Someone’s early years might not have been a stage of their life when they received what they needed to receive in order to grow and develop; this may have been a time when the roles were reversed. Consequently, it would have been up to them to fulfil their caregiver’s needs.

Now, this would have caused them to experience immense pain and to suffer greatly, but they wouldn’t have been able to do anything about it. Moreover, their primary need at this stage of their life would have been to survive, not to have their needs met.

A Time of Adaption

Having their needs overlooked would have been painful at first, but as time passed, they would have gradually lost touch with most of their needs. Behaving like their caregivers caregiver would have become the norm.

This is not to say that this is something that they would have consciously thought about, though. Being there for a caregiver and not even thinking about their own needs would just been what they did.

Self Alienation

The outcome of this is that not only would they have become estranged from their own needs; they would have also become estranged from their true-self. Their true essence would have been covered up.
How they behaved would be nothing more than a role that they played to survive – a false-self. Most likely, this wouldn’t have been something that they, or their caregiver, were aware of.

Developmentally Stunted

So, as one had to disconnect from their true-self and to play a role to be able to survive, it would have meant that although their outer self grew their inner self didn’t. Therefore, while they may have been very ‘mature’ for their age and even been told this by others, this would have been a mask.

Behind this mask would have been a deeply wounded child, a child who was extremely undeveloped. This child would have been very good at tuning into the needs of others and had no idea about how to tune into their own needs.

A Battle

One would have done just about everything that they could to keep their true essence at bay, to try to stop anything bad from taking place. The reason for this is that as their needs were overlooked, they would have come to believe that there was something inherently wrong with who they are.

Keeping their ‘badness’ away from others and themselves would have been seen as the only way for them to be accepted. If they didn’t do this, they would have been more likely to be rejected and abandoned.

Too Much

The truth is that, at this stage of their life, they shouldn’t have been responsible for anything, but they were made to believe that they were responsible for their caregiver. This would have weighed them down and prevented them from being able to simply be a child.

One way of looking at this would be to say that their childhood was stolen from them and, sadly, this won’t be something that they will ever get back. As an adult, it will be up to them to re-parent themselves.


Many years will have passed since this stage of their life, but in many ways, it could be as if they are not much different or any better off. They could have the tendency to focus on the needs of others and to ignore their own needs.

In general, they might not even be aware of what they need or how they feel. Underneath the role that they play, they can feel fearful, scared, incapable, and powerless and overwhelmed by life.

Drained By life

When it comes to the people in their life, these could typically be people who need to be saved. Thus, these people are going to be an external representation of the part/s of themselves that they hide from others and often from themselves.

These relationships are going to be out of balance, with one doing far more for others than others to do for them and one will prevent these people from being accountable for themselves. The trouble is that as one was made to believe that their needs were bad as a child, they won’t feel comfortable revealing their needs or believe that they deserve to have them met.

A New Beginning

For their life to change there will be what needs to happen ‘up top’ and what needs to happen ‘down below’. What they went through as a child and have experienced throughout their adult life will have caused them to develop a number of erroneous beliefs that need to be dealt with.

Under what they believe will be the trauma and emotional pain that they will need to work through. This is what will allow them to let go of their false-self and to be firmly rooted in their true-self.


If one can relate to this, and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or healer.

Author's Bio: 

Author, transformational writer, teacher and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With over two thousand, six hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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