CEN / new to forum

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Chimera
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Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:27 pm

CEN / new to forum

Post by Chimera » Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:41 pm

Hi everyone. I just joined isurvive a few days ago. I was in therapy about ten years ago for a brief period, but aside from that, I've never really talked about my feelings and mental/emotional problems before. A few months ago, I came across the term "childhood emotional neglect," and it was like a thunderbolt. CEN isn't like overt forms of abuse like sexual and physical abuse or physical neglect, etc., so tons of people only realize that they're victims of it when they're well into adulthood.

All my life, for as long as I can remember, I've struggled with abysmally low self-esteem, lack of self-identity, constant feelings of shame and embarrassment, bottling up emotions, addiction, extreme social anxiety, not being able to advance in life, being a neurotic people-pleaser, and in general feeling like I need to apologize for existing and thus spend my energy on being as little bother to others as possible.

My dad, who died three years ago, was physically abused as a child and suffered from what I now realize was depression. He was always either calm or angry, rarely anything in between, and early on I developed a deep fear of him; I never knew when his next bout of anger would be, which usually included him yelling at us kids (it was terribly humiliating for me). He avoided responsibility for his family by working graveyard shifts, which enabled him to be gone all night and sleep all day.

My mother was just completely cold and selfish. Neither of my parents told us they loved us, and they never touched us or hugged us. My mom just completely didn't care what her kids needed or wanted. They did the absolute basic minimum for us, because they didn't want to spend so much as a dime more on us than they had to, so I spent my childhood never having enough clothes, never going to the dentist, never really having any pocket money, etc. We were never allowed to do any extracurricular activities like other kids do e.g. we couldn't join a school sports team, be in the school play, get karate lessons, piano lessons, dance lessons, etc., because my parents didn't want to pay for it and didn't want to drive us back and forth (they wouldn't even bring us to our friends' houses; I always had to depend on my friends' parents to pick me up). They never asked about my day or cared that I was clearly a frustrated, very unhappy kid. I was also just recently diagnosed with Asperger's (which made my life just so, so, so much more difficult) and, a few years back, with temporal lobe epilepsy. (Seriously, how do you have epilepsy and your parents not know about it? This is how inattentive and neglectful they were. And to be honest, I think that even if they had known, they wouldn't have taken me to a doctor anyway.)

The last time I visited my mother about a year and a half ago, I watched her interact with her cat, and it just really turned a lightbulb on in my head. She pets her cat for maybe ten minutes everyday, and although the cat sits on her lap and rubs her head against my mom's hands, wanting desperately to be pet more, my mom won't do it. I asked her why, and she said, "Because I don't want to." That just totally sums up my childhood.

About a month ago, my sister asked me why I haven't spoken to my mother for two months. I told her how I'm feeling and what I've learned about CEN, and she basically told me to shove it i.e. that my parents "did the best they could" and that I should just "let it go." A year or two after all of us kids had moved out, my parents started to become all friendly and nice and caring with us. And ever since my dad died a few years ago, my mom has become so lovey-dovey with her kids. She started saying she loves us (which makes me very uncomfortable and embarrassed) and just in general trying to be all supportive and loving. In other words, her ego now wants to play the loving old mother role; she wants to cash in on love she never earned, and she expects her kids to just welcome and respond to her "love" now. I don't think either of my siblings realize how neglected we were despite that both of them are messed up, too (this is the elusive nature of CEN!). My brother has low self-esteem, is quiet and submissive and extremely secretive (he can't express his emotions), etc., and my sister was a drug addict and very promiscuous for years (she somehow managed to pull herself together a little bit after she had a baby with some dirt bag). She's an impatient parent and has just left a highly dysfunctional marriage, but she's buying into my mother's newfound "love"--she thinks she's moved on from the effects of the neglect, even though she hasn't of course.

I'm sorry this introductory post is so lengthy. I just reeeeeeeeally needed to say all of that to someone. I'm very much hoping to connect with other people here who are dealing with the effects of CEN, and I'm looking forward to reading everyone's posts and stories.
Last edited by Jonesy on Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Changed MT to NT, as no triggering content

Jonesy
Director
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Posts: 12277
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:44 pm

Re: CEN / new to forum

Post by Jonesy » Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:38 am

Hi Chimera

A warm welcome to isurvive and thanks for sharing so openly on your first post. I hope you find the support here that you're looking for.
You are important

Email: jonesy@isurvive.org

Chimera
Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:27 pm

Re: CEN / new to forum

Post by Chimera » Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:45 am

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Last edited by Jonesy on Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Changed MT to NT, as no triggering content

Booklover
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Posts: 1401
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:55 am

Re: CEN / new to forum

Post by Booklover » Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:02 am

Hi Chimera and welcome I’m also relatively new to the forum but have found everyone very welcoming and friendly and now feels like I’ve been here years as feels like home
Booklover

I will become a survivor not a victim

Gentle (((((hugs))))) 🤗if ok

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