We Need To Talk with Kris Godinez

04-03-2022 How to heal from Emotional Neglect
In this episode of We Need To Talk With Kris Godinez, Kris discusses what emotional neglect is, why it happens, and how to heal from it!

Kris Godinez  00:02

Hello and welcome to We Need To Talk with Kris Godinez podcast. I’m your host Kris Godinez, licensed professional counselor. I help people get out of, and stay out of, toxic relationships. This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only the views and opinions stated herein are mine and mine alone. They do not represent the ACA, the APA or any other therapist for that matter.

I want to thank my sponsor betterhelp.com. They are an online therapy company. Whether you are in the US or international. They will set you up with a qualified licensed therapist. PhD level or Master’s level. If you are interested in more information, go to betterhelp.com/krisgodinez.

Kris Godinez  01:01

Okay, let’s talk about emotional neglect. Now, this is an issue with darn near every person that comes in on my couch has. So not every abuser is going to be the, the screaming, yelling, beating the kid up that kind of thing. And abuse can be silent, which is horrible. I think it’s all bad. It’s all bad. I mean, it’s like one leaves a physical bruise, the other one leaves an emotional bruise.

So, what I often have with clients that had parents that were emotionally neglectful, in other words, what is emotional neglect? Okay. emotional neglect is where the kid is, non-verbally, given the absolute message that they are not wanted, respected, needed, etc, go a kid you bother me kind of thing but not said, and emotional things are not discussed with the family. It’s like emotions don’t exist, or if emotions come up, they’re quickly shoved under the carpet, or the message is really clear. We’d have we don’t talk about Bruno, you know, it’s like, we don’t talk about this. We don’t nope, nope. So it’s like real surface level stuff. Nothing ever dives deep. There’s never any big discussions about emotions, or how are you feeling the kids emotions are disregarded. They’re not listened to. And this is the thing that drives me crazy is when I go out with John, sometimes we’ll go out to dinner. And I’ll you know, me, I’m people watcher, and I’m listening to like the conversations around me and I’ll see these parents, the kid will be excited about something and trying to tell them about something. And they’ll tell him to shush, don’t want to hear it not interested. You know, and I’m just sitting there going, Oh, this is an emotional neglect and in progress, I can see it. So what ends up happening is, is that poor little kid who grows up to be an adult gets these mistaken thoughts, mistaken beliefs about their voice. And when I say their voice, I mean their self esteem, the sense of who they are, their right to exist, their right to be happy, their right to have emotions, their right to cry, the right to be angry with their parents. I’ll tell you one emotion they do get a lot from these emotional neglectful parents is guilt. So the the emotionally neglectful parents will tell the kid and how many times have we heard this? Hello, raise your hand Been there? Done that? You know, don’t you? Don’t you be mad at me? I’m your parent. I’ll give you something to be mad about. I’ll give you something to cry about. I’ll give you something to fill in the blank about because the parent cannot cope with emotions at all period. Sound familiar? Yeah, it does.

Okay, so I wanted to read from some of these articles I got off of psychology two day this one is? No, that’s in a relationship. I want to get to that one in a minute. Ah 16 tells that your parents may have been emotionally neglectful. So, what does it take for a parent and this is by sorry, this is by Jonice Webb PhD, this is on psychology today and it’s called 16 tells that your parents maybe have been emotionally neglectful. Um, so what does it take for a parent to emotionally neglect their child? Not surprisingly, it takes literally nothing. The emotional neglect in families tends to happen organically as it’s passed down silently and invisibly from one generation to the next. So, in other words, I don’t know how many of you got this but I certainly did. Children are to be seen and not heard. Oh, yeah, that that backfired really big on them. You know, guess what, Mofo? You know. So yeah, your children are to be seen and not heard. That’s a very Victorian kind of way of thinking. Also very abusive, also very stupid also. Don’t raise your kids like that. So it’s that very much a children are to be paraded out and and make the parents look good but then they need to be trotted back into the house and not heard not loved, not respected, not understood not talked to not anything, I cannot tell you the number of clients I have that once they get out of the abusive parental relationship and and sometimes abusive romantic relationships due to the abusive parental relationship and when I say abusive, I mean emotionally neglectful, they will feel guilty for feeling happy.

Kris Godinez  05:43

How many of us have felt that? How many of us have gone through that hole? I can’t, I can’t be happy. That’s not okay. I can’t be you know; I can’t talk about this. I can’t you know, it’s like this non permission to exist. So, the message that we get from those kinds of parents that ignore kids’ happiness, ignore their emotions ignore what’s going on in the family. Or worse gaslight them no, you don’t see the pink elephant named Harold taking a crap in the corner of the living room. You know, it makes the kid feel in visible and worthy. There’s a reason we get that internal dialogue that is just nasty. And that’s why I keep telling people it’s like, you know, be very careful how you speak to your children because that becomes their either inner critic, or their inner cheerleader. So basically, with neglectful, emotionally neglectful, they just don’t acknowledge it’s, it’s like this weird silence in the families, you know, serious topics come up and it’s immediately ignored, or it’s immediately told to be quiet, or it’s immediately shoved under the rug, or it’s, you know, so we get this message. It’s not okay to exist. It’s not okay to exist. It’s not okay to have emotions. It’s not okay to be happy.

