Lucinda Gordon Lennox, TRC London, describes how being seen in our childhood develops important self-beliefs. How does acknowledgement build our self-esteem as adults? Take a minute and recognise your need to be seen.
From the moment we are conceived and throughout our childhoods, we need to feel Seen, Soothed, Safe and Secure, enough of the time and from enough significant people around us, in order that we don’t suffer developmental trauma.
Or, in order to at least keep the amount of trauma to a minimum.
When we have developmental trauma, it plays out in maladaptive ways in our adulthood.
So what does being “seen” really look like?
Did we feel that our parents, family members or teachers knew who you were as an individual?
Did we feel a sense of deep connection with our parents?
Did we feel they understood what we were saying, or how we were feeling?
And at times when they did not because their character and generation was different, did we feel that they would then do anything in their power to take the time to listen to us and to really try to understand us?
Were we allowed to have an opinion that was ours, even if it differed to that of our parents?
Were we respected for our opinion if we were allowed to have one?
Or did we feel that we were simply one of a group, a member of the family, persuaded to adhere to the same values as our parents even if they didn’t feel quite right for us?
Did we feel at times (or often) slightly insignificant (or very insignificant), needing to keep our internal world just that – internal?
If we didn’t feel Seen, for exactly who we were as an individual, enough of the time, then we will struggle to feel seen for exactly who we are as an adult. We might have body image concerns, low self-esteem, feelings that we are not accepted for exactly who we are. Fear that people will judge us by our looks, or by our true character.
If we didn’t feel seen when we were little, then we will struggle to see ourselves in all of our beauty, however we might be in any moment in time.Take some time to recognise and soothe, with Emily’s voice exercise
Author: Lucinda Gordon-Lennox
Trauma Specialist MSc (Reg MBACP, FDAP Accred)