Growing up in a childhood where the words, I love you are seldom heard affects our self-esteem and instills an aversion in children to be able to say these unfamiliar words to others. This pattern usually sets the tone for a feeling of discomfort as they grow older when it comes to having the ability to say those words to someone else.
When children are unfamiliar with hearing these words, it becomes unnatural for them to speak them out loud to others. Many may begin to feel that announcing their feelings isn’t acceptable, because if it was, why weren’t they more familiar with this endearment?
Just as a bandage is made to cover up a wound in order for it to heal, so are thoughts blocked off by children who aren’t comfortable sharing their feelings. Happy or sad, they take refuge in their own little worlds, harboring their hurts internally; only that type of bandage doesn’t heal a wound.
Children left to their own demises after encountering hurtful situations in life , who haven’t been extended that comfort zone by a parent, can be vulnerable to the options they choose for consoling themselves. Many grow up feeling needy, which can lead them into more hurtful situations as they age by falling into the wrong types of relationships when they’re longing to be loved.
Without loving support, people tend to gravitate to people who prey on their neediness. These children may wind up being subservient as adults with their aim to please, or in abusive relationships as they may feel the punishers are justified, because of their low sense of self-worth which had never been nurtured.
When a child has experienced their first broken heart, and finds his/herself uncomfortable talking to his or her parents because of the unfamiliarity of these emotions in their growing up environment, they aren’t apt to share their sadness with their parents because they aren’t familiar with loving support, or perhaps they’re afraid of their situation being dismissed as trivial puppy love.
When these children withdraw into themselves, and lock themselves in their rooms sobbing in their pillows, feeling as though their heart has been broken into a million pieces and there’s nobody to listen to them or comfort them, these are the beginnings of a child’s crushed soul, and so begins the cycle of questioning their self-worth.
The sense of loss and being given no compassion are the makings for how one begins to form ideas about what it would take to be loved. Repercussions can be anything from being afraid to get involved in a future relationship, to becoming someone who they aren’t, in efforts to portray themselves as someone else to gain attention of future suitors. These people can easily grow up to become broken souls.
Broken souls go through life feeling inadequate, and unworthy because nobody told them they were not. They have only to judge from what they’ve experienced, what they know. From there, the road can lead to anywhere there becomes acceptance and attention. They can’t save themselves until they learn from encouraging people. If they’re lucky enough to encounter encouraging people, helping hands in their journeys through life, who can encourage them and make them feel worthy of being loved, they can gain the opportunity to re-examine their broken selves, and their broken souls may gain a chance to flourish.
For the lucky few, they find the hand that reaches out to help mend their broken selves. For many others, they may spend the rest of their lives searching for their self-worth.
Children need encouragement, attention, love and support from their parents in order to grow up to be comfortable in their skin and to gain the capacity to form healthy relationships as they grow. Children need all this to feel that they are worthwhile human beings, and to become good parents themselves by keeping the goodness flowing through future generations.
We are all products of our environments. Our first teachers are our parents. If our parents weren’t taught how to become good parents, shown affection, or told they’re loved, it’s unlikely they will be passing on any of these important elements when raising a child.
Back when I was growing up, I was one of those emotionally neglected children. but I was one of those lucky few who got through it by myself, painful as it was. I moved away at a young age, and found the hands that reached out to me, which helped me build my self-esteem.
I remember my best friend I met just after leaving home, always encouraging me, hugging me, and telling me she loved me. I have to admit, it felt so strange at first hearing those words. I felt shy and embarrassed at first because it felt weird telling someone I loved them. But Zan was the hand that reached out and pulled me out of my negative image of myself, and I have her to be grateful for so much in life as I began to learn what the word love encompassed from that point on.
In this era that we live in now, there is so much help available for everyone. Nobody should have to go through life feeling unloved or unloveable. There are tons of books available for self-help now, about issues that weren’t even recognized when I was a child. There are support groups for every cause, and there are also many people eager to share and support us with conditions which plague us. And most importantly, there are all these same resources equally available to parents, so they too can learn how to become loving and supportive parents.
It no longer has to matter if our parent’s didn’t know how to demonstrate love and affection. We don’t have to follow old norms and patterns. We may not be able to change the past, but there’s so much we can do to climb out of our sheltered souls. The world is full of opportunity and venues for us all to be able to learn how to become our best selves, how to feel worthy of ourselves, and how to help us strive to be whatever it is we wish to become better at.
D.G. Kaye ©2015Follow Me on Social Media!