It’s not okay to be angry at the parent, you know, and here’s the really confusing thing, I think, for survivors of abuse. And I’ve heard this multiple, multiple times from clients that have had emotionally neglectful parents. Well, they never hit me. Well, they don’t have to they were hitting you verbally or non-verbally, by the reactions to what you were saying, well, they provided food and shelter. Okay, that’s basic. That’s, that doesn’t make you a great parent is it’s good to start. But where’s the emotional component of that kids are emotional kids are? What’s the word I’m looking for? That’s all they are. Because cognitively when you think about it, emotions are very primal. Okay. That’s the first thing kids start learning how to work with and then eventually they get the cognitive ability to do the logic and this and that and the other thing like that, but emotions are hugely important and what are these abusers do? No, you can’t have that. No, you can’t you can’t feel that. No, you know, we’re not going to discuss that. No, you don’t exist. Now. You’re you’re an extension of me. Oh, Do you see where I’m going with that? So these kids grow up with this internal dialogue that is shut up. Be quiet. Don’t Don’t tell anybody what you’re thinking or feeling. Don’t trust. Don’t Have fun. Don’t enjoy yourself. How dare you? I mean, oh, nasty, nasty, nasty. And yes, it is just as bad as being hit it is because the bruises are internal. You can’t see them necessarily. But that’s how it kind of starts manifesting is that it’s not okay to be angry with the parent. It’s not okay to be happy. It’s not okay to be successful. This is where a lot of the self-sabotage stuff comes from is from the emotionally neglectful parents so hold on want to get back to that article. Um they don’t give their children validation. They don’t know how in some cases because they’ve never been validated themselves because remember, this is a generational thing. We talked we talked about that generational trauma generational trauma. His grandparents did it parents did it kids got it done to them and unfortunately, if they don’t get help, they’re going to do it to their own kids. Um, okay.

Kris Godinez  09:09

Okay, so the parents can be are oftentimes permissive In other words, they don’t want to be bothered so they just let the kid do whatever um they can be workaholics gone all the time and they get and you know, my dad did that a lot. He did the whole you know, go a kid I don’t want to hear you. I you know, I work all day you play all day. How dare you? Yeah, cuz I don’t have a law degree jerk off. You know what I’m saying? So it’s like, yeah, they just, I was six. So you know, I mean, they get angry because they’re having to work and support a family, but they’re resentful of having the family and so they take it out on the kid and make it the kids fault, you know, and blame the kid in some way, shape or form, you know, and yeah, workaholic, etc, etc, etc. or they are perfectionists, and the only time the kids ever get the emotional validation or the emotional attention that they crave is when they’re perfect. Oh, that’s too much. That’s too much. Nobody is perfect. The last perfect person walked on water and got nailed to a tree. You know what I’m saying? That was 2000 years ago, that’s not happening now. You know. So it’s like, they want us to be perfect. They want us to make them look good, we have to be perfect. We have to do everything that they do, or everything that they say and make them look good. That is not being a parent. That is not reality. narcissists don’t deal in reality.

But anyway, so there, that’s a tell. That’s the you had an emotionally neglectful parent, you feel confused about your feelings for your parents, you feel you love them, you hate them, you feel guilty for being angry at them. Being with your parents is painful, it’s like, they never go deep. They never talk about real things. It’s like, there was one that the parents would only talk about the Kardashians. That’s all they would talk about is like pop culture, things on television that had absolutely no bearing on anything resembling reality in any way, shape, or form. You know, for this person, do you see where I’m going with that? So surface surface, surface, they never dive deep, they never go to emotions, that’s a that’s a verboten thing. Um, your parents don’t know or see the real you as you are today. They continually try to treat you like a kid. Because they’ve never bothered to learn who you are as an adult, that’s part of a healthy relationship with a parent with a healthy parent, is that as the child grows and and gains cognitive ability to move through the world, the parent child relationship starts changing from that of, you know, I’m, I’m the one that dictates everything to Okay, here’s, I’m giving you responsibility or learning responsibility. You’re doing it on your own. Okay, great. Good. You’re okay, you’re in college, call me once a month. That’s good, you know, and then the relationship changes to more of a mentor kind of thing. It’s not like this. What’s the word? I’m looking for a dictator. It’s not that dictator thing that the narcissistic parents do. It’s like a yes, I’m the parent. Yes, I’m going to give you my two cents. However, you’re an adult, and I trust you to do what’s right for you. Because I raised you. Well, you know what I’m saying, but I have obviously, narcissists are control freaks, they want to control they want to manipulate they want to, anyway, um, okay.

Um, they say that they love you, but you do not feel it. And the reason why is because actions speak louder than words, look at the actions. So my dad would do this all the time. Oh, I love you. I love you, I love you. And then he’d be hitting the crap out of me. And I’m just like, if that’s love, I’m going up to a mountaintop and being celibate for the rest of my life. Thank you very much. You know, because they just don’t know how to how to. So yeah, if you if you if you they’re telling you, they love you, but you don’t feel loved. You’re not wrong, you are not wrong.

Um, okay, so if the parent was constantly sick or constantly absent, you have great empathy toward your parent and you feel codependent a strong wish to help and or take care of them to your detriment. Um, you can understand why you feel inexplicable anger towards them, because there’s nothing to point out physically, but it’s all emotional.

Kris Godinez  13:45

Okay, self-involved parents, narcissistic, authoritarian addicted and sociopathic signs to look for. You feel anxious before seeing your parents because you know, it’s going to be a doodoo show. You often find yourself hurt when you’re with your parents, it’s not unusual for you to be physically sick, right before, during or after seeing your parents because you’re such a nervous wreck. You have significant anger at your parents, your relationship with them feels completely false. Like you’re trying they’re not. And you’re just they’re going through the motions or they’re there going through the motions and it’s not a real relationship. It’s hard to predict whether your parents will behave in a loving way or rejecting way from one moment to the next. Sometimes your parents seem to be playing games with you or manipulating you or even trying to purposely confuse or hurt you. So that is 16 tells that you have an emotionally neglecting parent. Okay?

