As a child, someone generally needed to be treated as though they deserved to exist and were valuable and lovable, among other things. If this is what took place, now that they are an adult, there is a strong chance that they will have developed a strong sense of self and be able to feel good about themselves and let love in.

However, although they needed to receive the right nutrients very early on, this might not have taken place. As a result of this, they might not have a strong sense of self and they might find it hard to feel good about themselves and let love in.

Greatly Undermined

A stage of their life, then, that should have prepared them for the real world, will have been a stage of their life that made it even harder for them to handle life. But, as experiencing life in this way will have just been what was normal, there would have been no reason for them to have realised why their life is this way.

Even now, they might not be aware of how their early years have impacted their adult life. They can then live a life that is anything but fulfilling but this can just be seen as how life is.

Breaking out

Assuming that they are living a life that is bleak and this is just what is normal, something significant may need to happen in order for them to step back and reflect on their life. This could take place after they have had a breakup or experienced a loss of some kind.

After this, they could end up looking for answers, and, after a while, start to think about what took place during their formative years. Still, it might take them a while before they are able to gain a clear understanding of what took place.

One Thing

One of the things that could stand out is how there were moments when they were treated as though they were special and moments when they were treated as though they were nothing. When it comes to the former, this may have been what happened when they did what one or both of their parents wanted.

But, even then, they could see that there were times when they did do what they wanted and they themselves were still treated like they were nothing. Their parent or parents would then have been predictably unpredictable.

Stuck On a Treadmill

A stage of their life when they needed to be loved unconditionally, or at the very least based on conditions that would aid their development, was a time when they had to earn love. Or, to be more accurate: to earn conditional acceptance and attention.

The trouble is that as they were egocentric at this stage of their life, they would have personalised what took place. Therefore, they would have believed that there was something wrong with them, as opposed to something wrong with their parent or parents.

Two Parts

Having to jump through endless hoops to receive scraps of love and being seen as though they were nothing would have naturally had a big impact on them. Most likely, it would have caused them to feel as though they didn’t deserve to exist and were worthless and unlovable.

When they were treated well, this would have allowed them to feel good but as they would have also felt bad about themselves, it wouldn’t have had a lasting impact. They are also likely to have feared that they would soon be treated differently.

A Battle

As they were deprived during this key stage of their life, it is to be expected that they wouldn’t have strong foundations. Something that should have largely been freely provided would have been something that they had to struggle for and still miss out on.

They needed stability, protection and warmth, and, what they received was instability, a lack of protection and coldness. What this is likely to illustrate is that one or both of their parents was not in a good way.

A Closer Look

Assuming it was one parent who treated them in this way, there is a strong chance that they were also brought up by at least one parent who was just as conditional. This would have deeply wounded them, causing them to experience a lot of shame.

Due to this, they are likely to have had moments when they lost touch with their shame and felt more-than others and moments when they were in touch with it and felt less-than others. How this parent treated them was then an externalisation of how they felt about themselves.

A Mirror

Said another way, they were emotionally unstable and didn’t have access to a consistent sense of love and this stopped them from being able to consistently express love. Ultimately, what one needed from their parent was something that this parent was unable to give them.

This means that how they were treated had absolutely nothing to do with their worth or lovability. For them to know this at the core of their being, though, they are likely to have a lot of pain to face and work through.


If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.

Author's Bio: 

Author, transformational writer, teacher and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, self-worth, enmeshment, inner child and inner awareness. With over three thousand, two hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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