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Old 08-16-2019, 05:20 AM   #1
silverblue1111
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Default Special Needs Sibling and Emotional Neglect

Are there any studies about childhood emotional neglect and the siblings of special needs children?

This is hard to admit but I suffered from childhood emotional neglect. I believe it's the source of the emptiness I feel and my inability to connect. My parents weren't emotionally neglectful on purpose, the reason for their neglect was their focus on my brother with autism. It makes it even more difficult because I spent my childhood watching my parents be the parents I needed to my brother and not me. I was expected to not need parenting. My parents talked to me in logic, not emotion. If I was upset, my mom would tell me how tired she was and how she didn't have time to deal with whatever I was upset about. It was like they would talk me out of my own feelings.

I've been in therapy but my therapist seems to sometimes be siding with my parents. I don't think therapists want to hear what I have to say.
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Old 08-17-2019, 01:56 PM   #2
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Smile Re: Special Needs Sibling and Emotional Neglect

Here's a link to an article, from Psych Central's archives, on the subject of siblings of children with disabilities:

https://psychcentral.com/lib/what-ab...bled-children/

And then here's a link to 1 other article I was able to find. This article is not from PC's archives:

Emotional Problems Facing Siblings of Children With Disabilities - Psychiatry Advisor

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Old 08-20-2019, 10:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: Special Needs Sibling and Emotional Neglect

Thanks for the links.

I'm trying to research more specifically on Childhood Emotional Neglect and the siblings of special needs kids.

In Jonice Webb's book "Running On Empty" references multiple studies in the section about Childhood emotional neglect and parens with special needs family member. I just can't find the studies referenced. I'd like to show them to my therapist.
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Old 08-27-2019, 06:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Special Needs Sibling and Emotional Neglect

silverblue, you are correct in that if you have a sibling with special needs a parent's attention can be much more focused on that special needs child leaving the sibling with very little attention and normal nurturing. If your therapist doesn't understand that then it's time to look for another therapist that does.
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Old 09-05-2019, 11:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: Special Needs Sibling and Emotional Neglect

silverblue, I also think that if your therapist isn't understanding its time to look for a therapist who is...
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:44 AM   #6
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Default Re: Special Needs Sibling and Emotional Neglect

Quote:
Originally Posted by Open Eyes View Post
silverblue, you are correct in that if you have a sibling with special needs a parent's attention can be much more focused on that special needs child leaving the sibling with very little attention and normal nurturing. If your therapist doesn't understand that then it's time to look for another therapist that does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzybear View Post
silverblue, I also think that if your therapist isn't understanding its time to look for a therapist who is...
Thanks for the relies. I have fired my therapist. I believe she was taking my parent's side during therapy because she's the parent of an autistic child. She didn't believe I was emotionally neglected as a child, she blamed my symptoms on depression. It's really difficult to have someone who is supposed to be helping me have such an incorrect view of my situation. She was pushing me to reconnect with my parents and brother (we're estranged) and defending my parents during therapy.

I'm going to find a new therapist. I also have learned a bit about making sure a therapist is on my side before fully trusting one. After growing up having my feelings discounted and ignored, it's hard to have a therapist give me the same attitude, like I'm some whinny brat. I'm so sick of hearing that my parents 'did the best they could'. They didn't.
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Old 09-15-2019, 01:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Special Needs Sibling and Emotional Neglect

I'm so sorry Silverblue. It's a shame your T isn't validating your very real feelings. It's obviously super hard looking after a special needs kid, and perhaps your T was coming from the perspective of the parents that it must have been awful for them etc, but your feelings are valid too and need to be heard and understood for what you suffered in the process. I can relate on some level - my sibling wasn't special needs but she was emotionally disturbed and was the one who 'acted out' so all the attention went on her. I was expected to be the good child as I was more sensitive and intelligent and as a result I was severely neglected. There was more going on in my house but that was part of it. My sibling suffered horribly, but so did I. I would agree with others that if your T can't see things from your perspective and empathise it's time to seek another T.
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