Healing the Inner Wounds of the Emotionally Orphaned
Overcoming Emotional Abandonment Article by Lauri McNair, MS
"He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds."--Psalm 147:3(NLT)
Whether child or adult, we all long for relationship and emotional connectedness. It is part of our design as human beings. So, when we, as children, are deprived of the ability to connect, self-express, emote, and interact freely with the significant adults (parents) in our lives we are robbed of vital basic needs that promote emotional and relational health and well-being.
We all have feelings and emotions. The ability to express them and how we express them is critical in establishing and maintaining healthy, mutually satisfying relationships. Yet, for adults who have been emotionally orphaned or emotionally abandoned as children this may be a challenging area.
Emotional Abandonment may occur if: * Parent/Caregiver(s) is not attuned to a child's emotional needs * Child is not afforded an opportunity to communicate thoughts, fears, concerns, worries, etc. * Parent is "too busy", disinterested * Child's emotional needs minimized; deemed unimportant * Parents pre-occupied with personal issues and challenges * Child is caring for the parent's needs (Emotional Incest/Parentification) * There is substance abuse, mental illness * Parent is physically not present (death, abandonment, military tours, incarceration, etc.)
Signs/Symptoms of Emotionally Abandoned Child as an Adult * Social withdrawal and isolation * Unresolved childhood guilt * Fear * Feelings of insecurity and inferiority * Sleep and/or eating disorders * Depression and/or anxiety * Grief * Anger and rage * Unresolved internal childhood conflict * Feelings of rejection * Issues with intimacy and abandonment * Inability to trust and build authentic relationships * Difficulty expressing feelings * Difficulty communicating needs * Emotionally detached; disconnected--numb or desensitized to feelings * Having no "voice"
Healing the Inner Wounds and Overcoming Emotional Abandonment * Come to a place of acknowledgement/awareness of the abandonment and its impact * Bring brokenness to God, our Heavenly the Father--confessing our disappointment, hurt, apathy, etc. * Pray for Healing, deliverance * Keep a prayer journal, express your thoughts and feeling through writing.
Despite what may have happened or did not happen in our childhood, healing is readily available for every child of God. He promises to heal the brokenhearted and bandage every wound.