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Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect Paperback – October 1, 2012
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Do you sometimes feel as if you're just going through the motions in life? Are you good at looking and acting as if you're fine, but secretly feel lonely and disconnected? Perhaps you have a fine life and are good at your work, but somehow it's just not enough to make you happy.
If so, you are not alone. The world is full of people who have an innate sense that something is wrong with them. Who feel they live on the outside looking in, but have no explanation for their feeling and no way to put it into words. Who blame themselves for not being happier.
If you are one of these people, you may fear that you are not connected enough to your spouse, or that you don't feel pleasure or love as profoundly as others do. Perhaps when you do experience strong emotions, you have difficulty understanding or tolerating them. You may drink too much, or eat too much, or risk too much, in an attempt to feel something good.
In over twenty years of practicing psychology, many people have arrived in Jonice Webb's office, driven by the threat of divorce or the onset of depression, or by loneliness, and said, "Something is missing in me".
Running on Empty will give you clear strategies for how to heal, and offers a special chapter for mental health professionals. In the world of human suffering, this book is an Emotional Smart Bomb meant to eradicate the effects of an invisible enemy.
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1. Narcissistic parent
2. Authoritarian parent
3. Permissive parent
4. Bereaved parent: Divorced or widowed
5. Addicted parent (not just to drugs or alcohol)
6. Depressed parent
7. Workaholic parent
8. Parent with a special needs family member
9. Achievement or perfection focused parent
10. Sociopathic parent
11. Child as parent
12. The Well-Meaning Parent
The quote that stood out to me is this: "Emptiness seems like nothing to most peop. And nothing is nothing, neither good or bad. But in the case of a human beings' internal functioning, nothing is definitely something. Emptiness is actually a feeling in and of itself."
The author gave you descriptions of the parent and gave you examples of clients. I was so engrossed by the connection I was feeling to what I felt my issue was and was ecstatic to find this book. In fact, I plan to keep it for my continued journey using various methods of healing.
Sadly, the methods given by the author were things I have already done that didn't work. The characteristics of someone running on empty that are not easily dismissed are shame at being different and emptiness that will not go away.
The exercises and suggestions in the book, like self soothers and writing exercises and so forth, only mask the underlying issue. I don't think the book is helpful for resolving the empty or shame or flawed feeling but the book is great for identifying your issues and your parent issues. I recommend it solely for identification purposes and not healing purposes.
The book's author, Dr. Jonice Webb, describes and coins the term, "emotional neglect" with such detail and accuracy it's almost scary. Who knew how common this is and that others feel this way too?? I literally laughed and cried throughout the book.
And just when I started to think, "oh goodness, am I repeating this pattern with my own children?" Dr. Webb writes, "The effects of Emotional Neglect can be reversed. And you're about to learn how to reverse those parental patterns for yourself, and for your children. Keep reading. No self-blame allowed.". (How did she KNOW that's where I was going??).
As you can see, I highly recommend this book. The topic resonated with me and the writing style was flowing, kind and easy to understand. Thank you!