Does it interfere with happiness? So yes, so this is again as a continuation of her blog. It’s Jonice Webb PhD, are three ways early emotional neglect interferes with happiness. So, when we’re a kid, you know, it’s like Like in a healthy relationship, the parents are teaching the kid, you know how to be proud of themselves because we’re mirroring to them who they are. little bundle of light, you know, and you know, good job. You know, you did that, you know, that kind of thing. And that kind of helps the kids start going, oh, oh, they’re clapping because I want, okay, you know, and so that they get happy and they start feeling good about themselves, and you keep mirroring back to them who they are so neglectful parents don’t do that. They just don’t, your life feels colorless or gray. That’s one of the signs you have difficulty understanding, sorting or using your feelings and it makes you feel vulnerable. You do a lot of self-blame, you do a lot of self-shame, and especially anger, most of it directed right back at you. Um, so. Okay, so there’s there is that so. Yeah. And that stops us from having happiness because our brains, when we keep traveling down a certain route, that’s where our brains automatically go. So, if your knee jerk reaction to anything is I don’t deserve it or not good enough, or how dare you or whatever. And you keep doing that, that’s going to be your first reaction to everything. And that will become ingrained, which is why it is so hugely important, now we’re kind of shifting gears. I think we understand what emotional neglect is, it’s when the parents don’t appropriately mirror back to the kid who they are, and validate emotions and validate accomplishments and validate who they are and help them figure out self-esteem. Because that’s what that’s all about.

So how do you heal from that? So, it’s rewiring your brain rewiring your brain I kid you not. When I say mirror work, I am not just whistling a tune to hear myself whistle. It is mirror work. You are having to reroute those thoughts. thought stopping. That’s another way to get rid of that those thoughts that pop up, you know, oh, God, everything’s so boring. Wait a minute, stop. The world is an amazing place. What do I want to be doing? Right now? What haven’t I done that I’d like to do? Oh, okay. Let’s go do that. You know, thought stopping that was an interesting thought. Who says it’s boring. Oh, mom and dad. Okay, well, thank you. You’re not mom or dad. So go pound sand. Bye. Bye. Bye now. Bye bye. Do you see where I’m going with that? So, it’s thought stopping and it’s re parenting and the RE parenting is the mirror work and it’s the positive affirmations. And it’s working on Neurofeedback Neurofeedback with the Meadows do it. It’s it’s Bessel Vander Kolk. It’s retraining the brain instead of going down this awful path that’s going to lead to depression and horrible thoughts. It’s retraining the brain to go into someplace positive instead.

So, mirror work. Hi, good to see you. Because you want to look at yourself. And I say this all the time. And everybody’s like, Why do you say that? Because you’re re parenting you, you are talking to that little inner child. That’s the one who got damaged. So, you’re re parenting you, you are looking into your eyes and you’re going Hi, good to see you. Oh my gosh, you have a great day. I give you permission to like yourself and then walk out. That’s all. That’s it. And you look at yourself with love. And a lot of people have a very, very, very hard time doing that. And if you do you just say it out loud. You need to start hearing it instead of Debbie Downer over here. Does that make sense? So, you want to start re parenting yourself. You want to really really, really address the emotional neglect Dear Mom, Dear Dad. Wow. Thanks for sending me out to the world not being able to recognize an emotion if it walked up and did the Watusi with me what the hell? You know what I’m saying?

So yeah, you write and burn angry letters to them. They are never going to know why because those letters are just for you. You’re not sending them okay, don’t send them don’t don’t… trust me on that one. Don’t send them these letters or for you you write and burn an angry letter to them dear mom, dear dad, guess what? I am having a hard time figuring out what I’m feeling. Because you never bothered to teach me emotions. You never bothered to validate my emotions or my feelings or my thoughts or my existence or anything else. And at the end of the letter, you take your power back guess what you guys don’t get to live rent free up here one more second. Have a nice life. And by that I mean go pound sand. I’m going to figure out what emotions are. Screw you and then walk it out to the trot it out to the barbecue. Burn it, let it go. One of the ways to start figuring out what emotions are is to play with them. Play with them. Get an emotion chart. Start going through the emotion chart. What does each of these emotions feel like? Can you identify emotions in a movie? Can you identify in your body Where the emotions are happening? You know, where does that feel from start feeling, feeling, feeling when I say you have to feel it to heal it, I am not kidding. You want to feel the emotions, you want to identify what you are feeling and you want to give yourself permission to be validated. To be heard. A lot of times I know this is gonna sound all woowoo and everything else a lot of times kids that were very much invalidated and told to shut up all the time.

Kris Godinez  20:37

Have a lot of throat issues fifth chakra anybody? I don’t know, getting get a little way out there. But yeah, they oftentimes have, have throat issues. It’s like, and it’s because the message they got was shut up. Don’t be heard. I don’t want to hear not interested. How dare you. Baba, baba, baba. The body keeps score, guys. I’m not kidding. You read the book. Bessel Vander Kolk. Excellent. So, you want to re train your brain to get rid of all of the mistaken thoughts. Now this is CBT. This is what I’m getting into. Cognitive behavioral therapy, mistaken thoughts and mistaken beliefs that the abuser or the neglectful person gave it to you? Okay, so Alright, so hang on, how are we doing on time? We’re doing good. Okay.

