During someone’s early years, a time when they needed to be seen and heard in order to grow and develop in the right way, they might have largely been ignored. This would then have been a time when their basic needs might have typically been met but their emotional needs wouldn’t have.

One or both of their parents might not have been able to accept that they were a separate human being who had feelings and a number of needs. Instead, they might have been seen as an object that was there to meet their needs.


In the beginning, then, when they did express how they felt and certain needs, they might have been criticised, ignored, rejected and/or left. Therefore, as time passed, they would have gradually lost touch with their feelings and a number of their needs.

Quite simply, it would have been too painful for them to not only not receive the attunement that they needed but for them to be aware of how they felt and certain needs. For them to minimise the pain that they experienced, then, they had to lose touch with a big part of themselves.

One Option

But, although they would have become estranged from themselves, they would have still hoped that they would be seen and heard and that their needs would be met. This would have played a part in them being who their parent or parents wanted them to be and doing what they could to please them.

If they had faced up to the fact that a number of their need wouldn’t be met, they would have felt totally helpless and hopeless. This would have been too much for them to handle.

The Norm

So, throughout this stage of their life, they would have physically been seen but they would have rarely if ever been emotionally seen. Feeling invisible, alone and as though they didn’t exist would have been a normal part of their childhood.

Perhaps they had a small family or perhaps they had a big family, with there being many other people around but it wouldn’t have mattered. It would have been as if they were marooned on an island in the middle of nowhere.

The Same Story

Now that they an adult, they might seldom think about their childhood let alone remember what it was like. Still, if they were able to take a step back and reflect on what their life is like, what might soon stand out is that they generally feel invisible and as though they don’t exist.

What can enter their mind is that it’s like they are sitting on the sidelines watching other people live life. They might believe that other people have something that they themselves don’t have.

A Closer Look

When it comes to what they do for a living, it could relate to something that is soul-destroying. Or they could enjoy what they do but they might not have been able to make much progress.

As for their relationships, they might not have any close friends and when they are around others, they could feel like they aren’t seen and heard. If they have been in a relationship, this could also be how they felt.

One Conclusion

After thinking about the life that they lead, they could believe that they don’t matter and are not important. They are then not going to be worthy and deserving of living a life where they do feel as though they exist and their needs are met.

This will just be how their life is and they will have to put up with it. The outcome of this is that they could feel helpless and hopeless and they might question if they even want to be alive.

Joining the Dots

However, if they were to think about what it was like for them as a child, they might gradually come to see that their adult life is a continuation of how it was for them as a child. A time when one or both of their parents were unable to consistently see and hear them and provide them with the emotional nutrients that they needed.

This was not because they didn’t matter, were not important or were worthless and unlovable. No, it was probably a reflection of how deprived they had been during their formative years.

Generational Deprivation

As they had not received what they needed, they were not in a position to give their child what they needed. For them to realise that they deserve to be seen and heard and to live a life where they feel seen and heard, they are likely to have a lot of inner work to do.

This will take courage, patience and persistence.


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 cover all aspects of human transformation; including love, partnership, self-love, self-worth, enmeshment, inner child, true self and inner awareness. With over three thousand, six hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

To find out more go to - http://www.oliverjrcooper.co.uk/

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