Ten Consequences of Childhood Neglect

Ten Consequences of Childhood Neglect

Like most empaths, I have been deeply disturbed by the separation of immigrant children from their families at the border. The impact of childhood neglect can be profound.  I know this from Harlow’s research on baby monkeys, the studies of children in orphanages, by the work I’ve done with clients and my own history of neglect.   I have been worried about the lifelong psychological damage this could do to these children, the impact it will have on their ability to feel safe in this world, their ability to trust and form healthy relationships, their growth, their ability to function when they get back to school and depending on how long they are separated, their survival.

Back in the 1950’s Harry Harlow performed experiments on baby monkeys where he took them from their mothers and other infants.   These monkeys could no longer securely attach to other monkeys and their ability to socialize was severely disrupted.  If the isolation lasted beyond 90 days, the effects were irreversible.

childhood neglect at abandoned orphanagesMore recently, Nathan Fox and colleagues studied childhood neglect by comparing young children (ages 6 months to 3 years) in Bucharest who were reared in a Romanian orphanage vs. those when were put in foster homes.    In the Romanian orphanages, babies were left in cribs all day, except when fed, diapered or bathed on a set schedule.  The neglected children in orphanages had a myriad of problems, ranging from cognitive deficits, to difficulty regulating emotions, social withdrawal, low self-esteem, to tics, tantrums, and stealing,

As a healer, I’ve seen these problems with clients who’s parents were emotionally unavailable.  As for my own healing journey, I’ve become increasingly aware that my lifelong struggles which sound a lot like the Romanian orphans (minus the tics and stealing) are likely due to many years of emotional neglect that I had growing up.

Given that I use the wisdom of the subconscious to get straight to the root causes of problems, I thought it would be of interest to share what I’ve learned about the consequences of childhood neglect from my experience as a healer.

Here are 10 major consequences that I have seen of early life neglect:

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How Your Unconscious Intentions Can Sabotage Your Relationships

How Your Unconscious Intentions Can Sabotage Your Relationships

Do you struggle with your relationships?

If so, what unconscious intentions do you bring into your relationships?

 

What are unconscious intentions?

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From Feeling Unloved to Hugged

From Feeling Unloved to Hugged

I have a client whose mother died when she was still a baby, and her dad remarried a woman who constantly berated her and made her feel unlovable. Her father was distant and never filled the void and abandonment that she felt after losing her mother. Consequently, she has struggled all her life with feeling unlovable, and desperately craved affection. Whenever I talked with her, her pattern was to criticize herself.

From Feeling Unloved to Hugged

We were working together to release subconscious barriers that made her feel unloved when she suddenly felt

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How to Deal With Bullies, Trolls and Haters

How to Deal With Bullies, Trolls and Haters

Last week, I submitted a comment on a blog, and got back the wrath of what I like to call an “angry man-child”.   This person insulted me and everything that I said, and it was clear that he was ready to pick a fight.   I felt myself getting defensive, and I started to think how I’d retaliate.   But I quickly realized that my emotions were getting in the way of me. I decided that I’d try to call him out on his behavior by labeling it, and then I tried to respectfully use reason to argue my point.

I had hoped that I would increase his awareness of how he came across, but he came back with more vehement insults and lambasted me for not addressing his points.

I knew that he was an angry man-child, and that he was trying to defend an ego that someone in his past had insulted.   But I still wanted to find a way to silence him. I wanted him to realize he was spreading anger and hatred that only hurt people and himself.

I couldn’t seem to let the issue go!

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How to Forgive the Beasts in Our Life

How to Forgive the Beasts in Our Life

Jackie was abused as a child by a family member. This “beast” violated her trust and left her afraid and vulnerable for years of her childhood.   She was sworn to secrecy and felt helpless to protect herself.

His actions were none other than horrific! But if she had held the anger inside of her all her life, it would have eaten away at her and magnified the trauma. It would have trapped emotions around her heart, creating what we call a heart wall. A heart wall would have robbed her ability to love herself and others, and prevented her from fully embracing life!

So how did she let that anger go?

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When You Don’t Fit In

When You Don’t Fit In

For most of my life, I didn’t feel like I fit in.

To start, I didn’t look like anyone else.   As a Eurasian in the 70’s, I was a pretty rare breed.   I don’t remember meeting anyone else who was Eurasian in the US until I got into high school!

I also wasn’t good at making friends, and then we moved to Hong Kong, and my parents put my sister and I in a Chinese speaking school.   We only spoke English at the time.

These early life experiences set me up to feel like an outsider for the rest of my life.

For most of my life, I felt rejected, unloved, and unacceptable.

I still don’t fit in, but my attitude towards not fitting in has shifted 180 degrees. 

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