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    cnjourney
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    Hi, I relatively new to the world of trauma and emotional neglect. I’m wondering how to open up to people I’m dating about this? Of course, it’s all in the way you phrase it and explain it. Any help would be appreciated.

     

    thanks!

    Hi cnjourney,

     

    While I have not experienced significant trauma or emotional neglect, I think the most important thing to consider here is how you feel about sharing  your story. Your story is yours, and you are no under no obligation to share until if/when you feel ready. When you choose to share it with a partner, my best advice is be authentic and honest–the way you would be about anything else. If they are a good match for you, they will understand.

     

    Best of luck!

    Hi cnjourney,

    Sounds so painful and overwhelming to be starting your journey of healing from trauma and emotional neglect, while also dating.

    You sound like a very strong person, and I admire you coming here for support.

    I hear your question is how or what to say about your journey to a stranger or someone you are dating. Is that right?

    Firstly, I don’t know what kind of background you are from, but if you have a Rabbi to guide you, I have found that to be very helpful in knowing when and what to say.

    Since you say that you are new to this, I’m assuming that it might take some time for you to accept who you are, the people in your life and where you are holding. Do I have that right?

    Please know that your past DOES NOT DEFINE YOU. You are so much bigger, deeper and greater than the trauma and neglect you’ve been through.

    When I’m trying to get to know someone new, I like to put my best foot forward and let them see the real me. I like to let all my inner strengths and qualities shine. When I feel truthfully respected for who I truthfully am, then the emotional baggage won’t be like a “burden to unload”, rather just some “luggage G-D gave me to grow”.

    I need to feel that in myself first before I can give it over to others.

    So cnjourney, what does this trauma and neglect mean to you?

    What can you do to empower yourself with the notion that “this doesn’t define me”?

    I invite you to let your true colors shine while dating- all your amazing strengths and inner qualities.

    I acknowledge you for getting the support you need to continue to live a happy and productive life and build a beautiful home.

     

    Dear cnjourney,

    Being emotionally neglected impacts your ability to register feelings. When someone asks “how do you feel about that?” which is likely to happen on a date,  you probably don’t know how you feel and don’t know how to answer the question.

    Dating for the purpose of building a relationship with someone,  someone you can marry,  necessitates being able to share all sorts of things like your life experiences and your belief system. But most of all,  relationships require you to share your self.  Being emotionally neglected makes it hard to know your self.  This is what you need to focus on – getting to know your self. Once you’ve done that,  you’ll be able to share your self with someone whom you want to know on an intimate level.

    If you’ve done the work already and have learned the language of feelings  and how to express your own,  then taking about emotional neglect will come up effortlessly during the flow of all those DMCs that happen while dating someone seriously.

    Wishing you well on your journey.  If you get lost along the way, don’t forget that there are people who know the way and can direct you.

    Michelle

     

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