Adults sometimes find themselves feeling unloved, and they often look for answers in their surroundings or various influences. The answer, however, could come from their past.
Personally, I have abandonment issues, along with all the other quirks, personality flaws, and disorders that I also endure. For many years, I struggled to understand why I was so afraid, and why I was feeling unloved. Over time, I’ve realized where these struggles and feelings are coming from. My childhood has framed the woman that I am today, fears, anger, anxieties and the ability to be loved.
Feeling unloved has deep roots
Unfortunately, feeling unloved is a product of a dysfunctional childhood. I’m not saying that all parents are horrible and abuse their children causing unloved feelings, but many do. In fact, only 30% of children from healthy families actually get by without unloveable feelings of some kind. It’s just difficult to find the balance.
To understand the correlation between the past and our feelings today, we have to examine multiple connections between the two. Here is the way this works.
Afraid of failure
Have you ever noticed how terrified you are at failing a test or failing in a relationship? In many cases, a history of failed relationships can contribute to the fear of failure, but there are other reasons as well.
For one, a childhood of feeling unloved can cause decades of fear. The lack of proper parenting, including neglect, makes a child, then an adult, afraid to try new things. They just always see a negative outcome.
There are many adults who do not trust others or situations. This characteristic can come from many things in the past. Trust issues stem from the destruction of trust in a relationship or repetitive event during life. Parents who cannot provide the love that the child needs can taint trust at an early age. This child can carry those trust issues well into adulthood, damaging future relationships.
There are three basic attachment styles: healthy, avoidant, and anxious. While the first one is normal, the other two have come from a dysfunctional parenting style. The anxious one probably never had a stable home as a child, and always expected anything chaotic to happen.
This predisposition displayed in the adult as a form of anxious attachment style. The avoidant one has experienced neglect as a child and will always be afraid of intimacy. Both these unhealthy styles of attachment can cause problems in relationships and intimate unions.
The toxic connection
Many adult toxic relationships come from somewhere deep and long ago. I remember watching my father manipulate my mother and become abusive over time. Although I did grow angry with him, I started to see the marriage as normal, learning that this is what I was to expect as an adult.
When I grew older, I married a man much like my father, controlling and manipulative. I was left feeling unloved. There was a clear connection between the two. Adults of toxic situations, like my example, tend to have childhoods filled with toxic family members. They frame their lives by watching their parents and how they interact.
When mothers fail to love their children correctly, the child grows into a conflicted adult. This means the adult always wrestles between hating her mother for neglecting and abusing her and wanting so desperately to be loved correctly by her mother. This conflict is tormenting and it rotates continually leaving the abused adult with no real solution. Sometimes you have to forgive and move on for yourself.
Many adults are overly sensitive to certain situations. Most of the time, there are triggers which emotionally take the adult back to their childhood. In the past, these children may have been covertly abused and told that they are too sensitive because they are hurt by the insults.
To use the terms “too sensitive” is a common retort by abusers in order to take the blame off themselves for what they say or do. As adults, these abused children will actually become more sensitive to things in response to this accusation. It’s strange how this form of feeling unloved can transform into a personality flaw.
This indicator took me back in time to when I was sexually abused. No, it wasn’t by my parents, but it creates a good example to help you understand. In sexual abuse, boundaries do not exist to the abuser. After so long, the child forgets what healthy boundaries are if they ever really knew in the first place.
For me, as an adult, I always felt rejected if someone told me that they need space or boundaries. It was alien to me and I had to learn the hard way to respect those boundaries and then create healthy boundaries for myself. Feeling unloved as a child, and yes sexual abuse is the opposite of love, can create strong feelings of neglect through setting boundaries.
The foundation of adulthood
You never really understand the details of your childhood until you reap the results as an adult. Some of these rewards are good and some are bad. The best solution is to take the negative and think back to when this feeling truly appeared. More than likely, what you are experiencing today has a root in your past. It’s a deep root, that until pulled free, will forever impact your life.
I hope you find your peace from childhood trauma, abuse, and neglect. Remember to be open-minded and approach these things with love. I wish you well.