All right. So it does hold us back. Because we get this feeling like, you know, it’s not okay to be heard. It’s not okay to be seen the questions that parents should be asking their kids?  How are you doing today? You know, or if they notice that they’re sad, are you sad? What’s going on? How was school? What did you do at school? You know, is was something scary for you, you know, what do you want? What do you need, and kids are never asked that not in abusive families, they are never given the opportunity to say what they want or need, and they’re never given the opportunity to express something that’s going on. I’ll give you a great example. My dad, one time I was having problems at school, I had a bully. And I came home and I said, Dad, I’ve got a problem, because I was wanting it as advice. And probably guess it must have been about third grade. Um, and so that would have made me about eight. And he looked at me with disgust and was like, I got problems, my own kid Shut up, and then went right back to Walter Cronkite. And I’m like, Are you kidding me and Walter Cronkite for the kids out there used to be a newscaster back in the 60s, and 70s. So anyway, so the message was clear, clear as day I never asked him again for help. Which, by the way, is a trauma response. And that comes from emotional neglect. Because we’re told clearly without, you know, without so much saying it, but it’s like, yeah, you’re not, you’re not worth it. I don’t want to hear it. Don’t ask me for help, etc, etc, etc. So that then becomes our trauma response to not ask for help. Because I’ll do my own damn self, you know, I’m not gonna count on you or anybody Screw you. It’s that trust thing. And it comes from experience of not being able to trust your own frickin parent, because they’re jerks. God. Anyway, so there is that.

So the other way that kids get damaged is that the parent never notices, their hobbies, things that they’re good at. Things that they would like to do, or they mentioned, gee, I’d really love to play baseball. And what they’ll do is they’ll make fun of them. Oh, don’t get me started. Don’t. So they’ll make fun of them. They’ll put them down they’ll say that’s not possible. You know? No, we I’m not going to I’m not going to spend my time watching you play soccer. Yeah, like it’s about them. Hello, it’s about your kid you had a kid so that they could experience the world. Because it’s a big beautiful world out there. You know, in there too selfish to want to spend time with a kid playing baseball throwing the ball around, you know, any of that stuff. So it’s emotional neglect is a lot of stuff they never like also, it’s like if a kid says I don’t like a certain food, you know what abusers will do? They’ll serve that certain food.

Kris Godinez  24:10

Because they know the kid doesn’t like it and they’re sadists You bet. Oh, I didn’t know you didn’t like it, even though clear as day the kids said it. Yeah, I’ve seen that before too. So they’re just they’re heinous, heinous, heinous, heinous human beings, and really should just be shipped off to Mars without oxygen if you want my personal opinion. Um, so they don’t ever ask the the important questions, you know, like, well, how are you doing and what’s new? And you know, that’s why everybody makes fun of me when I do my, my counseling will not make fun of me, but they laugh because when I see somebody, my first words out of my mouth are oh my gosh, Hi, how are you? What’s new, what’s exciting, what’s happening? What’s going on? You know, because I am very interested, because I want to help them. So but I have a genuine interest in what is going on in their lives. And that is something that 99.9999999% of us have missed out on when we had narcissistic parents, neglectful parents, abusive parents, etc, etc, etc is because they just didn’t effing care. They didn’t, they could really truly give two rats asses about us. Like if that you know what I’m saying.

So okay, so that then leads to okay red flags of emotional neglect in the family and then I am going to try to get to the questions Hang on. Um, okay, so childhood emotional neglect. They don’t. They don’t, they don’t. You don’t notice when you’re what you’re feeling when you’re feeling. They don’t ask about your feelings. They don’t connect with you on emotional level or validate anything. They claim that they have no idea that they’re neglecting their child’s emotions that may or may not be true as far as narcissists are concerned a lot of times they’re doing it on purpose in order to harm

Um, okay, how it plays out in the family. Your family conversations are surface only you feel an unexpected, or unexplained resentment or anger towards your parents, which you feel guilty about oftentimes, not always. But a lot of times you go to family events with the hopes of enjoying yourself, but you always come away feeling empty or disappointed. difficult or interpersonal problems in the family are generally ignored. Instead of being addressed. We don’t talk about Bruno that’s a prime example. If you haven’t seen Encanto, go, go go go see it. Um, it feels like your siblings are competing with each other, but you’re not quite sure for what affection in your family is expressed via action, doing things for people and not so much by words or emotional expressions. And usually, sometimes not even by doing things. It’s like, a lot of times there’s nothing there’s like crickets, emotions, perhaps only negative emotions, but maybe all seems taboo in your family. So oftentimes, in these feelings, the only emotion that’s allowed, is anger, but it’s only allowed by the abuser or by the neglecter because I can’t tell you the number of times that my father told us that we weren’t allowed to be angry or we were allowed to be sad or we weren’t allowed to fill in the blank. Yeah. You feel surprisingly lonely or left out. And you feel like an outsider, even when you’re surrounded by friends. Yes, that is totally common. Coming out of neglectful families because we just have this sense of not being wanted. And so we kind of push that on to you know, our other situations, etc, etc, etc. Okay.

10 red flags and emotional neglect in a relationship. Okay. There’s also by the same author, Jonice Webb, PhD, it’s on psychology today. So um

