What is most personal is most general. ~CARL ROGERS
I’ve been watching Netfix “Downton Abbey”. It’s a drama of human beings from different classes of people in England in the turn of the 20th century. The story begins in 1912. I observe all the characters, their behaviors and mannerisms. I find that no matter the level of classes in the abbey, the problems are the same. People upstairs and the people downstairs had the same phenomenon of being human. From the Lord and Lady of the house and their children to the head butler and housekeeper down to the kitchen maid. And an Irishman chauffeur who married the youngest daughter of the Earl of Downton Abbey.
Scandalous! They were all emotionally hungry in many levels and degrees for acceptance and love, fighting for their worth.
Because emotional hunger are mostly silent and invisible, childhood emotional neglect is largely an overlooked phenomenon in mental health and behaviors. Because we can’t see it like physical neglect or abuse where there are signs such as broken bones and bruises, its hard to see like a child coming to school underfed. Emotional neglect is difficult to identify. There are no observable signs. More importantly, emotional neglect is generally unrecognized by the child until symptoms begin to appear in adulthood.
Emotional neglect can take many forms, from a parent having unrealistically high expectations or not listening attentively, to invalidating a child’s emotional experiences (ngera kelmangel er ngii) to the point he or she begins to self doubt, sense of worthless, overwhelmed with shame and fear. When a parent is not emotionally attuned to a child, there is no mirror held up, no positive reflection being shared with the child. Developing a positive sense of self then, becomes more challenging for the child.
As the story began to unfold I found myself in the characters of Edith, the middle child of the Earl, and Daisy, the kitchen maid interchangeably. I realized that it’s up to me to heal myself by being unashamedly and brutally honest with myself. its like finding the wound, wash it, and bring it to light for healing. I Jesus is the Light that heals. And He never says, “Oh, get over it.” Never. He’s full of mercy and compassion and will walk with you until the wound is healed.
Trying to heal the inner child is to understand the core of my being – the part of the mind that is sensitive and the cognitive part. #