The Cost of Neglect with Enod Gray

Therapist and counselor Enod Gray joins the show today to talk about how people are affected by neglect. She and Rob discuss the types of family dynamics that often lead to neglect, how people are affected by neglect, and what solutions are out there for folks dealing with this painful and under-discussed subject. Enod is based in Houston and offers counseling through her True Self Transitions business. She also discusses her new book, Neglect — The Silent Abuser and how one can begin to heal from childhood neglect.   TAKEAWAYS: [3:01] Neglect often goes undetected and unrecognized. While clients report overt abuse, neglect can be so foundational in so many issues. When neglect happens pre-verbally in a child's development, there is typically a feeling of emptiness and pain that feels as though it comes from an unknown source. [5:03] Enod names the types of situations where neglect most occurs in families. Some of the biggest ones are: When a family has a sick or handicapped child that gets the parent’s attention. When there is another sibling that is very talented in one area and it overshadows the others. Mental illness/addiction in the family. Really large families causing children to get “lost in the shuffle”. A child that was a mistake. A child that was a “miracle baby”, and the parents have everything planned. This causes the child to miss out on developing their true self. [10:21]  A few crucial elements for the neglected to heal: they must go within themselves and tell the truth about what happened, and how they are going to reenact now in the present day. They must seek professional help for distractions/addictions, learn to play, and learn proper boundaries. [13:28] It often is tough for neglected people to trust others and to find an intimate connection. This isolate, in turn, can lead to depression and anxiety, so it is very important for them to find ways to connect. [16:26] Addiction can take on many forms. A few examples can be sexual addiction, the addiction to work and achieve, love addiction, or a need to prove themselves worthy so they can find “the one”. [20:02] It can be tough for men to deal with the true pain and grief neglect causes, as society tells them to be strong and stoic.   RESOURCES: Sex and Relationship Healing @RobWeissMSW Sex Addiction 101 Cruise Control: Understanding Sex Addiction in Gay Men Prodependence: Moving Beyond Codependency True Self Transitions Neglect — The Silent Abuser   QUOTES: “Children need guidance, but they don’t need to be told how to feel.” “It doesn’t take much to hurt a child’s little soul and make them feel as though they shouldn’t be here.” “Inside every human being is the desire for connection.” “You have to know where you end and the other begins. First you have to know who you are.” “Allowing yourself to cry and allowing yourself to grieve is a strength, not a weakness.”

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