The Emotionally Distant Parent
Growing up with an emotionally distant parent can be very confusing for a child. Even more so, if both parents are emotionally distant.
My parents were very affectionate with each other, but they weren’t really affectionate with us children. As an adult, I now understand how their own childhood upbringings had affected their behaviour as parents. However, as a young child, I had no awareness of this. I just felt unloved and that I was unlovable.
My ‘perceived’ lack of fatherly love – led to the following belief – that “male attention = male love”. Which led me into some hairy situations (a story for another day). Basically, the thought process was “Oh he just paid attention to me – that must mean he loves me”. Which as you can imagine, wasn’t the case at all, especially with teenage boys and young male adults.