Unmasking 5 Triggers for Adults Grappling with Childhood Emotional Neglect

Hey there! Life is like a wild rollercoaster for everyone. But if you’ve lived through childhood emotional neglect (CEN), it’s more like navigating through an unpredictable maze, blindfolded. The wounds from this past experience might be invisible, but they’re deeply etched into your everyday life, often in surprising ways. So, how about we untangle this complexity together?

Understanding Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN)

First off, let’s clarify what we mean by CEN. Childhood emotional neglect happens when your emotional needs were overlooked or not adequately addressed growing up. This might be because your feelings were rarely acknowledged or perhaps your emotional growth wasn’t nurtured. Because of this, certain everyday situations can end up causing unexpected discomfort or stress, transporting you back to the emotionally neglectful environment you knew as a child.

With that out of the way, let’s jump into these tricky situations, or as we’ll call them – trigger points.

Trigger Points for CEN

1. Spending Time with Your Parents

Engaging with your parents, or even just talking or thinking about them, can sometimes feel like you’re walking on eggshells. If the same parents are still emotionally neglectful, these encounters can feel like reliving past experiences of emotional neglect, leaving you feeling tense and uncomfortable.

2. Confronting Strong Emotions

Next up is situations where strong emotions come into play. As someone who grew up in an environment where feelings were swept under the carpet, you might find yourself trying to escape or feeling agitated when emotions rise to the surface.

3. Encountering Conflict

Conflict can stir up a whirlpool of emotions, which can be overwhelming if you’re not accustomed to dealing with them. So, your default mode might be to steer clear of conflicts altogether. While this might feel like the safer route, it could lead to unresolved issues and strained relationships.

4. Seeking Help

Fourth on our list is asking for help. For many people with CEN, this is a huge struggle. This could be because expressing needs or asking for help was often discouraged or overlooked in your past, leading you to keep your problems to yourself.

5. Situations that Others Might Find Ordinary

Last but not least, seemingly regular situations might trigger feelings of discomfort for you. These could be anything from social gatherings to intimate settings. Sometimes, even seemingly harmless comments or actions can evoke feelings of emotional neglect from your past.

As you brave life with these invisible CEN scars, recognising these triggers is your first step towards healing. Remember, it’s okay to feel not okay, and reaching out for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Though these wounds are deep, they don’t have to define you. Uncovering your trigger points can empower you to face your past, understand your feelings, and navigate your way towards a more emotionally fulfilling future.

Seeking Help

If any of the mentioned triggers resonate with you or if you’re feeling overwhelmed by your emotions, remember that professional help is available. A trained therapist can provide you with tools and strategies to understand your feelings better and to deal with situations that might trigger you. Therapists can also support you in building healthier relationships with yourself and others.

Remember, acknowledging your emotions and seeking help is not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of courage and self-care. By understanding the roots of your feelings, you can begin to break free from the bonds of your past and start your journey towards healing.

That’s it for today! We’ve only just scratched the surface of this topic. Feel free to drop any questions, thoughts, or experiences you’d like to share. Remember, this is a safe space and you’re not alone in this journey.


We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


©2024 Counsellors One

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account