Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

I fyou felt as a child that you had zero emotional support from your parent(s) etc

(411 Posts)
SoleSource Sun 19-Jan-14 16:47:24

How has this affected how you deal with your emotions as an adult?

Do you find emotions hard to deal with?

Are you afraid of asking for help or just being yourself or not know how to word your feelings from being afraid of being vulnerable and attacked?

As I do sometimes...as I had zero emotional support as a child and was emotionally abused and verbally attacked constantly by my Father. I have been NC for nine years now.

I'm single and have had a course of therapy but feel I have been hurt far too much and am scared of letting others 'in'.

JennyOnAPlate Sun 19-Jan-14 17:32:55

Yes to all.

My dps werent abusive in any way but were very distant and unemotional. They didn't do hugs or I love you's. If I cried I was told off or ignored rather than comforted.

Food was my comfort from a very young age (still is). I find hugs very difficult. Poor dh hardly ever gets one, although I do cuddle my dc. Sometimes I really have to fight the urge to push them away though.

I can't talk about personal things which had made making friends very difficult. Also can't ask for help, which makes my life a lot harder than it needs to be.

RandomMess Sun 19-Jan-14 17:33:38

Also I can rationally explain something to someone I trust and decide a course of appropriate action, but when it comes down to it my automatic reaction is the unhealthy one - and one that leads to more pain. I have the inibility to put my true emotional needs first, I end up doing what other people want (or what I think they want).

SoleSource Sun 19-Jan-14 17:34:50

I think I need to go back to therapy Random. What type of therapy are you having, if you do not mind me asking you

Everybody here says virtually similar things...

Have to break out of this cycle and get out there and stop hiding, waste of life if I do not try.

RandomMess Sun 19-Jan-14 17:38:03

Group psycotherapy. The group (minus me) regularly collude to avoid "feeling" emotions. Drives me up the wall - LOL. Put that is all part and parcel of it.

I guess I grew up in an atmosphere of pretending everything was fine and I'm back in one, the huge elephants are just ignored. Can't stand it. Struggling to get angry at dh over his inaction over it, perhaps too much empathy for why he is the way he is?

BakingBad Sun 19-Jan-14 17:40:02

Me too sad

My parents made sure we were well fed and nicely dressed but couldn't deal with our emotions - so we learned not to express them.

I have no idea whatsoever what would make me happy.

BeCool Sun 19-Jan-14 17:40:32

I went into therapy aged 35 and struggled then to identify with ANY emotions bar anger and hurt. Completely desensitised. Psychotherapy helped moved me forward but I still feel unloveable deep down 10 years on from there.

BakingBad Sun 19-Jan-14 17:41:19

I've had two abusive marriages and I think that speaks volumes sad

SoleSource Sun 19-Jan-14 17:43:32

If there is anybody reading this thinking get a grip victims, we are not victims we have not been given the tools in childhood we needed to deal with emotions.

SoleSource Sun 19-Jan-14 17:44:37

Yes Baking, it does... emotionally abusive relationships here too.

Have to try not to attract abusive cunts

WeGotTheKrunk Sun 19-Jan-14 17:45:48

I can't talk about personal things which had made making friends very difficult. Also can't ask for help, which makes my life a lot harder than it needs to be.

YY to this Jenny. I've lost a lot of friends over the years due to this - people think you're aloof if you don't share things about yourself, or if you never ask them to help you out. I sometimes feel a bit like I don't know where to start with talking about personal things - even with my very closest friends (getting better at this though)

WeGotTheKrunk Sun 19-Jan-14 17:47:10

we are not victims

I don't feel like a victim any more. Used to, before I realised where it all stemmed from. It was the realising that helped me move forward.

RandomMess Sun 19-Jan-14 17:47:45

SoleSource that is very accurate.

I found parenting my younger dc when they were pre-schoolers ok. I learnt how to via my first dh on my first dc. They are fairly easy, kisses and cuddles, respond to tears, give reassurance.

However now they are older again it is a huge struggle, partly the marriage situation and partly because I have no clue what emotional support actually is let alone how to offer it. When they display difficult behaviour I am terrified that something is going on that is making them unhappy and I'm failing them. Sometimes they are probably just being moody hormonal pre-teens, or had a bad day at school and don't need to share, or just knackered.

I am also truly amazed at how much "stuff" they tell me I am shock that they want to spend time with me and that they tell me ANYTHING.

PortofinoRevisited Sun 19-Jan-14 17:49:09

My mother died when I was small and I was brought up my maternal GPs. My dad had us at weekends etc. I suffered no abuse, but don't really remember cuddles either. As we got older we were made to feel that we were a bit of a hindrance. I didn't really open up to anyone during my teenage years at all. My GM didn't do emotional stuff. I used to write copious diaries. As an adult it has made me very independent and self-reliant I think. I don't trust people very easily. I would find it very hard to ask for help. I feel somewhat detached - it's like I built a wall so that if people leave me/hurt me I won't care anymore, sort of thing.....?

