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Phase 2: How your childhood has determined who you are now and how we can find ourselves back again


How we grew up largely determines who we 'play' now. I call it playing, because we often don't remember how to take off our mask. When someone is asked who they really are, many adults fall silent. When we take away all of what we have learned and the trauma response that has arisen in the present moment, what are we really left with?


Awareness of Our Youth

We often think that only extremes have had an unhealthy / abnormal childhood. By extremes I mean children who have been abused, violently bullied and sexually abused, for example. However, it appears that children who have lacked nothing physically, often missed security, safety or love in their youth. This even has major consequences for your adult life. Were emotions a taboo or could you really be yourself? Did you feel safe when you were home or did it feel like you had to tiptoe? Were you able to talk to your parents about what you went through or was this constantly dismissed?


Because I used to think that I had no traumas and that my family was perfect, because yes, that is how they seemed to behave. They could never do anything wrong and it was always the other person's fault. At one point I only attracted "friends" who also acted like this. I thought they were the problem with my pain, but it was actually much deeper, it happened in my education. I used to run home because I thought it was safe there, but actually it was the opposite. Gaslighting and abuse of power led me to believe a lie for 22 years. The book Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents by Lindsay C. Gibson helped me get an honest look at my childhood. This book eventually allowed me to heal more purposefully and thus make bigger steps on my life journey!


Influence Emotionally Immature Parents

Emotionally immature parents can leave a very big 'negative' impact on their children. These emotionally immature parents often grew up in a family situation that hindered their emotional and intellectual development. As a result, they are often very simplistic, self-centered, have no self-reflection, little empathy and everything has to go the way they envision it. Their lack of objectivity, reactive emotions, and their fear of emotional intimacy make it difficult for them to form an intimate bond. They use survival mechanisms to avoid facing the harsh reality and think that a close family consists of roles that are imposed on everyone. Unfortunately, true communication from the child's true self is impossible, as the parent then feels threatened. Emotionally Immature Parents are all terrified of real emotions, so any trigger that could lead to emotional depth is brushed off.


Understanding how your parents emotional immaturity has affected your life is the best way to avoid repeating the past in your current adult relationships. - Lindsay C. Gibson

As a child, you experience many "negative" consequences if one or both parents are not mature enough to support you emotionally. This lack of emotional intimacy often makes us feel emotionally lonely, both as a child and as an adult. Childhood neglect and rejection can have negative effects on self-confidence, self-worth, and our relationships in adult life. The effect your parents have had on you varies from mild to severe. This depends on the degree of immaturity of the parent, but the ultimate result is the same: children feel lonely and emotionally unseen. People keep repeating old and unhealthy patterns and if they are not happy they blame themselves. When our true self was not accepted as a child, we unconsciously developed a psuedo (false) self in order to obtain a valuable family role. Because we were dependent as children, we still continue to look for the love and attention of our parents. Only when we learn to step out of our childhood role this will not be repeated in our adult relationships.


Emotionally immature parents teach their children to be ashamed of any aspect of themselves that differs from their father or mother. - Lindsay C. Gibson

Our true self will eventually make itself heard, this can be in the form of psychological / physical complaints or even serious illnesses. At first, giving in to your true needs can feel like breaking down. For example, you get panic attacks, pent-up anger comes up or you become depressed. When we process the problems of our childhood and discover our own strength, we gain enough confidence to live from our true selves.


If parents reject or emotionally neglect their children, these children will expect the same from others as they grow older. There is a lack of confidence that others could be interested in them. They don't say what they want because their lack of self-confidence makes them shy and they're in two minds about asking for attention. They are convinced that they are harassing others if they make their needs clear. - Lindsay C. Gibson

The book also gives tips for learning a new attitude towards your parents and helps prevent history from repeating itself in your own relationships. This allows you to choose more consciously what is or is not worth your energy and where you draw a line, without feeling guilty about it.


Social connection is like vitamins or minerals. You don't need much of it, but if you don't get any at all, you'll get sick. - Lindsay C. Gibson

Healing Your Inner Child

It was very nice to gain some more knowledge about the inner child. The book Healing Your Inner Child by Susanne Hühn takes a closer look at our damaged true self and how we can heal it. Fears, addictions or avoidance strategies are often closely related to our hurt inner child. Since the book Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents brings enough knowledge, you can also immediately move on to the next phase. If you still think it is very interesting to learn more about your inner child and how to restore contact, this book is definitely for you.


If you want a happy and fulfilled life, it is important to see and embrace your inner child. When your inner child feels safe and secure you are in your full strength, confidence and courage for life. If, on the other hand, it is hurt, lonely or angry, life seems to stand still. The inner child can only be understood if you let it touch your heart. As a child, we all depend on our caregivers. What a mother gives to a child, whether positive or negative, the child will later give to itself, even if it is bad for him/her. It is important that a child gets enough of what it needs, if this does not happen the child will take a 'safe' place to no longer have to feel the pain. The child merges with the role that is assumed and ultimately cannot distinguish between itself, its own need for security and its function in the family.


The inner child is the true emotional body in which everything you couldn't or didn't want to feel is anchored, be it love, sadness, shame, disappointment, fear, shock, anger, but also wildness and exuberant joy of life. The inner child is a whole of experiences, wishes, dreams and desires. All the experiences you had as a child are stored there. - Susanne Huhn

In this book, 7 rules emerge that you should pay attention to in order to live a relaxed, happy and fulfilled life. Exercise and inner journeys are given to allow the material to settle as best as possible and to heal your inner child with love and attention.


Body, soul and spirit are simply inseparable, unless you do so arbitrarily and consciously. - Susanne Huhn

Follow-Up

Now that you are more aware of the bigger picture and what happened in your childhood, we can move on to the acceptance phase. The traumas and problems you have suffered over the years cause a lot of inner resistance. Through the books in the next stage, we can learn to open up to and embrace our deepest pain. This allows us to make great strides on our journey and continue to heal.


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