Dr. Jonice Webb
Emotional Neglect is, in some ways, the opposite of mistreatment and abuse. Whereas mistreatment and abuse are parental acts, Emotional Neglect is a parent’s failure to act. It’s a failure to notice, attend to, or respond appropriately to a child’s feelings. Because it’s an act of omission, it’s not visible, noticeable or memorable. Emotional Neglect is the white space in the family picture; the background rather than the foreground. It is insidious and overlooked while it does its silent damage to people’s lives.
I grew up in a small middle class town. All my physical needs were met. I had three good meals a day, clothes, and a nice house to live in. On the surface, my mother was beautiful, charming and friendly...but behind closed doors, things were different. As a result of being born deaf into a dysfunctional family, she ultimately developed narcissistic personality disorder. After she divorced my cheating father, he decided to disappear for 10 years and start a new family with his secretary. She then married my stepfather who suffered from antisocial personality disorder, enabled my mother and gaslighted me. None of them were deliberately trying to neglect me. They were (and still are) hurting, broken, selfish people who had miserable childhoods and had no idea they were continuing the ugly history. It took me a long time and a lot of soul searching to break this cycle of generational dysfunction and prevent my children from spending their adult life recovering the way I did.
The Impact of Early Emotional Neglect
Parents, due to their own misery and preoccupation with unhealed wounds from their childhood, may have emotionally neglected you. This omission played a huge part in shaping you into the adult you are today and may dictate how much emotional regulation and relational intelligence you may or may not have. Children rely on their parents to meet their physical AND emotional needs. Invisible damage is done when parents fail to teach coping strategies and emotional regulation.
Join fun NON-therapists as we discuss not-so-fun toxic families and multi-generational dysfunction. We are ordinary people sharing a healing journey in hopes to inspire other ordinary people to laugh as well as find their own path to healing.
My long term goal is to help the "emotionally bruised but not broken' to begin their own healing journey using multi-media and multi-sensory approaches. I have been on a healing journey for 5 years and hope to inspire others with humor, music and my story.