with Low EQ behave in a irrational ways. . According Alan Gavornik one has to try to gain their trust by being the voice of reason and developing a reputation for being logical rather than manipulating them emotionally.
    • Do not get offended. People with low EQ have low sympathy with others that is the reason that they are generally politically incorrect. According Alan Gavornik they generally lack conventional etiquettes, one has to find way of dealing with them and letting them know the way dealing with you.

  • June 26, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    Very powerful article. Thank you!

  • June 27, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    This is almost exactly what I had to deal with. I grew up with Inflexible Explosive Disorder(years before anyone knew there was such a thing), and while my Mother did get Psychological help for me, my Father didn’t understand my problems at all. He was basically a good person and wanted to be a good Father but he thought that he had to be an a**hole to me if I was ever to grow up. If I ever talked back or blew up at him because of bad impulse control, he’d scream “You are forbidden to watch TV for one/two weeks/one month!” This was a regular occurrence. He’s say it was because “You don’t respect me”, not understanding that this was a behavioral disorder, not lack of respect. He’d scream, slap, and spank me over lacking values and respect, not understanding that this was my disorder. He did many good things for me too, introducing me to British comedy, taking me to movies and comic book conventions, buying me good books, but he was Bi-Polar and Paranoid and had his own problems controlling his outbursts. His anger was explosive and frightening. And my Mother had a very short temper and would react to my outbursts by running after me with a belt and whipping me with it. These were pretty good parents about 40 percent of the time, and pretty awful parents maybe 60 percent, and there was no way for anybody to tell them that they were only making my problems worse. I could never prevent having TV taken away from me, because it just wouldn’t change my behavior.

  • May 3, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Great article — Daniel Mackler (therapist) has a good video on a similar topic, “Everyone is Traumatized”. I’ve come to realize how pervasive childhood emotional neglect is and how almost everyone I know has suffered it.

  • July 2, 2019 at 10:52 am

    Is there a way to gently teach your own parents to emotional awareness? My mom was raised the same way. And then she did the same to me. Or is there no hope for her and I just have to accept the way she is, being unaware of her lack of empathy?


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