ACoAs: Loneliness in Childhood (Part 1)

neglected children

how harmful neglect can be!

PREVIOUS: Childhood Loneliness (Part 1)

SITESigns & Symptoms of Chronic Loneliness

1. “NORMAL” Stressors
LONELINESS (L) is an inevitable result of any form of PMES loss.
The following are some things all kids can experience – the key to how well they survive is whether or not they’re helped thru these difficulties with accurate information & appropriate emotional support. If not, these events can leave long-lasting scars.

Consider the Loneliness of….
Abuses:  bullied by a sibling, at school, on the playground, in the neighborhood, mistreatment by school or religious leaders
Deaths: of a parent, other important family member, a beloved petblack boy crying

Limitations : learning disabilities (ADD, Dyslexia…), being poorer than others, not learning social skills
Losses: divorce, BFF leaving, falling out with a friend, loss of favorite family member, teacher or neighbor…

Major changes : birth of one or more siblings, one or more moves (home, school, country)
Positives: looking ‘different’, being smarter than most others, having a special skill, having more things than others…

2. CATEGORIES of Loneliness (L)
• Chronic, or trait: more ingrained, part of a person’s lifestyle & therefore not easily relieved (whether alone or with others, being afraid & mistrustful of others, full of S-H….).  It doesn’t matter what actually goes on in their environment, the experience of L. is always there

External / social isolation: experienced when people lack a wider social network, not feeling part of a community, not having friends or allies they can rely on in times of distress

Internal / emotional isolation: insufficient or inappropriate attachment, originally to parents & other caregivers. Even securely attached children, when away from caretakers, express separation-distress such as crying, searching for the parent, having a tantrum or being withdrawn.
As adults, it’s the distress of being separated for too long from romantic or other deep connections

Transient, or state: temporary, caused by something in one’s environment which can be relieved relatively easily & quickly (replacing a pet, temporary illness, a short trip…)

lonely gil in rain3. Loneliness from Family DYSFUNCTION
Research over the past 15 years concluded that an ongoing pattern of abandonment (Ab.) loneliness poses a serious threat to a person’s mental health & social functioning.
– In children it’s associated with being victimized at home & by peers, leading to severe shyness or aggression
– In adults it’s been linked with depression, alcoholism, obesity, & suicide  (MORE…)

GENERAL causes in childhood:
• Feeling unloved & unworthy of love, even if they said they loved us
• No one could be trusted, not reliable, consistent, honest, direct
• The sense of not belonging anywhere & that nowhere was safe
• Little or no comfort from anyone, & ultimately – feeling unwanted!

🔹 Unhealed ACoAs are fear-based, caused by the loneliness of daily childhood abandonment, which is at the root of neediness. We’re still starving for the nurturing we didn’t get – still longing & desperate for it, whether we admit it to ourselves or not.  We’ve been slowly dying inside from the lack of warmth, concern, touch, protection… ever since we were very tiny.

🔻This next category lists some of the many ways our alcoholic, narcissistic family & other groups abandoned us (Ab.) in Physical, Mental, Emotional & Spiritual (PMES) ways.

no teachera. Parental NEGLECT
Consider the Ab. loneliness of….
…. (T) not having anyone to teach, guide, set an example – about how to do things
…. (E) always being alone with your emotions, especially the painful ones
…. (A) not having anyone to do things with, play with, enjoy the good things in life

b. About our PARENT(s)
Consider the Ab. loneliness of….
…. watching them self-destruct, & not being able to stop them, no matter how hard you tried, but you kept trying anyway, always disintegrationfeeling like a failure

Consider the Ab. loneliness of….
….. having to play ‘god’, be responsible for the adults for their day-to-day physical needs, & sometimes for their very life – or ‘just’ their emotional survival.  You needed them to stay alive, to stop hurting themselves, so they could be the parents you needed – but it never worked!

NEXT: Loneliness in Childhood – #2

4 thoughts on “ACoAs: Loneliness in Childhood (Part 1)

  1. Thanks for writing this post. Neglect in all of these different forms was a huge part of my past. I always figured that since it wasn’t overtly abusive that is was not a big deal – yet I carry the consequences. Now I see why. It’s seriously damaging.


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