Kris Godinez  27:57

Okay, here are the 10 signs you and your partner misread each other’s true feelings, actions, thoughts or intentions very often, you often want or engage in mind reading that didn’t know nobody’s a mind reader here if they were we would all be millionaires because we would all would have won the lottery. So you know, it’s like that’s unhealthy thinking it’s kind of magic thinking. As a couple you avoid bringing up difficult things so as not to upset the other witches Say it with me codependent. You know, because you don’t want to rock the boat. You haven’t figured out how to argue productively. So oftentimes, it what will end up happening is that people from neglectful relationships will just not know what they’re feeling number one, and not know how to express it number two, and if their partner also comes from a very difficult background, you’ve got two people who are just absolutely unable to communicate in a healthy way. And so it ends up either arguing and nasty and vicious and you use or it’s the circle argument or, you know, the you know, stuff from the past gets brought up and things like because nobody ever taught them emotionally neglectful parents never teach their kids how to have a discussion or a disagreement because unhealthy relationships that are not knockdown, drag out fights. I know Newsflash, ah, whoda thought? but it’s like unhealthy relationships. It’s like, it’s a discussion or it’s a disagreement. You know, it’s like you just you don’t agree. Okay, well, let me understand your point of view, please understand my point of view. Okay, let’s now find a mutually agreeable solution. That’s a healthy way of doing things in dysfunction. It’s like it’s really hard to get your thoughts across if you cannot put a name to what the problem is or to what the issue is or to what the emotion is. So that’s why discovering what emotions are is hugely important. Okay. Um, your conversations are mostly focused on facts, events or logistics. So there’s Little thoughts of feelings or, you know, it’s kind like wow, wouldn’t it be great if we could travel here and do that, that would be so awesome. I’d love to be on a beach, it would feel so warm and wonderful and happy. And, you know, there’s none of those thoughts. It’s very, you know, facts, figures, facts, figures kind of thing. Your spouse is not the first person you want to tell something when something great happens or a problem comes up because they don’t know how to respond if they are emotionally neglectful. So, you know, in other words, something great happens to you. And in a healthy relationship, your partner is like all yours, you know, John, and I do that all the time to each other. It’s like, our days even though we even though we work from home, and even though he’s in the office right next door, you know, we shut the door, we come out, we have dinner, and we talk about our day, you know, and how we’re feeling feelings. Feelings. Yeah, yeah, seriously feelings. So, you know, how did you feel? And what do you want to do it? Let’s go for a walk. And let’s talk and let’s do this. And let’s do that. And yeah, and emotionally neglectful. People don’t know how to do that.

Um, if you seek comfort from your spouse, they often say the wrong thing. So here’s the deal. Most people just want to be heard; most people just want to be heard. And I teach my couples this, you know, when I was working with couples, I don’t do couples anymore. It’s too hard. I’m, like herding cats. But I would teach them to ask for what they need when they start something. So you know, oftentimes, the person just needs to vent say, Hey, I don’t need anything. I don’t need a solution. I just need to vent. Is that cool? Do you have five minutes to for me to vent and then bla, and then okay. And then that person can be like, Wow, sounds like you had a really rough day, you know, or whatever. With somebody who doesn’t know how to communicate, they will try to pull up the toolbox to fix the problem, as opposed to just listening. And the reason they do that is because probably nobody ever just listened to them. So they don’t know how listening is an art guys. It really is. You know, it’s like you listen, you just and then you ask the person, what do you need? So, you know, when John and I talk, and he’s had a really rough day, and he’s done, I’ll look at him what do you need? How can I help put a need, you know, and then he’ll be like, Oh, I just wanted to tell you, Okay, you know, and snuggle bunny. Anyway, the point being is, most people just want to be heard. They just want to be validated. They just want to be heard. And that’s really important in any relationship, but it’s especially important in a romantic relationship is being heard the ability to hear and be heard, to absorb information and give back information to communicate clearly, to incorporate emotions in what you are discussing, because those are, that’s who we are. We are emotional beings. We just are unless there’s something really screwy going on.

Okay, um, you don’t feel like you’re on the same team. You often feel alone when you’re with your partner, it can be difficult to find something to talk about together. God, I, you know, John and I, back in the day when we would go cruise cruising because we’d go on cruise ships and stuff. There’ll be so many of these older couples that just hated each other, and you could kind of tell, and they would go eat, and they would sit there and absolute silence. And I’m just like, Wow, that’s crazy. I don’t ever want… Because you know, even though you’re on a cruise, like there’s still plenty to talk about, trust me. You know, I mean, it’s just crazy. Crazy. Crazy.

Okay, um, positive emotions, like love warmth, or emotional bonding feel awkward, or only happen during sex than Houston, there is a huge danger, enormous problem. Because that does impact your relationships. If you’re only being emotional when you’re being physically intimate, then yeah, you probably want to get couples counseling unless caveat, the person is an abuser. glad you mentioned that.

Here’s why you do you not want to go to couples counseling with an abuser. So let’s say that your partner is not just emotionally neglectful. They’re like, not interested in counseling, don’t want you to go etc, etc, etc. And so you decide you’re going to go see a counselor, right? They catch wind of it, because you’ve told them because remember, we overshare, right? They catch wind of it, what do they do? They show up to the counseling session and demand to be seen.

Kris Godinez  34:35

And a good counselor will say, Nope, I’m sorry, this is an individual session, and you need to fill out paperwork, and no, I’m not doing it, you know. And unfortunately, at that point, the abuser will then demand that the clients or the potential client, not go to counseling, etc, etc, etc. Because they don’t want the person to grow. They don’t want them to change. They don’t want them to heal. They don’t want them to get happy. That yeah, nope, they like status quo or they can abuse So you never, ever, ever, ever, not on this or any other planet Earth, want to go to a couple session with an abuser if there is abuse going on in your relationship, physical, mental, emotional, verbal, sexual, religious, etc. Do not go to counseling with them. Go get your own individual counselor and do not love God tell them that you aren’t going. So yeah, there it is. Ah, okay.

Okay, so we’re going to do the questions a wee bit different today because John is Bless his heart trying to get his mom settled into a care facility. So, I am going to quickly see if I can find the questions, and I’m really hoping that you put question in front of it, so I can see it. Oh, dear Lord. Oh, okay. Um, okay.

I have a very good friend who has been seeing a new guy for two years, but he hasn’t confirmed that they’re boyfriend and girlfriend and no sex. This has made my friend become anxious. Any advice? Hmm. she, should you talk to him? You know, what’s, what’s going on? What’s the deal? I would strongly suggest she probably go see a therapist and sort out what she’s thinking what she’s feeling. So, you know, and it’s a friend, you know, I don’t know, can’t tell what’s going on. Don’t have them in front of me. Um, kind of, you know, be be a sympathetic ear, but encourage her to work on self-esteem.

