Day Twenty Seven
Even the most functional childhood involves unmet needs. The deficits we acquire in childhood are often driving forces for our adult lives. My childhood involved a lack of security, emotional expression, and physical contact. I have sought these things in compulsive relationships, alcohol and drugs, and extreme emotionality.
When I feel lonely and act out with relationships, I am not only trying to fulfil the need, I am also trying to make up for the deficit of loving contact in my childhood. When I am wanting to scream and shout my emotions I am not only trying to express myself as every human has the right to do, I am also trying to reclaim a childhood where my emotions were never acknowledged.
The stakes seem unbelievably high when dealing with unmet childhood needs, and they can make reactions and compulsions enormous. My first thought around them is normally that of a child. I am learning to get my reactions proportional, and not accelerating the actions I take with a childlike urgency. When I do the work of emotional regulation and compassion I am giving my child-self the tools she always deserved. I stunted the process with alcohol and drugs for too long, but it’s never too late to start the growing process.
What unmet needs do you act out on?
Two tiny things:
- Do something you loved as a kid.
- Put your phone away for half an hour and read something you’ve been wanting to read for a while.