BPD Awareness Month (Neglect)

Todays topic is NEGLECT, Now this can touch us all within the MH community or in the wider society so I’m sure many of us will relate to todays topic. Now this is will be fairly easy for me to write about has it still haunts me to this day the treatment I got, which has played a gigantic part in my mental health struggles for reasons ill get into. Ill be giving you some clinical info but this one today is coming from a survivor or BPD and who are now working in the MH field to treat others, So it has a much more personal impact rather than just clinical clap trap.

So i can say for myself i cant really say i was neglected until age 15 now you may be thinking age 15 is a bit late to then start suffering with neglect but once you’ve read my blog today you’ll understand. So early ages of life I cant say I was or felt neglected because i had my mother there, so I always had a parent who i could turn to, My father on the other hand very much the opposite, But during my early phases of life up to age 13 id say is when I really relied on my mother for guidance and general parenting and love, which love was very, Once in a Blue Moon, lets say. Even tho i had all my struggles inside to deal with, neglected is something I felt a tiny bit of, but it really did not affect me, i don’t THINK. But 13 upwards is when things started to change drastically, the family home had changed before that when my sister left the home now at the time i didn’t know or understand how that impacted me, Because like iv stated in other blogs I have 3 Parents, the 2 who created me and the 1 who actually did the parenting which was my sister. So at the time I was not aware of the impact but looking back i can now see what happened to me, I lost the one person who Shown me everything in relation to food, now if you’ve read my other blogs and the one on eating disorders you’ll know the negative impact that had on me, with her leaving the home, it left me with just myself at ages of around 12 maybe 11 or maybe 13 I’m not sure the specific age but it was around them years. Now you may be thinking why wasn’t you parents their to help you. Good Question, to this day there is NO Answers. Enough Said!

So once my sister left the home, i was alone in my fight against my eating, left with 2 parents who was clueless to anything relating to my eating. So I was left with negatives their. Then to jump up in time to age 15, when the neglect began, that age i was leaving school too, so i was pretty much ignored at this time, because both parents was working together at the same place – DBC – So they would both leave about 5.30AM and return around 6-7PM to then sit in the living room arguing about all sorts of Bullshit. Leaving me stuck in my room, because the Rules from my father was if they was in the living room i was NOT ALOUD in their, specially if they was arguing, With him it was like this, if I was in the living room and on my laptop with HEADPHONES ON. He would complain to me he can hear it even when he’s watching tv and because he could hear the typing on the keyboard he’d tell me to ‘Get the FUCK out, and go in your room’ I got used to that it was normal, to get told by him to fuck off, so I began to just live in my room to the point no one ever seen me, i was in my room not 24/7 lets say 25/7 for fun. Because i would not leave the room, only to the bathroom at stupid o’clock, the reason I said 25/7 is to point out the fact I was forced to stay in my room. NOT BY CHOICE. So after a year or so of this BULLSHIT, I once braved it and went and sat in the living room with both parents with my laptop in hand, and he said, ‘you better not make any noise’ Even Breathing was too loud for this Bastard. That was the beginning of the Abuse/Neglect. When my mother left the home which I’m still shocked she lasted 23 years with this MONSTER. But after she left that’s when the fun started.

This man i don’t like using that word because he’s anything BUT a MAN, it was like this. He’d come home from work, and expect me to do the house work, okay fine, but I cleaned up after myself not leaving a crum literally but his crap I left because why the FUCK cant you clean up after your BASTARD SELF, you ignorant bastard?. To go from that small thing to like, Not being aloud in the living room, what he would do is as soon has he comes in he would touch the TV to see if its warm to see if iv been watching it, He would feel the sofa, it was leather, he would feel it to see if iv been sitting on it, He would feel the heaters to see if iv been using the heat, which was NOT ALOUD, Only freeze was aloud. He would check the MILK, yes you read that correctly and he would check the sugar, it even got to a point where he would MARK both milk and sugar with marker pens ,hed draw a line and if it was under the lines when he got back, ARGUMENT. He refused to buy me any food, only food for himself, Now at this time I’m 16 yrs old. He would demand i do all the house work with no food, no nothing. He would tell me when he got home to stay in my room.