SoleSource Sun 19-Jan-14 17:50:48

I feel we have all made progress. random the fear is very real and you shall get passed this, you're too amazing and intelligent for that not to happen.

SoleSource Sun 19-Jan-14 17:53:35

Also by reading the posts here....

Maybe our parents were also not taight how to deal with emoions and passed that onto us. Their experience may be been a lot worse than ours. Stiff upper lip and as one poster stated 'The English Way'

I am envious of people who are not like me in this way and have had emotional support and a close family. sad Bad trait. In fact I feel it is just not fucking fair and I feel out in the cold.

FrauMoose Sun 19-Jan-14 17:55:10

I was talking with my partner about this.

I think it gets easier as I get older. There can be times when that old feeling of utter isolation engulfs me. Moods of despair and/or being swallowed up by the past.

However I've been with my partner for 18 years, get on well with my stepchildren and my own teenage daughter is thriving.

I do have some lovely friends, but am aware that if I feel sad I tend to withdraw from other people, thinking that they won't want to know.

When I was younger I think I took refuge in the world of books. (Also classical music.) Both books and music continue to give me enormous pleasure.

SoleSource Sun 19-Jan-14 17:57:10

In ways therapy helped me a lot but I find that when I talk to people/make an effort they then start to use my experiences against me and feel superior. I hate that trait in others and I am far too polite to cut the friendship off straight away.

GW297 Sun 19-Jan-14 17:57:24

I have built a protective wall around myself and keep everyone at a distance. I do have lots of close friends now but find relationships and trust very difficult. It had affected me deeply and impacts my daily life. I have had counselling in the recent past. If I have children in the future their emotional welfare will be given as high a regard as their physical welfare. History will not repeat itself.

GW297 Sun 19-Jan-14 17:58:23

I also feel jealous of people who say they had a lovely, safe, happy and loving childhood (although I'd never begrudge anyone this obviously!)

RandomMess Sun 19-Jan-14 17:59:47

"I am envious of people who are not like me in this way and have had emotional support and a close family. sad Bad trait. In fact I feel it is just not fucking fair and I feel out in the cold." YES

I think something I really struggled with is that my parents refuse to accept it, they really thought it was fine to expect me to play happy families when it suited them when completely ignoring me the rest of the year confused They honestly chose and choose to believe that the family dynamics were "normal".

There have been several major opportunities to support me since becoming an adult - they ran like the wind. I'm pretty much NC now for my own sanity.

It's that constant awareness that not even your parents like or approve of you, that you have no-one there for you - it hurts.

SoleSource Sun 19-Jan-14 18:04:36

Yes, spot on Random.

To manage this feeling of disapproval fear of rejection is so damn difficult and ever present.

coffeeistheanswer Sun 19-Jan-14 18:05:00

Random - you sound like me.

Long story short - I left my DH, found a lovely man who recognises my feelings as valid, encourages me to tell him about them and just wants to make me happy. It's lovely.

The fear I used to experience at being upset about something and not being able to tell him... It turned out I told him...he responded, recognised my feelings and even apologised if he was wrong and tried to make it better!

There can be another world out there

WeGotTheKrunk Sun 19-Jan-14 18:05:25

As an adult it has made me very independent and self-reliant I think.

if I feel sad I tend to withdraw from other people

Can totally relate to both of these. Self-reliance is good in a lot of ways - but it's a bit double edged - I sometimes have times where I feel like I've looked after myself so well, at the points in time where I've really needed some emotional help, I didn't know where to go to get it!

I do agree with you FrauMoose that things improve as you get older. These days I do have a good solid friendship group, but I had to work hard to develop that. It was a bit like learning a foreign language - watching what other people did, how they supported one another, etc. Did not come naturally to me at all, not in the way it seems to come naturally to others (and I found myself being a bit envious of the fact that other people 'knew' what to do to develop and hold onto friendships)

RandomMess Sun 19-Jan-14 18:07:30

Yes coffee I know.

This will be the 2nd dh I'll have left for the same reason though - how utterly crap of me. utterly petrified that I was just make the same mistake, utterly petrified that I won't cope with being single.

Heaps of guilt being poured on from those childhood voices, what will people think! I supposed to achieve things and make them proud, being happy was never a consideration...

Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

SoleSource Sun 19-Jan-14 18:08:29

Also if we are independent and self reliant others see us as never needing help and can 'put upon us' IYSWIM.

We are then afraid to ask for help as we do not appear to need to help to others and people then start to question who we are...does that make sense to anybody? I have experienced this.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now