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A good book on Emotional Neglect

Updated: May 18, 2022

I’m going to add a book list to my blog as I’ve been reading a new book that has been really helpful. I’ve struggled to find books that have reflected my own difficulties but this one really nailed it. I could identify so many bits in it that were similar to me. And also family members, acquaintances etc.

It is Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents by Lindsay Gibson.

On the negative side, it has a rubbish over long title which makes it look like a thousand other “self help” type books out there, it’s not terribly well written and has a lot of case history examples which I skimmed through as a bit superfluous. I also will not be making any startling changes to my relationships after reading it.

That is all the negative stuff, now the positive side: for the first time of reading this sort of book, every page had me nodding in recognition. This book could have been written about me personally! I knew what the author was talking about, I could identify myself and my parents and other family members very clearly in it.

A lot of the books I have read have focused on the extreme end of adverse childhood experiences, this is all about emotional neglect which is much more under the radar, less obvious, especially to the outside world. For the first time I had my difficult feelings and experiences validated, which was a REALLY BIG DEAL.

The reason I won’t be making any changes is that as a mature person, many of those changes I have already arrived at, in a muddled, organic evolution over time. I left my medical career with relief and looking back recognise that it was my distorted, dysfunctional childhood which led me to think I needed to mend other people. It was only later that I realised I needed to mend myself and learn to speak up for and express myself (as an artist, as it turns out).

I’ve recommended this book to several others and sent it to one of my children (the shame of recognising that I had reenacted some of the struggles I experienced onto especially my first born! Hopefully in a more dilute, dialled down way, but still!)

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