Although someone was deprived of the emotional nutrients that they needed during their formative years, it doesn’t mean that they will be aware of this now that they are an adult. If they were to think about their early years, they could believe that this stage of their life was fine.

For example, they could say that one or both of their parents was more or less always around and that they were not physically harmed. Furthermore, they had somewhere to live, didn’t go hungry, and had the clothes they needed.

A Very Different Experience

Unlike those people who are brought up by parents who are rarely around and hit them, then, they will have had a ‘good upbringing’. Due to this, they could feel grateful for what happened at this stage of their life.

However, while this stage of their life will be seen as a time when they received what they needed, it doesn’t mean that they will be in a good way now. In fact, they could have a life that is anything but fulfilling.

A Closer Look

So, they could find it hard to feel good enough, valuable and lovable. Additionally, they could often find it hard to connect with how they feel and to know what their needs are.

But, as they will believe that their childhood was a time when they received what they needed, they won’t know why they are this way. What is going on for them could just be put down to them being born this way or simply not being able to ‘get it together’.

Going Deeper

Nonetheless, even though it will seem as if this stage of their life was a time when they received what they needed, this is not going to be the truth. The pain that would prove this will have been repressed by their brain very early on.

This will be the pain that they experienced by having a parent or parents who typically didn’t attune to them and provide them with the love that they needed to grow and develop in the right way. What this illustrates is that having a parent around is one part; the other part is having a parent around who is also emotionally available.

The Right Food

Throughout this stage of their life, then, one or both of their parents would have provided them with what they needed to survive but not much else. In all likelihood, they were forced to play a role that served their parents or parents.

This would have meant that they were rarely if ever truly seen for who they were. Thus, instead of being able to be real and freely express themselves, they might have been forced to be someone who was always ‘good’ and behaved and didn’t want much.


To be who they wanted them to be, they would have had to lose touch with their feelings and a number of their needs. As they were powerless and totally dependent at this stage, they wouldn’t have been able to do anything about what was going on.

It was then a case of adapting and minimising their suffering or going against what was going on and their life coming to an end. They would have come to believe, thanks to being egocentric, that there was something inherently wrong with them.

The Meaning

Along with this, they would have come to believe that a number of their needs and feelings were bad. Not having at least one parent who could attune to them would have also made them believe that they were not enough, worthless and unlovable.

They would have been sent the message that they would only be accepted and ‘loved’ if they played a role. Naturally, having to maintain an act to not be cast aside would have taken a lot out of them.

The Other Side

There is a chance that one or both of their parents truly believed that they were giving them what they needed. If so, this is likely to show that they were emotionally disconnected, which stopped them from being aware of what they were not providing their child.

Their parent or parents are also likely to have been deprived of the emotional nutrients that they needed during their formative years as well as being deprived in other ways. One was then not deprived because there was something inherently wrong with them and they were unlovable; they were deprived because they were brought up by one or two people that were unable to give them what they needed.


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, true self 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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