It often occurs to me that where some of us suffer severe trauma because of overt emotional or sexual abuse as children, there are others of us that suffer equally because of more subtle emotional neglect. The same symptoms of trauma occur with subtle neglect as with severe trauma but is unfortunately not readily acknowledged or recognized. Symptoms of general anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsion, are common amongst us who have never learned the gentleness of loving care towards ourselves because of a harsh emotional environment for whatever reason. We already notice the harshness of struggling with obsessive compulsive behavior patterns, severe anxiety and the physical obesity, anorexia or injuries and other medical problems we suffer as a result of not knowing how to take care of ourselves. Obsessive compulsive disorder as well as depression and anxiety issues underlie suppressed anger. The neglected child part in us that never had a voice becomes anxious and depressed because they are unaware of their own anger about not being emotionally acknowledged. I see so many people accept subtle emotional abusive behavior from their spouses or friends because they feel unworthy of consideration because of the suppressed anger and inability to acknowledge them self. It is important to start by giving yourself a voice by hearing yourself first and attending to your own inner self.
A general lack about emotional nurturing that also extends to physical, intellectual and spiritual nurturing is widespread in our society, resulting in a lack of an intuitive ability to eat the right food, exercise in the right way and take care of ourselves emotionally. Our parents could have been preoccupied with surviving life or struggling with their own neglect and not be capable of attending to our emotional nurturing, or could have been part of an uninformed cultural attitude about emotional and general nurturing. We treat our symptoms even harsher by only relying on medication and surgery without attending to the underlying neglect of tenderness and regard for the appropriate origin of the symptom. To recover the lack of proper nurturing we need to nurture and attend to our inner voice for the emotional reasons of out symptoms as well.
Relationship problems follow early emotional neglect too because we now project the need for nurturing onto our partners and friends. We might even overcompensate for our unconscious neglect by over protecting our children and create a self-centered next generation. I truly hope that is not the case, but I do believe that we need to be aware of our ability to nurture our self and others appropriately in a collective healing process.