For the last couple of centuries, people who live more than thirty years or so have been likely to realize, suddenly or gradually, that they are strangers in a changed, incomprehensible world: lands of exile for refugees, cities of ruin for those whose nation suffers war, a labyrinth of high technology in which the untrained mind strays bewildered, a world of huge wealth which the poor stare at through the impenetrable glass of a shop window or a TV set . . . . From the early nineteenth century on, the stable, single worlds of pre-industrial societies were broken down and drawn into a multiverse of constantly increasing variety and change.
— Ursula K. Le Guin
Strange world this is, which can give you all the sex you want but in which love is taboo. The body can accept compromise and the mind can seduce it. Only the heart rebels. The heart: pure carbon in a world of silicon.
— Jeanette Winterson, from PowerBook
Childhood emotional neglect is what didn’t happen throughout your upbringing. It’s when a child doesn’t receive enough emotional attention, acknowledgment, validation, or response from their parents in their day-to-day lives. It’s invisible and unmemorable, and that’s why it’s rarely identified.
…So many adults do not understand the colossal impact of being excluded from the world of emotions for so long.
— Jonice Webb, Phd
We are bewildered as children by what’s missing. We keep looking for the recognition of our reality and for signs that it is valued. It’s confusing to be invisible to our own friends and family. We secretly harbor the question of whether we’re essentially worthless or if people are just blind. We find ourselves captured by a search for visibility and validation.
This situation is an insult to the soul of a child that rarely gets healed, creating no end of mischief in their eventual lives. Our lives are so organized around surface issues and are so preoccupied by survival that we aren’t equipped to love or to even see the child’s need to become real. We come into this world to manifest a very particular reality and we actually need help to do that.