It’s common for an adult to overeat in order to fill an emotional void. While overeating may be an unconscious attempt to remaster emotional turmoil, it falls short, because it is not actual empathy or understanding.
Retail therapy or a tendency to overspend may be an unconscious way for an adult to seek out the validation that was absent in childhood. A child who grew up without affirmation regarding who he or she was may long for approval in adulthood. As an adult, a person who spends a lot of money on himself or herself may be after validation from others.
Garnering admiration may be an attempt to remaster the discomfort of wondering if he or she is worthy. Yet the accolades that are gained through appearances and material possessions often ring hollow. A person needs to be known and loved for who they are.
Blaming an adult’s mistakes on a parent’s inadequacies is not the answer, nor is using the past as a license to mistreat people in the present. Understanding how childhood experiences impact a person’s sense of self may be critical in healing and extinguishing the dysfunctional behaviors that a person doesn’t understand.
Also, if you are a parent, try to remember that feelings are the essence of a child. A parent who is emotionally attuned and can honor a child’s feelings, but also follow through with expectations, redirection, reassurance, or encouragement is better able to help the child feel secure.
This may serve the child well as an adult. A need to remain in a toxic relationship hoping for change, eating to fill an emotional void, or spending money to elicit affirmation may not be necessary. If an insecure attachment with a parent exists, a person may attempt psychotherapy to address and heal from childhood wounds in order to avoid reenactments.
You can read Dr. Erin Leonard’s book “Emotional Terrorism, Breaking The Chains of A Toxic Relationship” to know more about this, and you can get it here. She has several other books to her credit, and you can check them out here.
Written By Erin Leonard
Originally Appeared In Psychology Today
Emotional abuse from parents is something that is hard to move on from. Parents are the ones who are responsible for shaping and guiding their children and their future. So when parents become emotionally abusive,it can have long-term and even permanent effects on adults. Getting the right kind of help and support is the best thing you can do for yourself, if you are someone who has gone through something like this.
If you want to know more about emotionally abusive parenting, then check this video out below: