Kid with backpack

Link – Childhood Neglect and the Impact of Invalidation

This is tough, because we don’t typically think of neglect in the same way we think of abuse, but it is. Physical neglect, obviously is, but emotional neglect can be devastating too:

Aside from basic survival, one need that frequently arises when a parent is not physically or emotionally available, is the need to be validated. When there is no one around, how does a child know they “count”? How do they know their feelings matter or if they even exist?

Over the years, I’ve met a few people who probably wouldn’t consider their childhoods to be abusive in the same way that many of us would, and yet they struggle with many of the same issues, the same lack of social development that we see in sexual and physical abuse survivors. It might have started out differently, we were just trying to survive and not concerned with finding our place in the world, they had no adult supervision as they tried to find theirs, but the results can look strikingly similar, bad relationships, alcohol and drug abuse, hyper sexualization, inability to focus, and so on.

That struggle is real for all of us.

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