The Feeling and Perception of Parental Love…How Important is it?

The Feeling and Perception of Parental Love...How Important is it?

The ‘trauma’ of not feeling loved or not making that connection with a parent can be devastating forever. It has been coined by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk as a ‘Developmental Trauma Disorder’ and although not adapted by the DSMV, it is definitely descriptive of the impact it has on an individual.

It isn’t always intentional that families are unable to make the communication-relationship work. A child will engage as a baby and then their brain becomes over loaded and is not able to stay connected. As a parent if that intuitive feeling of your baby ‘needing a break’ becomes a fear of not connecting, the relationship or bond may not ever solidify and then both parent and child pull away from one another. This can start from a simple action of a child looking towards their parent when they are need of making a connection and a parent looking away from the child instead of meeting the child’s needs. This response happens with very young parents or parents which were subject to abuse themselves.

It is horrifying how many other cases of a more severe abuse, physical, psychological, emotional, sexual abuse occur on a daily basis between families. This abuse may not be the actual parent but a family member and as these events occur the parents may not be supportive of the child and therefore a feeling of not having a safe environment occurs at home; not safe to tell Mom & Dad, nor safe to live in the home. It also may be that the parent knows nothing of the abuse, but the relationship of the parent and child does not allow for that ‘safe communication’. This chronic stressed situation can lead to many different outcomes.

What happens when you do not feel loved or safe as a child?

* Chronic anxiety
* Chronic depression
* Physiological symptoms such as increased heart rate, and cortisol levels go up, decreasing access to important areas of the brain
* The person develops a ‘self-loathing’ characteristic or a feeling of being unworthy of love
* They have a difficulty regulating their emotions…they become angry, sad, Jealous, fearful and unable to turn these emotions off or down, sometimes looking like a bipolar effect
* Unable to ‘attach’ to another human being, a lack of empathy (knowing what someone else is feeling)
* They create a ‘wall’ or must ‘disassociate’ from others

To feel worthy of love, to learn from new experiences, to learn from your own past experiences an area of the brain within the Prefrontal Cortex will be engaged. If this area is not accessible due to childhood experiences that lead to trauma then people misinterpret, they do not perceive others or themselves accurately.

How this plays out in life:

* Increased autoimmune disorders
* Obesity
* More sexual active at younger ages (encouraging sexual relationships but discouraging gender-peer social interactions
* Lack the ability to concentrate or pay attention (more ADHD in this group)
* Severe Anger management (Oppositional Defiance Disorder)
* Self-Inflicted pain, cutting, biting or puncturing/ burning themselves
* Eating disorders, bulimic, anorexic, or soul comforting foods making themselves malnourished
* Addictions, alcohol, drugs, sex etc…
* Disorganized and confused
* Cognitive concerns, problem solving, reasoning, deduction skills, critical thinking, speed processing

Do you wonder if you have a developmental trauma disorder…try taking this simple checklist

Finding Your ACE Score

While you were growing up, during your first 18 years of life:
1. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often…
Swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you?
or
Act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

2. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often…
Push, grab, slap, or throw something at you?
or
Ever hit you so hard that you had marks or were injured?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

3. Did an adult or person at least 5 years older than you ever…
Touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way?
or
Attempt or actually have oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with you?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

4. Did you often or very often feel that …
No one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special?
or
Your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

5. Did you often or very often feel that …
You didn’t have enough to eat, had to wear dirty clothes, and had no one to protect you?
or
Your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed
it?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

6. Were your parents ever separated or divorced?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

7. Was your mother or stepmother:
Often or very often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at her?
or
Sometimes, often, or very often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard?
or
Ever repeatedly hit at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

8. Did you live with anyone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic or who used street drugs?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

9. Was a household member depressed or mentally ill, or did a household member attempt suicide?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

10. Did a household member go to prison?
Yes No If yes enter 1 _______

Now add up your “Yes” answers: _______ This is your ACE Score.

If you are interested in knowing what these results mean, please contact me back channel or contact your mental health provider for results. (drldelong@cognitive-connections.com)

What worries me…is we have a huge population of children growing into adults that are doing horrific acts, ending up in jail, being put on drugs and perpetuating the cycle of neglect and abuse and research now shows it may be due to the way these children were treated before the age of 10. Bessel van der Kolk, http://www.traumacenter.org/products/pdf_files/Networker.pdf

Please love your babies…hold your children…be attentive to them, truly listen to them and respect and regard their opinions. They will not only be caring for you as you grow older but they will be making decisions based on their past experiences. Give them GREAT, caring, loving experiences.

Just another thought by Dr. Lise’

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One thought on “The Feeling and Perception of Parental Love…How Important is it?

  1. Carol Scheer says:

    My father was an alcoholic I had an abortion when I was 16 yrs old. Lived through the trauma of his alcoholism now I have mental illness

    Like

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