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The Aftermath of Emotional Neglect

One of the things we learn about addiction and mental health is that there are emotional patterns we experience and are exposed to that can contribute to the pain that eventually develops into our illnesses. One of these emotional patterns is that of neglect. Many of us were not given the love, care, guidance and attention we needed growing up. Maybe our caregivers were too busy working to support the family. Maybe they were struggling with their own addictions and didn’t have the emotional resources to offer us. Whatever the reason, when we’ve been emotionally neglected, there can be various repercussions for many years to follow.

Emotional neglect can cause us to attract and choose relationships that mirror this pattern for us

These are spiritual tests to push us towards healing, but we often don’t know that yet. What we do know is that we keep winding up in recurring relationship cycles where we feel neglected and abandoned, where our partners are distant and emotionally unavailable for us, and where we feel taken for granted and unappreciated. We are often dealing with deep fears of inadequacy, inferiority, and unworthiness, from the initial trauma of being neglected. These fears are then compounded by our relationships later in life.

When we’ve been neglected in any way, we might feel as though we have nowhere to turn, no one who truly loves us, no means of comfort and support. Many of us will begin to experiment with drugs to offset these painful feelings. We suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, and drugs become our go-to remedy. Our experimentation can turn into full-fledged use, dependence and then abuse, and before we know it, our patterns have become full-blown addictions. Our addictions are often the only recourse we feel we have against the powerful feelings of neglect and abandonment that we’ve been dealing with for much of our lives.

Be There For Yourself 

There are healthy ways of coping with the aftermath of emotional neglect, and they involve learning how to parent our inner child in order to heal those longstanding wounds. Imagine yourself as a child. Hold yourself. Love yourself. All of the wounds you sustained in childhood are still within you. Rather than trying to mask those wounds and fill those voids with our addictions, let’s ask ourselves what we needed as a child but never received and then give it to ourselves now as adults. If we didn’t get enough attention, we can commit to regular self-care and spiritual practice. If we didn’t feel loved and accepted as a child, we can now work to develop unconditional self-love and acceptance, through things like energy healing, working with a therapist, and creative self-expression.

The caring, compassionate staff of The Guest House is here to support you as you start your journey to recovery and healing. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.