If someone was greatly deprived during their formative years, they are likely to be carrying a lot of pain and a number of unmet developmental needs. This is, of course, assuming that they haven’t started to work through any of this pain.

The reason for this is that missing out on the love that they needed would have deeply wounded them. To handle what was going on, their brain would have repressed the pain that they were in.

One Priority

Instead of this being a time, then, when they felt safe, wanted and supported and were able to go through each development stage, it would have been a time when they felt unsafe, unwanted and unsupported and were unable to go through each developmental stage. Their need to freely express themselves would have been replaced by their need to survive.

So, if they were born with a strong connection with themselves, this would have gradually been lost. And, in this environment, if they had stayed connected to how they felt and reality, it would have just caused them to suffer even more.

Shutting Down

By losing touch with their feelings and reality, it would have made it easier to handle what was going on. Ultimately, as they were powerless and totally dependent, they were unable to change their parent or parents or to find a family that could love them.

Becoming an unfeeling human being and disconnecting from reality, allowed part of them to get away from what was going on. Therefore, they wouldn’t have actually left but part of them would have no longer been aware of the pain that they were in or what their reality was like.


Now that they are an adult, their conscious mind will have more or less forgotten about what took place and most if not all of the pain that they experienced will be kept out of their conscious awareness. Along with this, there can be the pain that has been repressed throughout their adult years.

Due to this, they will be a whole human being but they won’t be able to operate as one. Yet, as living in this way is likely to be what is normal, they are unlikely to realise that they are living on the surface of themselves.

Another Factor

Additionally, just about every area of their life could serve as a secondary defence that helps to keep their repressed pain at bay. So, they could practically always be on the go and be surrounded by people who are also estranged from themselves.

Being on the go will stop them from having to be with themselves and keep them focused on the external world. As for being around others who are in the same position, they are unlikely to talk about anything that might direct them to their own feelings.

The Catalyst

Nonetheless, even though how they live can allow them to live on the surface of themselves and keep their pain at bay, they might not be able to live in this way forever. Sooner or later, something could take place that will force them to face what they have unconsciously been avoiding.

For example, they could experience a breakup or lose a loved one and, after this, their inner defences could gradually crumble. At this point, what has been held inside their conscious mind will pour into their conscious mind.

Two Extremes

Consequently, they can go from someone who is unfeeling to someone who is overwhelmed by their feelings. To use an analogy: they will have gone from living in a lighthouse and looking down at the sea, to being in the sea and struggling to handle the waves.

As this will be an experience that they are so unfamiliar with, at least as an adult, they could wonder what is going on. They could find that they feel like a powerless and dependent child, not an adult.

Back In Time

From this, it will be clear that although many, many years have passed since they were a child, their emotional self hasn’t changed. But, as they were unable to develop a strong connection with this part of them as a result of a lack of love and having to repress the pain they were in, they would have been deceived into thinking that this pain had disappeared and that they had moved on from this stage of their life.

This shows that repression allowed them to remove their pain from their conscious awareness but what it didn’t do is allow them to truly move on. To use an analogy: it will be as if they had been able to turn away from something that was painful and, thereby, to believe that what was painful had disappeared; when in reality, it was still behind them.

The Next Stage

The time will now have come for them to face and work through this pain as they will no longer be able to avoid it. Fortunately, now that they are an adult, they will be far stronger than when they were as a child and they will be able to reach out for support if they need it.

This is something that will take courage and 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 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.

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

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