If you had one or more parents that were often rejecting, distant or self-centred, you have probably experienced anger, low self-esteem and a reduced ability to make good decisions at times in your life.  The reason being is that when one has a parent with these traits that child usually experiences unmet needs and a deficit of emotional care that creates many life challenges.

When you have an emotionally immature (EI) parent you may experience a feeling of loneliness even into adulthood. The loneliness you experienced in childhood when you felt misunderstood, unsupported and dismissed can make it hard to connect to others when it is time to venture out in the real world.

When you have an EI parent, it is often the case that parent/child roles are reversed.  Whilst healthy development maintains that the child must be made to feel special and nurtured, it is the emotionally immature parent that demands special treatment in this relationship. An emotionally immature parent displays arrested emotional development that effects their capacity for empathy.

The EI parent is not able to see you for who you are or recognise you for your individuality, in fact, they are often threatened by it. They will make dream crushing or demoralising remarks and conversations may feel one-sided and infuriating.  Shame and Guilt are common archetypal wounds felt by those with an EI parent.  The EI parent’s judgement of you is a form of gaslighting that teaches you to doubt yourself which directly compromises your decision-making skills. This kind of parent also teaches you to dissociate from your real emotions often leading to poor decision making in areas such as career choice or relationships.

The never-ending dismissive comments, defensiveness and controlling behaviours, can feel extremely disempowering and even devastating. You may wait for an apology that never comes. You may find yourself even envious of others who have parents that are emotionally nurturing and accepting.  It is often hard for other family members to understand as this behaviour becomes a normalised way of being within the family.

The EI parent tends to see you as an extension of themselves and may dismiss any difference of opinion or different aptitudes that you may have.  Not only is this egocentric behaviour humiliating but this level of self-absorbtion prevents any real authentic connection between parent and child.   A relationship with an emotionally immature parent generally feels superficial and shallow.

When you get to the point in life where you realise this behaviour will never change and emotional development is something your EI parent is just not interested in working on, it may be experienced as a loss with symptoms similar to grief.  The relationship you want with your parent may never be due to their inability to grow up emotionally. When this time comes strong boundaries need to be implemented and a re-parenting of self needs to happen to survive.  I am here to help with this if that is what you are going through.