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Neglect (Wound Series, Childhood Trauma)
This article is in the series about Childhood Trauma and Wounds. My last post was about abuse which causes me issues with balancing alone time and social interactions, doubt my worth and my ability to succeed as some examples. Let’s talk about Neglect.
I’m going to talk in this post about Neglect. Neglect is the last of the three main types of childhood trauma. The definition of Neglect is when the group around the child doesn’t provide for the basic amount and quality of time, interaction, tenderness or other basic emotional or physical needs.
Like always, we need to remember that we are looking at this from a child’s perspective and not from the eyes of an adult so Neglect doesn’t need to be intentional physical or emotional neglect to be highly impacting.
I wasn’t Neglected
My parents didn’t neglect me. I could find things they could have done better but I got all the food, tenderness, time and communication I needed.
This trauma type is not based on my experience but the one of other people I know that suffer from its consequences.
Tenderness, both physical and emotional, teaches a child to balance his emotions and use safe places to recover from difficult events.
These safe places are the arms of her or his parents, the soothing voice during a talk, the caressing of the hair delivered with love.
Tenderness teaches the beautiful emotions of togetherness. It also teaches us that life is not black or white. Something goes wrong but there is a safe place that still feels good so at the end everything will be ok. This nurtures our ability to believe and hope for a better future.
Time is the other main category of neglect I see around me. Not giving the time to a kid to discuss. Also not giving time to get help during homework or the pleasure of playing with his parents.
Our society is exacerbating this type of neglect because of the level of busyness imposed on families.
What this time teaches is that we are not alone and that extended hands are there to grasp.
From what I see around me the main consequences of neglect are difficulty:
- balancing the good and the bad feelings into an acceptable mix.
- understanding that we are worthwhile and that others can enjoy helping us.
- processing subtle emotions and feelings.
- accepting that we can accept help from others and don’t need to solve everything alone.
I would say that what helps most with correcting these consequences is to open up to someone we trust. Open up enough and let them do the magic and mindfully see how it feels and how we react. Watching our emotions and how the waves come and go despite the circumstances.