Adults who were emotionally neglected as children often don't know what their needs are. Their own wants, needs, and feelings are not only irrelevant to the emotionally neglected, they're invisible.
Jonice Webb, Running on Empty p. 138
Things I am now doing:
1. Moment by moment, or at least three times a day, sit down, clear my mind of all thoughts, and ask, "What am I feeling right now?" This one is tricky, because this is the situation where I am best at suppressing the feelings, and that because they are mostly the ones I "should not" experience: loneliness, self-hate, shame for feeling these feelings.
2. Say "No" during the day, when I need to. Boy this is a hard one. I always said "yes," then suppressed any hateful and jealous feelings afterwards.
3. Ask for help. This one is so very difficult, though Becky has helped a lot by making it clear to my mind that she wants to help me. But my feelings are that I should never need help, and that needing help brings feelings of shame and guilt.
There are four more things, but these three are a handful for me already. It's a really strange thing to find a book that so accurately pinpoints my most difficult things and has me do them. I used to feel great pride in not needing help, and in being helpful. I was encouraged as a kid to be helpful and not be demanding. And I was both of those things, though I always harbored a deep resentment for those I helped. I think a subconscious part of me wanted the help myself, but I was raised not to allow that to happen.
I'm sure glad I have Becky in my life. She's been great about all this.