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Old 11-18-2019, 10:21 PM   #1
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Confused Father Emotional Neglect

Something that my mother and I have come to accept over the years is that my father wasn't exactly a good dad, and I'm healing from the years of emotional negligence. I often find myself dwelling on the past and wishing he were a better father, but then feel guilty when I criticize his parenting as I know it easily could've been worse. I mean, he did work and brought home money. He did provide shelter, food, and some kind of bond. But he did the bare minimum, if even that.

I think of all the times when I was sad, lonely, or coming home stressed from school and he never seemed to care. My mother worked what felt like 24/7, and when she was home she had to do all the work and chores my dad didn't do. She was always stressed and would be upset when she noticed my dad didn't help me with homework or to do the dishes. Most of my childhood with him was him barely watching me while he played games on his computer, or him getting angry, yelling, and grounding me for doing something slightly wrong. I never felt like I was good in his eyes; that I was an obligation, not someone he cared for.

It makes me so mad. I think that if he was involved in any shape or form emotionally for me, I would've been mostly stable. I've adopted harmful coping mechanisms due to lack of proper parenting growing up and now I suspect of having a personality disorder (or 2), because of everything that went wrong as a child.

Does anyone else feel anger or resentment towards their parents? I'm not alone or a brat for feeling this way too, right?
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Old 11-19-2019, 07:02 PM   #2
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My parents are both long-since dead now. (I'm a so-called "senior citizen".) But I still find myself ruminating over stuff that happened, or didn't happen, literally decades ago. So I would say, no, you're not alone or a brat for feeling the way you do. (In fact, as I recall, I replied to another thread on this topic just a few days ago.) Here are links to 4 articles, from PC's archives on the subject of childhood emotional neglect plus links to 4 additional articles on letting go of past hurts & coping with painful emotions:

7 Signs You Grew Up With Childhood Emotional Neglect

4 Cognitive Distortions Caused By Childhood Emotional Neglect

6 Things Adults With Childhood Emotional Neglect Need to be Happy

5 Ways to Use the Emotions List to Heal Your Childhood Emotional Neglect

Learning to Let Go of Past Hurts: 5 Ways to Move On

Speak only if you can improve upon the silence.

Joey the Schnoodle (2004 ? - 7/24/20) Forever in my heart.
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Old 11-25-2019, 07:45 PM   #3
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Old 12-18-2019, 03:35 AM   #4
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My experience was similar. My dad would just work, come home and watch TV and sleep. There was never any relationship whatsoever. He wasn't physically abusive or anything, so yeah it could have been worse but it's still a big wound in my being. My mom would wait on him because he wouldn't do a single chore. My mother was more involved in my life but really never in a positive way. She was very judgmental and unsympathetic towards my struggles with bullying and depression. One time when we were playing a game she smacked me in the face because she felt like I got too serious (ironic). Neither of them were emotionally available. I often find myself very jealous when I see little kids with great parents because boy do I wish I could of had that experience. I feel like I would be such a more stable person.

I don't think I'll ever forgive my parents. They haven't change and never will. They don't think they did any wrongdoing and you can't forgive someone who won't say sorry and change their ways. It's futile. It is heartbreaking knowing, though, that in a couple decades they'll be gone and the damage they caused will never be repaired.

The important thing is getting yourself into a safe environment and with people who actually care about you so you can emotionally recover.
"Throwing a line out to the sea to see if I can catch a dream" -Ryan Ross
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Old 12-19-2019, 11:27 AM   #5
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Default Re: Father Emotional Neglect

I am only in the beginning stages of accepting the neglect I suffered as a kid.

I always knew that my parents were different in some way to typical parents. I just thought they were more laid back or something, but indeed, there was little to no emotional connection with them.

I am aware now, that it was neglect, and I am starting to understand how it lead me to so severely lack self efficacy and self esteem as an adult.

As i am working through all this, i can't help but feel angry at them. Not for not being "perfect" but because they truly didn't try, like at all.

I am now a parent and I am far from perfect. But when I notice an area where I can improve I try my best to do so. I cannot understand how a parent could love their child and also fail to ever TRY to do what is right for them.

My son may very well grow up to resent me for my imperfections, but I think if he really examines things he will see that I at least tried to improve for him, and I think that is an important thing for a child to understand. That they are worth the effort.
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Old 12-19-2019, 01:11 PM   #6
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May I join? Have always been your typical Dad's kid. I used to love spending quality time with my "father", he had taught me some very awesome things and I inherited quite a few personality traits from him. But after he found the true love of his life and my parents got divorced, I got lesser and lesser and even lesser attention. All I wanted was a Sunday father but this seemed to be too much to ask for.

He cared for his step-children (from his new wife's first marriage) as if they were his own children. He did everything for them while my sadistic, abusive and hysterical mother turned me into a nervous wreck. He even accused me of loathing his new family, just because I was quite unhappy with the situation.

Our relationship became gradually even more and more sporadic. Sometimes he would answer my letters, sometimes he would just tell me to go away. Sometimes he would contact me - pathetic as I was, I never rejected his attempts -, but... his neighbours and acquaintances don't even know that I exist. When we showed up in public places together and met _anyone_ he knew, he would never mention that he was actually my father.
I wonder how normal it is, to feel ashamed because I exist? I am convinced I am nothing but an undesirable, unwanted and unneeded b*st*rd. My mere existence is a shame.
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