I notice whenever I'm in a very emotional situation I don't handle it how "normal" people do. When it's me and I feel overwhelmed with emotion, I hide it. Sometimes it comes at the most inopportune moments too, like during a song or a scene in a movie. When it's someone else, I don't know how to react. I see others reach out and try to calm the other person, give them reassurance. I just awkwardly stand there, unsure of what to do for them, feeling awful that I'm not doing anything.
I grew up with my mom and half-sister in my grandpa's house. My mom was a single mom and when she worked it was entry-level, low wage jobs. I'm not sure who this originated from exactly. If it was my grandpa's dad or my grandpa's parents in general or what, but my grandpa was not a very emotional man. At least... He never expressed his emotions. My family had an silent acknowledgement that we cared for one another, but we never said "I love you." I was never taught, told, or encouraged by them like my peers were. There was no sex talks or encouragement to get my driver's license. Of course I'd learned about these things in school, but those are far different and lack the intimacy of a parent.
When I would go to friends' houses and see them hug their parents, tell their siblings "I love you," it was weird and foreign to me. I didn't understand that. I grew up thinking that was abnormal, not realizing it was really my family that had the dysfunction.
I don't think I ever learned how to act appropriately. How to express how I feel in the right way or at all really. And something I've read in my findings about CEN that I'm afraid of now is emotionally neglecting my own children. I was in a relationship for years with their dad and he's told me time and time again how I'm not doing enough for them. He says I need to show them I love them. I do love my kids and I try to tell them I love them, but not all of it comes naturally and it makes me feel like a crap mom. All my mom friends reassured me that when my baby was born, I would just "know" what to do. But that feeling didn't ever come for me. I had to learn. I had to learn how to just love my kids. And I do, I love them and would never want any harm to come to them.
I feel so estranged and messed up. And I can't get any therapy for this because I can't afford it. Did anyone else grow up with CEN? How did you handle it? How are you handling it now? What should I do? I hope someone out there can help me... I want to get over this. I wish I could just give my sister a hug or tell my grandpa I love him and know that I mean it and not be scared or second guessing myself.
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