I was going to say it is misunderstood. But to misunderstand something you need to know something about it. I don’t believe that we have a clue what emotional absence is or the consequences; even though many of us have experienced it.
In Nancy Newton Verrier’s book The Primal Wound Understanding the Adopted Child, published in 1993 she shares her heartfelt story as an adopted mother and those of adoptees, birthmothers and adoptive parents whom she spent many hours interviewing. Through their willingness to open their hearts and souls to her she is able to give us a window into the ‘primal wound’ which like, emotional absence, has been absent from our awareness as parents and professionals.
You can’t see a primal wound or emotional absence. You can’t see the wind either but you can see what it does. This year has been particularly windy in Northeast Texas. You are aware of the constant wind as you can see the trees swaying and feel the wind on your face. It makes for a very bad hair day. But you don’t see the gusts coming that almost blow you off the porch.
Though her book is speaking to adoptees I think it also speaks to others who through birth traumas either their own or their mothers or both end up with the same feelings of disconnection, distrust, rage and fear. We are more technologically advanced than we are with our own fragile side of our humanness. Though woman of long ago made the birth process a sacred experience to be entered into with care and emotion our present medical system has forgotten that. Now babies come when it’s convenient for the doctor or mother or both. The first choice of a human, when to be born, has been snatched away from them. Then we wonder why we increasingly have more children that are hyperactive and aggressive. They are fighting for their lives.