Kris Godinez  36:30

And, you know, if she’s anxious, why, you know, it’s like good relationships take time, which is good. No sex the whole time. Kind of weird. But you know, who knows? So discussions should be had open discussions would be a good thing. Okay.

Um, alright, how to cope with my own thoughts. emotional neglect. That’s not so bad. Get over it. Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. They’re coming from parental slash cultural minimization of emotional neglect. emotional neglect is just as bad as getting black eyes it is guys it is because it hurts the kids sense of self. So, the way to cope with the minimizing that we do, because we do we all do, all of us have done that. So, it’s not that bad. Oh, at least they didn’t hit me. Oh, you know, bah, bah, bah, we come up with excuses. So, the way to cope with that is to work on self-esteem, self-esteem, self-esteem, self-esteem, self-esteem, you absolutely want to work on your self-esteem. Because people with good self-esteem recognize their worth. There’s a whole section in the Schroll the book, the self-esteem workbook by Glenn Schiraldi, that is about your worth your value your worth, you have intrinsic value and worth just by existing Hello. But that’s not something that we get from neglectful parents. And when a parent is telling us that we don’t deserve good things, or that we shouldn’t feel this way or whatever, you got to validate your own feelings. So, when you do the mirror work, you’re gonna look at yourself and say, Hi, good to see you have a great day, you know what your feelings are valid, it was real, it happened, it was real, and you have a right to feel. And then walk out. So that’s what you’re going to do, you’re also going to write and burn, you’re going to journal and you’re going to validate yourself, every time you have an emotion validate it, I have a right to feel angry, I have a right to feel sad, I have a right to feel happy, I have a right to feel whatever you’re feeling. So that’s what you’re gonna do.

Okay, the journaling never seems to end you are correct, it is a lifelong thing. Because it’s like peeling the layers of an onion, it is peeling the layers of an onion, you know, it’s kind of like, the way I describe it. It’s like a spring, you know, the spring kind of coils up. So, you may be going over familiar territory, but it’s different. It’s on a different level. And you’re peeling the layers of an onion, you’re just working through all of that stuff. And that’s the sucky thing with having to deal with neglectful parents is that a lot of times we’re not even aware that there’s a problem until we try to have a relationship or until we become adults. And we’re out dealing in the in the outside world. And we see all these people having emotions and having relationships and, you know, being able to discuss things and things like that. We’re like, oh, oh, oh, oh, you know, and then we start working on our family of origin, and realizing, oh, there’s, there’s a lot here that needs to be fixed before I start looking outside and trying to find a partner. So um, yeah, the journaling does go on pretty much a lifetime because you will always if you’re lucky, you’re always going to be discovering new things about yourself, or uncovering things that you would like to work on or uncovering things that you want to do. So, you know, for for me, it’s I had kind of a smack in the face the other night, actually, last night, because I was thinking about, you know, the situation in the world. And I was so angry at Putin that I was like, God, why can’t that mother Clucker just drop dead? And then I went, Oh, Kris. Girl you should be doing the metta meditation. It was like oh, what are you doing? So, I went back to the meta meditation instead of handing my peace over to this jerk that’s causing all this death and suffering. I did the metta meditation, which is you wish yourself freedom from suffering. So basically the metta meditation is May I be May I have peace? May I have freedom from suffering? May I have all that I need food shelter companionship, may I have peace? You do that about five times. And then you move on to a neutral person so may my waitresses have peace. May they have freedom from suffering. May they have all that they need food, shelter, companionship. And then I got to Putin.

Kris Godinez  40:42

Oh my god. It was like so hard to get out of my mouth. But I did it. May Putin had peace. May Putin have freedom from suffering because that’s what’s causing all the problems may have all that he needs food shelter companionship, may Putin have peace. Now, here’s the beautiful thing. I’m not saying may he get away with it. Peace can be anything from he figures it out to he drops dead. You know what I’m saying? So, you know, it’s just instead of hanging on to the anger, you got to just let it go acknowledge it for what it is. Yes, I’m angry. Yes, I have a right to be angry. Yes. I don’t like what I’m seeing happening over there. And here’s what I can do about it. I’ll do a metta meditation. There we go. And now I am letting it go. And that’s hard for us because we have a tendency to oh, I want this change. Now, I mean, honestly, don’t we all. But you know, okay, this is what I can do. This is what I can’t do. So I’m going to do what I can do. There we go. So there that is, okay. Um, let’s see.

Okay, whenever I do something to assert my independence, my father comes unglued. Oh, isn’t that interesting? I fear his coming unglued reaction so much that I have started avoiding doing stuff to just avoid chaos, what do I do? Okay, here’s the deal, you do it anyway, you’ve got to get away from them, the thing of it is, is that they don’t want us to be independent, especially abusive parents that are really getting a lot of narcissistic supply over torturing you, or seeing you stuck or hurting you or harming you or doing whatever. So, um, so what you want to do is you want to get away from them and not share with them what you are doing, you absolutely do not want to share with them your plans, you do not want to share with them your thoughts you do not want to share with them your steps to become independent, because they will sabotage it. They absolutely will by coming unglued, making you wrong, putting you down making fun of it, you know, things like that. So, it’s the hardest thing for us, I think when we’re leaving an abusive family is to not over share, or when we’re leaving an abuser, because oftentimes things will get heated. And we’ll want to hurt them. And so, we’ll you know, tell them, Well, I’m going to leave you Oh, don’t tell them that now they’re going to make sure you can’t. Now they’re going to sabotage your money. Now they’re going to lose their job. Now they’re going to keep track of you. Now they’re going to put a tracking device on you. Now they’re going to you can’t tell them what you’re going to do guys, you can’t it’s going to hurt you. Trust me on that one. So, you want to stop oversharing get with a good therapist, share with a therapist, what you’re going to do. Share with a therapist, have the therapist help you develop an escape plan. Have the therapist help you develop a safety plan, have the therapist get you the social services that you need to get the hell away. But do not for the love of God and all that is holy, share your escape with your abuser, whether that’s your parent or whether that’s your romantic partner or your boss, or anything. So, I just worked recently with some clients that were leaving this incredibly toxic job. And I told him I said, Hey, you know what, it’s right to work state. You don’t technically have to give them two weeks, you could just walk out and they can’t do gently diddly squat about it. So they did.

