You push people away, thinking they will eventually abandon you just like the way you remember your parents did.
They were never there to show you what's right and wrong. They left you alone to figure out your problems yourself, because they themselves often needed help with their own. And though you loved them and truly cared for them, you were never able to truly connect with them. "To look a parent in the eyes or hear their voice and yet feel so far away, is tragic," wrote licensed therapist and certified trauma professional, Támara Hill for PsychCentral. "The inability to connect to the very person who brought you into this world is tragic. It is like a tease. It is like a distant fantasy."
The struggles of your childhood may be in the past, but you know the effect of it is still wearing down on your shoulders when you see yourself doing these things.
Regardless of how many friends you had or didn't, you can still feel lonely as a child when your own parents are rarely ever able to acknowledge you or celebrate your achievements, however small they might be. It could also be because they themselves were never allowed to, or able to celebrate their own successes in a healthy manner. And you grew up with the same insecurities, never being able to accept true compliments from people who can see your strengths and abilities.
If you never recieved the approval of or encouragement from your parents, you may find yourself unhappy with the person you see in the mirror, and perhaps even be your own harshest critic.
Having an emotionally unavailable parent may have made you feel like your opinions don't matter. Because of that, you have a hard time making decisions for yourself because you think it will do you more harm than good. If you grew up with a parent who was more logical than empathetic, and encouraged you to do the same, it is possible that you're still afraid to trust your instincts even as an adult.
An indecisive nature can also be due to being raised by parents who were indecisive themselves. According to Karen Koenig, a licensed psychotherapist who spoke to Bustle, "Maybe our parents were indecisive themselves and we picked up this anxiety about choices from them. Alternately, maybe they blamed themselves or each other when something went wrong.”
No matter how loving and caring the person you're in a relationship with seems, you always feel like it will only be a matter of time before they change their mind. Being deprived of the support and love from an emotionally absent parent has left you wondering if you'll ever find it at all. Sometimes, you stop yourself from loving too deeply or getting too attached because you don't want to make any mistake that could destroy the relationship. When things go wrong in a relationship, you are the first to blame yourself even when it couldn't have been your fault in the first place.
“If you still can hear their negative comments in your mind, and you can trace them back to your parent, or they still say these things to you daily, you know they are taking their negative feelings about themselves out on you, which can lead to self-esteem issues and insecurity," Christi Garner, psychotherapist, told Bustle. Having grown up with broken self-esteem, you doubt your capabilities and second-guess yourself.
The kind of relationship with your parent in your childhood, good or bad, can affect every single relationship you go on to form as you grow older. "If we were abused and neglected, we will most likely develop characteristics to protect ourselves as adults such as being defensive or overly protective," wrote Támara Hill.
The actions of your parents, who were expected to be there for you, managed to convince you that you needed a skin so thick that you doubt people's intentions even as they try to reach out to you, which can sabotage any potential relationship you might form.
Everything you did as a child was to get the attention of your disconnected parent but their emotional detachment made you think that nothing you ever did was remotely enough to make them feel better. Now, as an adult, you spend most of your time trying to fix other people and their problems while ignoring your own. You go about your days trying to make others happy even if you hurt yourself in the process.
You can't help yourself but you tend to nitpick and micromanage everything in your life. Every relationship, every conversation, every risk that you take, you mull over it in your mind over and over again because you feel like it's the only way you can keep the control over your life. But the next time your gut feeling tells you to do something different, there's no harm in listening to that voice and letting go.
Disclaimer: This article is based on facts collated from different sources. The views expressed here are those of the writer.