- I don't know what I feel or what I want.
- I'm numb a lot of the time.
- It's like I have no emotions.
- I can't really remember my childhood.
- I feel empty inside.
- I'm depressed but I don't know why.
- Why am I here? What am I supposed to be doing?
- Shouldn't I feel happier and more fulfilled?
In Running on Empty: Overcoming Your Childhood Emotional Neglect, Dr. Jonice Webb identifies the widespread, but little understood, phenomenon of Childhood Emotional Neglect.
It's not about what happened to you as a child, it's about what failed to happen for you as a child. It's an extremely subtle, almost invisible factor and it disrupts one's life in untold ways. Mostly the feeling is: Empty.
It's a feeling of something absent or missing inside of you, of being different, set apart, alone, lacking, numb. This is a feeling that can drive people to do a myriad of unhealthy things, like overeat, overdrink, over-shop, or use drugs. This is a feeling which gradually, quietly erodes a person’s joy, energy and confidence. It flies under the radar, and carries with it a tremendous power to degrade your quality of life.
It can be very confusing because often people who feel these ways grew up in relatively healthy, happy homes. So why would I feel this way?? There must be something wrong with me. This is the first book to give this experience a name and delve into the profound and often perplexing ways it influences our adult satisfaction and happiness.
You can find much more information on Dr. Jonice's website, Emotionalneglect.com.