What is wrong with me?
Those words have echoed in my head all of my life, from childhood, always with a quizzed look, never understanding.
As a little girl, one that should have been hugged by her parents, especially the mother; cuddled and oh my goodness just loved. I do not remember any physical touch to reaffirm their love that would build the confidence in knowing.
Just knowing and accepting their love due to the fact, I was their child and they were my parents. Somewhat like being a Christian. Just knowing and accepting His Love and knowing you are His Child. Complete Faith! Faith in both situations but there was always that nagging feeling that seems to ponder in my mind and heart of the relationship in love and acceptance. Questioning them, others, God and myself.
As I received the attention and physical touch of hugs from others, like the motherly types, my quizzed mentality often questioned why that was so easy to give and take but with my actual family, like my own mother, as it was not. So, it must be me.
Last weekend, being with my grown children, I experienced this yet again. Wondering, what is wrong with me, it must be me and that I must be unlovable. But why? I was triggered by these thoughts that held me hostage in my mind for a bit.
While the oldest was busy and in a location not easy to get near and hug me, he did acknowledge me. Later when leaving, we hugged but walking toward the car, next to him, I put my arm around him. Somewhat expecting the same. It did not. It’s me.
My other son, while I just spent one day with him that week and to meet up again, it was as if I was nobody. I brushed it off as to knowing he is dealing with some depression. We went on to dinner and enjoyed a family meal together. I had just done a lot of laundry for him and felt somewhat disrespected with no thank you. Seriously?! Again, it’s me.
With both of these situations of our time together, my mind was racing and feeling this small child within me scream out, what is wrong with me? Why can’t they love me? What have I done wrong to cause this? Am I standoffish? This same question and statement has followed me all of my life. That day, magnified. The voice gets louder within, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? Followed by, it must be me.
Thankfully, knowing of childhood emotional neglect (CEN) and abandonment now from years of counseling, this is a normal, typical question of the child/adult with this neglect and abandonment. It is so wrong! No child should ever feel this way and then to carry it into adulthood and in my case, soon to be senior citizen.
I know my boys love me and I make sure they know I love them with my hugs, kisses on their cheek, verbal acknowledgment and encouragement. Almost always, another hug is required before leaving. It’s not just for them but for me.
The thoughts and torment within eased with the acknowledgement that this was and is due to CEN. Yes, it was fact that I missed the love deserved growing up. They also missed my love that I could have given. The negative thoughts had to go. I am lovable, not unlovable. I know that CEN affected my life so that is what is wrong with me, but I am moving through it.
Dr. Jonice Webb is an author and well known for Childhood Emotional Neglect. Just from reading my blog(s), this does not end in childhood but carries on into adulthood. Understanding and acknowledging will help you maneuver through the struggles, just as I am doing. Instead of me dwelling and how I often remained stuck in the ‘what is wrong with me’ mentality, I can recognize it and move on a lot quicker.
I have complete faith that I was and am loved by my parents/family, while they also have and had their own issues and probably with the same, CEN. I have complete faith that the Lord loves me, I am His Child and He loves me just the way I am. I have come to the place of loving myself, which is huge. Complete faith that I am a good person, I am lovable and I am going to continue to understand myself and enjoy the rest of my life. What’s wrong with me not doing that? Nothing!