Kris Godinez  44:11

And it was like the best thing ever because the boss was crazy, you know, and was you know, wanting to punish them and all sorts of stuff. And legally the boss does not have a leg to stand on. So, um, John just told me there’s a there’s an airline in Reno called Aha that’s funny. Um, anyway, uh, so you want to not share your successes with them. You don’t and I know that’s hard because it’s like they’re your parent. And you would think that they would be happy that you’re getting independent that you want to leave that you want to grow that you want to whatever No, they don’t they trust me honey they don’t so you got to stop sharing with them. Get with a good therapist. Share with them, get a safety plan together figure a way to get away from them. That’s what you want to do.

Um I feel like I can’t breathe when I start talking about childhood trauma totally common. Oh my gosh, because we’ve got PTSD guys, we’ve got C PTSD, complex post-traumatic stress disorder. So, it happened over and over and over and over and over again. And so, our amygdala is remember, our amygdala is left side right side, little almond shaped organ that sits about an inch inside of each year, this little guy stupid. It’s our fight flight freeze or fawn center. So, when the amygdala it senses, threats. And the threat can be as simple as talking about the trauma or reliving the trauma or bringing the trauma back up or seeing a trigger hearing a trigger, smelling a trigger tasting a trigger. You know, a trigger happens. This little guy lights up like a Christmas tree tells the hippocampus hypothalamus. Oh my god, we’re in danger again. These two guys tell the body to release cortisol. Cortisol is our stress hormone; we start tensing up. And that cuts off everything here and it makes it really hard to talk. Plus, the fact how many times have our abuser said we don’t air our dirty laundry. We don’t. Don’t you tell anybody about that… Oh, screw that noise? Yeah, no, you you need to shout it from the rooftops. You need to get used to being like, yeah, this happened. Yeah, they did this. Uh huh. I’m not I’m not the secret keeper. Thank you. You know what I’m saying. But they we do that because of all BS messages that we got from our abuser of don’t talk. Don’t tell anybody. It’s the family secret. Yada, yada, yada. You know it just so journaling often helps. Give yourself permission. Hi, good to see you have a great day. It’s okay for you to be heard. It’s okay for you to talk about all this stuff. It’s okay. In fact, it’s necessary. It’s okay. I give you permission to speak. It’s okay. Give yourself permission. Give yourself permission because it was so much non permission.

Kris Godinez  47:05

Okay. Hmm. Did I lose my spot again? Oh my god. Wait a minute, here we go body keeps score is a great book.

How do I convince my wounded inner child that I am the one she should listen to? And not her inner critical parents. Okay. So when the inner critic pops up, you just shut it down. Like seriously? It why cuz you say so. And it’s not going to be one and done, guys. It’s gonna take a few months. Seriously, consistent, consistent work of this thing pops up and goes, Ah, not good enough. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Thank you for your input. Shut the bleep up. Why? Because you say so. You say so. You are You are the boss of this. This is not the boss of you. You know what? I am good enough. Why? Because I say so. I am the boss; I get to love me. I get to love me. I get to I do not have to do what my parents did. You are not doomed to hear your parents in your head the rest of your life. You’re not, you’re just not. So, there is that. So yeah, you start you start giving yourself permission. Every single time the negative comes up, you replace it immediately with the polar opposite. And why? Because you’re the boss. You own this. This does not own you. Practice daily. The other thing you can do, and this is something that Shiraldi also talks about in his book, you write down what your thoughts are. So, in one column, you write down all of the negative nasty inner critic crappy stuff. And in the next column, you challenge it, you know, so let’s say it goes Oh, you’re not enough. Bla, bla, bla. Oh, okay. My inner critic is sick. I’m not enough. Oh, well guess why I am. Why? Because I say so. Have a nice day. Go pound sand. You know what I’m saying? So yeah, you want to do that challenge. Challenge it, challenge it. And why? Because you see, so you are the boss. So, there is that? Um, okay, and you always be gentle with your inner child. Your inner child is terrified. So, remember that it’s it’s you want to comfort you want to heal when it’s okay. Right? Your inner child love letter. Hey, little six-year-old me, you know what you deserve to be heard? I’m really sorry, the dad was just not present enough and was abusive enough to tell you that you weren’t. I apologize. Not, not our fault, kiddo. Not our fault. You deserve to be heard. It’s okay. And oftentimes I tell clients, you know, let’s work with that part of that inner child and they’ll just start bawling because that part of them has never been acknowledged or has never been allowed to speak. So yeah. Really, really, really important.

Um, okay, going through, how do you work through not asking for help? That’s a hard one guys. I had I struggle with that one myself still to this day. So basically, what it is, is when you’re faced with a situation where you probably should ask for help. You kind of have to do a little bit of detective work. It’s like okay, well, do I need to ask for help? Yeah, I Do Oh, I really don’t want to ask for help. And I could feel that in my gut when I said that. So, this is again, this is like the fear center is your gut. So, it’s like, Oh, why do I need to ask for help? Well, what’s happened in the past? I would ask for help, and none would come. And so, I learned to rely on myself alone. So, what you do is you go ahead and you ask for help.

