The Impact of Our Family of Origin
In addition to external societal and cultural pressures, many of us were raised in dysfunctional families by damaged caregivers. These caregivers had little or no patience, room or permission for us to be allowed to cry (“You better stop that crying before I give you something to cry about!”) or to be cranky, have a tantrum or an angry outburst (“You go to your room, young lady, until you can act civilly!”).
We have rarely gotten to experience the truth about feelings. Namely, that they are the energy of life, neither good nor bad in themselves, meant to be felt and expressed (safely). That all feelings, when allowed, have a natural trajectory: they build to a crescendo and then diminish and fall away.
Those of us raised by damaged caregivers – who often had little tolerance for the normal neediness of their children – learned very early to do without support and to believe that any needfulness was shameful. To be safe, we cut off from, suppressed or abandoned these needy, upset, sad or angry parts of our selves; unattended, they live on hidden away inside of us.