When I was about 12 years old, I remember being told to “stop moaning” by my mother. And based on how she responded in this moment, it was as though I was actually making a fuss over nothing.
However, this couldn’t have been further from the truth; I was simply speaking out about something. But while I had every right to speak out, I was treated as though I had done something wrong, and this was something she said on numerous occasions.
No Dissent Allowed
I was expected to do as I was told and not to go against what my mother said and did. It was clear that I was wasting my time by speaking out, and that it was a lot easier for me to keep quiet.
At this point I had already learnt that it was best for me to hide my emotions and to act as though I was ok. And by hiding how I felt, it allowed me to minimize the amount of pain I experienced.
Being told to “stop moaning” wasn’t particularly pleasant, but it wasn’t as bad as what I had been through before this started to happen. What had played the biggest part here was that I was neglected as a baby.
This was a time when I would cry out for attention, yet the attention I needed didn’t always arrive. Due to how much pain I experienced at this time in my life, part of me ended up shutting down.
A Waste of Time
The person, who looked after me as a baby from time to time, said that I would often fall over as a baby and not move. They couldn’t understand why I was behaving in this manner.
I came to see that the reason I didn’t move was because my body would freeze up, and this was largely the result of what my early care was like. Through not receiving the attunement that I needed at this time in order to grow in the right way, I ended up feeling either abandoned or smothered.
Being left was painful but it was also painful to be looked after by people who were out of sync with me. What this meant was that I would go into survival mode when I was being held.
So, when if fell over and froze, this was a reflection of how unsafe I felt around people at this stage in my life. I didn’t want to be left, but I didn’t want anyone to get too close to me, either – it was just too painful.
This was then a stage in my life when I experienced a lot of trauma, which meant that it wasn’t hard to control me as a child. The neglect continued and there was physically abuse, along with the verbal abuse.
There were moments when I did rebel, but if I did, I would often be filled with fear and terror. Ultimately, hiding my emotions was a way for me to try to make sure that I wouldn’t be harmed and to make it seem as though I was invulnerable.
The Way Forward
Naturally, this meant that it was even harder for me to connect to others and to receive the help that I needed. It also meant that I ended up being out of touch with my own emotions – I wasn’t exactly emotionally intelligent, put it that way.
Still, what I did have was the desire to understand my emotions and to do what I could to be able to feel comfortable enough to express them. And through getting into self-development and working with different therapists and healers, I was able to do just that.