On Neglect

For individuals who have endured ‘invisible’ childhood traumas of chronic misattunement,
deprivation or neglect, but do not yet have the perspective to identify or label them as
such, these templates assume additional damaging power as they become deeply
threaded into the fibers of personality with little or no awareness of their historic or
relational roots. These emotional and behavioral grooves then give rise to endless,
unconscious re-enactments that feed a vicious cycle of stigma, shame, stuck-ness and
confusion. Furthermore, victims of the hidden trauma of neglect often shoulder the burden
of blame, attributing their deprivation to an internal flaw in their own natures. For a child
who has had impoverished mirroring in his primary attachment relationships, his capacity
for internal recognition is often compromised, with his vision of himself distorted or frail.
This internalized invisibility, in turn, can forge an incomplete life narrative, pocked with
gaps, “dead spots,” and chronic feelings of alienation and emptiness.

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