After 1 year of this, Yes i did something bad i stole from him around 400 pound in total, not all at once, but out his money saving jar, he was saving up for the Sony PS3 at that time, the original console that was worth 350-450. I did steal food throughout the 1st year to my punishment of arguments LOL. But the money i stole was in a drip drip fashion and all i did with the money i stole was buy FOOD, i bought my tin food to cook that day, which i did and id open all the windows and both front and back door to get the smell out so he would not no iv EATEN FOOD. i stole from him for around 9 months before he noticed. Which when he shouted me down to say you’ve stole from me, he didn’t give me a chance to explain, he just said to my amazement ‘I cant believe you’ve stolen from me, I’m your DAD’ LOL LOL LOL . Laughing my ass off. DAD and Him ^^^^ Clearly that is what parenting is all about, i must be missing something. Clearly!

Now this Monster was just a word abuser. But never the less abuse is abuse. Now if people close to me do read this, i.e family or close friends of the family, will find this very hard to believe, but unlike that MONSTER, I’m known for telling the truth even when it gets me in trouble, and he is known by all family to Lie and be dishonest, you know the typical coward talk, well I didn’t tell you so technically I’m not lying. Okay!

Now I have chopped so much out of this blog today because their is so much more I do need to say but iv chopped it down to give you a damn good taste of what neglect I suffered and what a monster this So called Man is. Now I did leave out a massive part about painting my room BLACK. ill just touch on it now but briefly, I think it was age 17 I’m not so sure, but it was between 16-18, I painted my room black even the windows, and I loved it you could not see a thing and I loved that, not being able to be seen, well it was bashed into me wasn’t it, to go into my room and not be seen or HEARD.

iv touched on that briefly but there is an entire chapter I could talk about on that. But have you noticed when the neglect and abuse started is when after my sister left the home and then the breakdown of his marriage to my mother. After the safety nets was gone he was free to unleash hell on me, and me and my mother was so close. Just another part again ill touch on It briefly, every night around 9pm id go into my mothers bedroom because at this stage he lived in the living room and my mother lived in the bedroom, id always go in their to talk to her for about 15 mins and every single time, he’d come banging up the stairs ,open the door, his exact words are/was ‘Get the FUCK OUT NOW’ SLAM the door behind me, and bang an argument. Argument because how DARE me and my mother TALK. You can see why my mother left this Prick. She left and never looked back, and I’m ready to do the same.  

So todays blog was awfully personal but needed to be said, Neglect is a disgusting thing and its a direct reason to majority of my mental health issues, NOT the soul reason but they play a gigantic part. Now I’m going to give you some info from someone who is a survivor of BPD. Who is now a DR. Working in the mental health field.

A child feels sad, and no one asks her, “What’s wrong?”

An upset child’s need for comforting goes unnoticed by his parents.

A child’s feelings of hurt are misinterpreted as willful misbehaviour.

No one asks a child, “What do you want?”

A child’s feisty nature goes unnoticed and unchecked by his parents.

Most likely, there is not a child in the history of the world who has not experienced some or all of these here and there. But what happens when a child experiences all of the above, and more, and often?

None of these incidents are abusive acts. None involves parental mistreatment or malice. None leaves the child hungry or cold. None fits the definition of “trauma.” Even a loving parent might fail his child in these ways. And yet I have discovered that when a child goes through enough of these types of parental failures, she will experience tremendous effects years later in adulthood.

A child whose feelings are too often unnoticed, ignored, or misinterpreted by her parents receives a powerful, even if unintended, message from them: “Your feelings don’t matter,” “Your feelings are wrong,” or even “Your feelings are unacceptable.”

Children are adaptive little beings who respond deeply to their parents’ reactions. A child who receives any of these messages enough from his parents will naturally adapt by pushing his feelings down and away so that they are not visible to others. He may push them so far away that they are not visible even to himself.

I have given a name to this process: Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN). Childhood Emotional Neglect happens when a parent fails to notice or respond enough to a child’s emotional needs.