Kris Godinez  50:25

And you kind of work through that fear. And it’s like, okay, well, if they don’t help, I’ll figure it out. You know, so there’s always that backup. You want to self-comfort, self soothe, you know, Hey, it’s okay to ask for help. Hi, have a great day. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay. Trust your gut. It’s Okay. It’s okay to ask for help. And so a lot of times there’s that. No, it’s not. No, it’s not. Okay. Take a deep breath. What happened when you asked for help? When you were a kid? Oh, mom or dad did the polar opposite. Do your mom or dad go pound sand! I’m going to ask for help. Guess why? Because I want to be a full human being Thank you. Trot it out to the barbecue Burnet, that kind of thing. So, it takes time. It takes time, and you’re not being a burden. And we’ve all gotten that. Everyone that’s been raised by a narcissist by an abuser, Cluster B, they have all gotten the you’re a burden thing. And that’s because who’s the real burden? The abuser? The abusers, the real burden, the abusers, the one you have to walk on eggshells around the abusers, the one that makes you shut yourself down and shut up and not speak. That’s a burden. You know, in a healthy family. There’s freedom. There’s freedom. So yeah, so you just start reminding yourself, you have a right you have a right to be heard. You have a right to ask for help. And scary. Yeah, because you probably feel pretty young. When you’re contemplating asking for help. I know that’s where I go because that’s where I got shut down. So, you just comfort that inner one and a little inner one. And then you just keep doing what you need to do to ask for help. If none is coming, okay, I need to find something else different or I need to ask a different person. Or maybe I need to do it for myself. I’m not sure but I’m really proud of myself for actually asking for help. There you go. It’s hard guys. It is and it’s it’s lifelong. This this is not a one and done guys. It’s it’s a lifelong journey.

Okay, how to break the trauma bonds with narc parents. It disgusts me how I’m always worried about them, but they just don’t give a damn about me ever. I want the cycle to end for good, okay, so parents are going to abusive parents are going to continue that trauma bond as long as they can. So, you’re gonna have to get away from them, you’re gonna have to stop playing their games. So, the trauma bond happens when the abuser does the I love you, I love you, I love you. I hate you, I hate you, I hate you. I love you. Hate you, love you ,hate you. And then we start living for those times when they’re good, or they’re normal, or they’re happy or bearable, or whatever. So, what I did honest to God, and if you read my book, where is it, I put it over here somewhere what’s wrong with your dad, I moved as far away from them as I possibly could. So, at first, I moved from one end of California to the other. And then John and I got together and then we moved up to Oregon. And then we moved to Arizona, and we stayed the heck away. Because we knew that if we were close to either one of our families, it would be a drama cluster. Cluck, you know what I’m saying? Because they need that they need drama, and they need control and they need manipulation the way the rest of us need air, you know, and healthy normal, people don’t want that, ain’t nobody got time for that. If this world is so big and so beautiful, there’s so many awesome things to be doing, you don’t have time to be trauma bonded to an abuser. So basically, I did stay in touch with them. But it was incredibly low contact. I would call once a month, you know, and I would leave it at that. At least with my dad. It was like once a month with my mom, I called more often. But um, yeah, with my dad, it was like once a month, and you know, arm’s length. And there we go. And I knew what to expect. And I was working with a therapist at the time, Fabian Smith up in Oregon, and yeah, and I knew that my dad was never going to change never going to get better. And that the best way to go was low to no contact, I decided for low contact. And so that’s what you want to do. And you just want to stay the hell away.

And you don’t have to move across country. That was a choice that I did just because I like to travel. And I like living in new places. So, but what you can do is if you live in the same town, you decide when you want to see them and if you want to see them, you go with your guard up knowing that they’re going to do those intermittent positive rewards, and you decide how soon you want to leave. So, you don’t have to go at all period, and you don’t have to stay so let’s say They’re constantly inviting you over right will come over, come over, come over, be busy. Be busy you’re an adult most adults that I know have got a life and they’ve got things to do. But you know abusive parents are always expecting their kids to drop everything for them. Don’t you do it you’ve got a life nope sorry I’ve got plans that weekend. nope sorry I can’t come over I’ve got plans yeah and then you do it like once a month you know if you feel the need to keep the connection, I don’t know why you would but you know if you feel the need to keep the connection then you limit it, limit it, limit it you are under no obligation to go spend time with them. So, remember fear obligation and guilt fog you don’t want that you don’t want to be suffering from the fog so and because that keeps you hooked into that trauma bonding so part of the way to break the trauma bonding is to not be around them limit your contact with them go low contact go no contact get with a damn good trauma therapist start working on what keeps you hooked. What are you hoping for? What is the little kid inside hoping for? You want to work on the inner child workbook by Katherine Taylor you want to work on the self-esteem workbook by Glenn Schiraldi boundaries the disease to please by Harriet breaker. All right, my love’s you guys go have a great week. Take good care yourselves. Drink plenty of water and talk to you later.

Thank you so much for listening to this podcast. You can always listen live on YouTube every week Sunday at noon, Arizona Mountain Standard Time. And if you want to find out more or listen to other episodes, you can go to Krisgodinez.com and if you have a chance, subscribe to this show on whatever podcast app you use and let other people know about. I want to thank my sponsor betterhelp.com. They are an online therapy company. Whether you are in the US or international. They will set you up with a qualified licensed therapist. PhD level or Master’s level. If you are interested in more information, go to betterhelp.com/krisgodinez.

You’ve been listening to the podcast version of We Need To Talk with Kris Godinez.


Related Episodes

07-23-2023 Bad Behavior in Parenting

In this episode of We Need To Talk With Kris Godinez, Kris discusses bad parenting that we experienced from our dysfunctional families of origin and the possible fleas that we picked up.