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Every Tuesday with, Martin Jongue

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                                         The Pain of Neglect 

Hurt by those we loved

When we have been neglected as children it can leave us feeling wounded, deprived, and wronged by those we love and trusted. The hurt can be especially deep if those who caused pain were our own parents.  If these hurts are not resolved, they continue to affect us and our subsequent relationships. 

When emotional wounds occur in childhood, these injuries are experienced from a child’s perspective. Memories and understanding of the events are stored in the brain in that child-like state.  Children do not process information like adults. They tend to place too much blame on themselves and internalize negative messages received from others.

Where do I start? 

I suggest revisiting your earliest painful memory as a starting point. What happened? Write down everything you can remember. What did you think would happen at that time? What would you have wanted to happen (i.e., how would you have liked this to have played out differently)? How did you interpret this event (i.e., why did it happen)?  How did it make you feel, about yourself? Who do you blame for what happened and why (you can blame more than one person)? How do you feel toward the other people involved? How did this event affect you in the future? How does it affect how you feel about yourself today? How did it affect your relationships in the past and today? What sorts of things cause this memory to pop up for you?

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