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unloved as a child

Heartache & Family

| TJ Gibbs |

What is family to you? The dictionary definition of family is:

  1. a group consisting of two parents and their children living together as a unit. (the dictionary definitley needs updating!)
  2. all the descendants of a common ancestor.

These are factual not emotional references yet for many when we talk about “Family” we are talking about those that we hope to have a bond with and crave acceptance and understanding from.

Many adult’s issues with love, including self-love , manifest from how they grew up feeling about themselves within their family. Many understand a broken heart from a romantic viewpoint but what about when your heart breaks from feeling abandoned and rejected, unwanted or unloved from those that you call “family”. This is a painful journey that can affect any relationships outside the birth unit and is for many, the key source of much pain and soul sadness.

unloved as a childAs a Love therapist and coach I see many who are “broken” on the inside and manifesting their pain on the outside. Possibly suppressing pain with drugs, self harm, alcohol,sex, poor life and love choices and other soul destroying behaviour, which can ultimately be traced back to the clients suppressed feelings of being “unloved” as a child.  

This feeling of being unworthy or not loveable can grow into adulthood and many find themselves emotionally unavailable for relationships or end up attracting others who are unavailable to be loved as they continue to carry that unloved inner child with them through life.

Family is normally understood to be a group of blood relatives. However as a result of the breakdown of the “normal” family unit referred to in the dictionary and with the increase in people not marrying or getting divorced many now look outside relatives to hold in value as “family”. Whether that be a partner, friends or in cases of gangs those that they can “relate to” as the hurt child seeks the acceptance, love and understanding of who they are. These “family members” are just as likely to become a source of pain if the unloved child who is seeking approval does not heal.

In short romance is not the only source of heartache. For many an adult who unconsciously craves the acceptance and validation from family in order to feel ok about themselves is constantly at risk of getting hurt again.

The Get Ready For Love Programme, authored by myself as the founding Love Therapist at Life & Love  helps to idenitfy the unique “Love Programming” that as a child you may have picked up as you watched love play out in your family. Your relationships could now be operating from this programming and affecting your grown up relationships on all levels of love. From this love programming you can begin to work out patterns and behaviours that you are attracting from others and answer the questions of why you have been attracting who you have in both romantic and friendship relationships 

Here are 5 steps that can begin to help heal that inner child and get  him/her ready to feel worthy to receive and give love again. 



1. Recognise your inner child exists and that it needs help to feel loved;
. If your buttons are constantly pushed and your family are the very people who bring you the most pain then nothing will change until you can accept that part of you feels punished unloved or unwanted. The majority of people do not set out to hurt others ..hurting people hurt people..its time to recognise the cycle and be prepared to break it.

2. Understanding that parents are people first and foremost. Our expectations of our family members to be “perfect” or different from who they are is as unacceptable as their expectations of you to be anything but you. If you are looking to be accepted start with accepting

3. Seeking professional help Unravelling the incorrect message that child received of being “unlovable” or “unworthy” is not easy and yet this is the most fundamental basis of many peoples pain in the world. You are not alone so many others have this skewed message playing in their brain. Seeking professional help to allow you to heal and let go as you substitute a different message is core to letting yourself know your worth it! Click here if you want to read more about options out there for this help

4. Fall back in love with yourself – This is easier said than done but how we love ourselves gives others unconscious permission to love us taking this self love quiz will identify the key areas where you are unconsciously proving to yourself you are not loveable

how can I forgive5. “Forgive them for they know not what they do. Everyone knows the saying that forgiveness is for yourself not for the other person but how can you just forgive someone who has caused you so much pain. By understanding that they themselves have as many issues as you, often caused by their own family unit and upbringing, you can begin to identify that you both have things in common. As it is extremely difficult to focus on changing ourselves we can recognise that it is nigh on impossible to change someone else..therefore it all rests on you. If you are not willing to understand them don’t ask for understanding for yourself


Thanks for Visiting TJ's Blog

Articles that TJ writes for Life & Love cover all steps in the cycle of love and include tips and advice for many dating or relationship issues. Her experience as a Love Therapist, Love Coach and Life Coach bring a real-life approach to everyday situations.

Remember life is for loving – that includes yourself!

Tj x


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