Notice that a parent’s failure to respond is not an event that happens to a child. Instead, it’s something that fails to happen for a child. Because CEN is not an event, it’s invisible, intangible, and unmemorable. It goes virtually unnoticed by both child and parent. A hundred people could be watching an instance of CEN and not one of them would notice.

Because of this, I have seen that the vast majority of people who grew up with CEN have no memory of it. As adults, they are baffled by the source of their struggles. They may look back upon a childhood in which they were loved, and in which all of their material needs were met, and see nothing wrong.

Yet CEN has a profound effect upon how a child will feel and function in adulthood. As a therapist, I have noticed a particular, identifiable pattern of struggles in adults who experienced Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN) as a child. I have identified 10, which fall into two main categories:

1. Self-care: People who did not receive enough emotional nurturance, discipline, soothing or compassion when they were growing up have great difficulty providing all of these things for themselves as adults. People with CEN struggle with prioritizing their own needs (and sometimes have difficulty knowing what their own needs are), making themselves do things they don’t want to do (self-discipline), and forgiving themselves for their own mistakes  or challenges (self-compassion). Indeed, I have seen that people with CEN are typically far harder on themselves than they are on others.

2. Emotional awareness and knowledge: When you grow up with your emotions pushed away, you have little opportunity to learn how to tolerate, recognize, cope with, interpret, manage and express your emotions. So CEN folks tend to struggle with all of these things. In addition, I have seen that they often actually feel the absence of the feelings they’ve pushed away. Since emotion is the glue that binds us to others and the spice of life, CEN folks often express feelings of emptiness, disconnection, meaninglessness and aloneness.

If you see yourself reflected in any of this description, do not despair. It is entirely possible to heal from CEN. Each of the challenges above can be overcome in adulthood.

Here are examples of some exercises to get you on the track to becoming more connected, emotionally fulfilled, nurtured and self-disciplined.

1. SELF-MONITOR YOUR EMOTIONS: Three times a day, take a moment to yourself. Pause, close your eyes, and turn your attention inward. Ask yourself, “What am I feeling right now?” Try your hardest to identify and name any feelings that you might have in that moment. Record them on a sheet of paper or in your Smartphone. It may be difficult and take some time to be able to identify any feelings at all, but just the process of trying will move you closer and closer to success. Over time, you will become more in touch with your feelings. You will gradually gain more access to this vital source of richness, connection and fulfillment.

2. IDENTIFY YOUR UNIQUE STRUGGLES WITH SELF-CARE, AND THEN ATTACK THEM: Look through the list below, and jot down any areas of self-care that are difficult for you.

  1. Having compassion for yourself when you make a mistake
  2. Putting yourself first
  3. Eating healthy and the right amount
  4. Getting regular exercise
  5. Asking others for help when you need it
  6. Prioritizing your own enjoyment
  7. Asserting your own likes and dislikes with others
  8. Getting a healthy amount of rest
  9. Saying “no”
  10. Other______________________________

Choose the one item that you would like to attack first. On a sheet of paper or in your smartphone, start recording EACH DAY the number of times you are able to do the right thing for yourself. Set a goal to gradually increase the number-per-day by the end of 30 days. Then start on the next month. Keep working daily until you are satisfied that you are doing better, and then start on the next area.

Yes, overcoming CEN can be a good deal of work. CEN can flow into many areas of a person’s adult life. But if you are a silent CEN sufferer, it is vital that you recognize it and begin to address it. Since CEN is so invisible, it is insidiously and automatically passed down from parents to children. Even loving, caring parents who were themselves emotionally neglected can inadvertently emotionally neglect their own children.

Identifying something that is not memorable or visible can be quite difficult. If you question whether it applies to you, you can visit my website to take The Emotional Neglect Questionnaire and learn more about CEN. For more in-depth information about how CEN happens, the types of parents who are most likely to emotionally neglect their children, and how to heal, you may want to see my book, Running on Empty: Overcome your Childhood Emotional Neglect.

id like to thank anyone who got through this blog today. On NEGLECT.

 

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