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A much needed article! I grew up with both parents displaying Asperger traits (but not diagnosed), and it was like growing up in an environtment where emotions were considered unuseful, and my siblings and I were neglected to the point of child abuse.

I had a deep-rooted feeling of being unloved and invisible (no hugs, no curiosity of my parents to get to know me or what was going on in my life) something that was so hard to bear as a child, that I learned to block out my emotions completely. I built up a feeling of self-worth based on my performance, and turned into an over-achiever. It felt like I had to be a grown-up taking care of myself already at age 6, trying to make sense of the world, learning how to relate outside of the home.

Needless to say, I have suffered psychological damage not being related to in a normal way growing up (I even had anorexia at age 14 without my parents noticing). At the age of 38 I am finally getting to know what it feels like to have self-esteem, to have the right to my emotions and to exist, be me. It's like I've had to go through a lot of layers of shock and trauma, and learn what is the normal way to relate. I've felt so isolated having needs that I now understand are perfectly normal. It has taken many years of therapy to get where I am today, and it is only recently that I figured out that my mother's inability for empathy, to understand emotions, facial expressions and body language might be a neurological handicap. It has been very hard to recover from this type of emotional neglect, but it is worth it knowing I can feel good and healthy for what is left of my life.

May 22, 2010 - 11:05am


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