Both understanding your role as a highly sensitive child and admitting sadness and anger contribute to your healing process. This changes the relationship with your parent(s) and creates space for love.
Invisible but palpable
The lack of an emotional, loving bond is difficult to interpret because of its subtle nature. Apparently it seems as if you were not short of anything as a child. Well cared for, “washed and ironed” and to the outside world your family seemed very normal.
Yet you felt that your needs as a child were not being met. The difference with other families became more and more apparent. Others showed compliments, interest and affection. When you notice this difference, confusion often arises: why was it so different in our home? And was that just me?
It’s hard to put your finger on it. It’s not so much that your parents did something that wasn’t pleasant. It was the great lack of love and attention. Invisible, but palpable on an intuitive level.
In families like this there is little affection and warmth. Kisses and hugs are especially reserved for holidays. It therefore feels more like an obligation than a hug out of love.
If you grew up in such a family, chances are that you have experienced a feeling of loneliness all your life . The feeling of the safe nest was missing, you were mainly on your own. You carry the loneliness of your childhood with you. You probably also experience this loneliness in your adult life in various relationships.
Not all parents are capable of a loving bond with their child, a nurturing contact on an emotional level. Some parents have hidden their own pain deep in the subconscious, where it forms a blockage. A block to feel, both pain and love.
Often these parents have a highly sensitive child , with a higher intention.
The role of the highly sensitive child in the family
The highly sensitive child acts as a kind of “amplifier”. Because of his heightened consciousness, he brings feelings from the subconscious to the surface in the people around him. This is the power with which they are equipped. The parent doesn’t know about that.
They do notice that their hidden painful emotions are felt by the sight of their child, as a result of which they blame him or her for unpleasant feelings. In the eyes of the parent, this highly sensitive child is a huge nuisance and they regularly wonder what they have earned “such a child”.
The child itself is not aware of this. Above all, it wants to be loved and cherished. And makes every effort to receive this love . But this doesn’t change the situation.
Whatever the child does, the result is often that they receive even more disapproval and that the emotional distance between parent and child grows. In addition, their sensitivity is referred to as a weakness: “you are always so sensitive too”. And these children are especially made clear that they are different: “you are so difficult too”.
As a result, the child starts to doubt himself and takes the accusations of the parent(s) as true. The conviction that it is wrong is anchored in the subconscious.
Consequences at a later age
Because the sensitivity of a highly sensitive person is also noticeable to other people, the disapproval often continues later in life. As a highly sensitive person you “know” when someone is not telling the truth and you inadvertently reflect the pain of the other.
When you feel that the other person is stepping back, you are confirmed in the feeling you already had as a child: “You see, I am different from the rest, there is something wrong with me”. And you don’t show yourself as you really are.
“But they do love me”
As you get older, you become more and more aware of the fact that something essential was missing from your childhood. Often this realization comes when you become a father or mother yourself. This makes you look at your childhood differently.
You will look differently at your relationship with your parents. More and more memories surface and confirm your suspicion that your parents were not able to offer you what you needed.
I regularly see that adult children blame themselves for their feeling of inadequacy: they feel that they are ungrateful to their parents, they always wonder whether they are seeing the situation correctly. As I often hear clients say, “but my parents do love me” and “they meant well”. And indeed your parents love you. Their own wounds got in the way, so their love was not felt for you as a child. And perhaps still not now.
Farewell to a desire
The actual sense of shortcoming makes you confused and you need time and space to put the puzzle pieces in place.
With this realization also grows the sadness that you experienced as a child but never admitted. It is important to give this sadness and your anger space now.
There is also a form of a grieving process: saying goodbye to the longing for the parent you would have liked to have. Keeping hoping for support and understanding or a loving word feeds your invisible wounds.
Often we hope and expect that parents themselves will come to understand that they have not met our needs. And that they give us recognition for the suffering and the missed warmth and love. That they apologize for what they didn’t offer us. Many parents are unable to do this, find it too painful to look at themselves. Fortunately, it is also possible to heal without their apologies and penance.
Insights lead to healing
It is liberating when you gain insight into your own patterns and those of your family on an energetic level. When you feel why your parent acted the way he or she did. And that it is not one or the other, but the combination of the two of you: a parent who does not want or cannot feel pain and sadness and a child who brings this pain to the surface. Often this theme has been going on for several generations.
Discovering the blockages that you have built up over time out of self-protection will give you insight into their origin. Your own pain and that of your parent(s) becomes clear. When you “clear” these blockages, this creates space for healing and forgiveness.
The relationship changes
Your healing process and the extent to which you can let go of your expectations about your parent(s) influences your relationship. You are better able to see the possibilities of your relationship: to what extent is your parent willing to open up and grow? And to what extent do you want to open the door yourself?
Wisdom from alchemy: “when one of the parties in a relationship changes, the relationship itself is changed”. Your insights, acceptance and clearing blockages create space and peace.
This allows your parent to gradually open up and show love in the way that is possible for him or her. Loving words and appreciation may be another big step. It is important to pay attention to the small steps: a spontaneous visit, a meal that is cooked for you or the sincere question of how you are doing. The more you allow, the more love can flow.