Series

Life Traps | Pt. 15: Emotional Deprivation

Posted by Maria

As a borderline, battling with the Life Trap of Emotional Deprivation can get extremely tricky. The constant feeling of lacking something strains the relationships and leads me astray.

A brief summary based on what the book, Tunne Lukkosi by Kimmo Takanen, tells us of the Life Trap of Emotional Deprivation:

I feel like I’m lacking things in my relationships, even if I am not able to say exactly what it might be. The anxiety of feeling like nobody can satisfy my needs for love and care, and that people are not really listening or trying to understand me makes me crave those things in other ways, such as romance. 

I might be avoiding love relationships just to keep this Trap from triggering, or just plainly keep people at arm’s length at all times to make sure there won’t be any connection. I tend to escape the feeling of loneliness caused by this lack of closeness to my job, hobbies, or even addictions, and will not put proper effort into my interactions on the basis of not believing that I will ever be able to get the love I need.

I may be steered towards cold, closed people that give very little. Being enthralled by these kinds of people makes me want to believe that they may change, even if in reality the relationship will end shortly after the first phase of ecstasy in bitter tears.

When I compensate for this Life Trap, I may demand abundant understanding and love. When I perceive that my needs are met, I’m floating on cloud 9, but when I don’t get it in the way I expect, it feels like I’m being deprived of it. Even if my partner cares for me and holds me dear, I will blame him for neglecting me.

This often leads to me sabotaging my chances to get what I crave in a relationship since because of the belief of never going to get any love, I don’t know how to bring my needs forward. Instead of coming out with the need for TLC (Tender Loving Care) I often expect my partner to just get it automatically and will be hurt if he doesn’t. 

Because of this Trap, I keep feeling like I’m not important to my partner, and believe that if he just cared enough for me he would do things in the way I want. The constant falling short in my expectations makes the Trap stronger and makes me believe in the lie of never being able to get the love I need more and more.

In general, I believe that nobody really cares about me.

This particular aspect of mine is something that I’ve tried to figure out for a while now. Why do I constantly feel like I’m not cared for? Why do I keep thinking that nobody wants to hear what I have to say? Why, oh why, do I keep feeling like there is this black hole in me that doesn’t get satiated no matter what happens?

I have found that this Trap, Emotional Deprivation, ties heavily into my feeling of never being enough and being so worthless that I truly started believing that I’m not getting loved because, well, I’m just not lovable. I keep feeling that I’m in constant pain from the lack of love from my husband or my parents for example, and at the same time, I keep thinking I’m not even worthy of it and so it is extremely stupid of me to even dare desire such things. What a fine mess my mind is!

Add to this the aspect of borderline that makes me a bit paranoid about people’s intentions and voilá! You have a soup with boatloads of flies that will never be edible. In my mind, people are never truly listening, mostly because I’m genuinely not worth their time and also because the world is filled with selfish pricks.

My relationships with people, be it friends, partners, or family, have been cold and distant for a very long while.

As a child, I think I was quite normal, whatever that may mean. But as time went by and I got trapped into a very grey existence, everything became superficial. No more real talks with family. No more deep discussions with friends. I no longer had any real friends or family, only my partner at the time (who turned out to be very bad for me). 

For over a decade I was in a place where my needs were neglected on a daily basis. My excitement extinguished, my passion suffocated and my hopes for being able to be loved turned down to zero. Nothing I did mattered, as was evident from the fact that I was days on end in my room, depressed, suicidal, tearing new scars into my skin. Good and the bad, it all became a blur of my nonexistence. 

The new acquaintances I made, I kept them out of my heart. I tried to anyway since the constant battle of nobody cares and I’m not worthy of love made me think that all these people being nice to me had their own selfish agendas and would stab me the first chance they got. Turns out I was right about that, which doesn’t make my marriage any easier as the trauma from being betrayed by so many people left an ugly scar that likes to keep reminding me of humanity’s inability to stay with me.

The internet became my sanctuary.

As I’ve mentioned before in some of my posts, I was very much into online chatting and games from a very young age. A girl that feels she lacks something in the emotional department is a danger to themselves, especially if they start going down the roads I did. All the comments about my amazing eyes and hair, made me feel better.

Later on, it got a bit worse as I developed more refined, adult tastes. One might say I definitely took that step to maturity way too soon since even if I knew exactly why the people were being so giving with their language in the online world, I still kept going at it and humoring them. 

This turned to some regular chat ‘’friends’’ and some meetings, my first kiss, my first long-term relationship, and many others keeping my hunger for attention and love in check. The borderline recklessness was shining through in my online behavior, since I wanted people to like me, to love me. Not for who I truly am but who I could be if they were nice enough.

Being deprived of love brought troubles to my paradise.

Thankfully I can say that I’m no longer in that cycle of using and being used as some sort of a replaceable toy. My husband is with me now, and I’m slowly learning about real connection and seeing for myself if it is possible or not. 

The continuous problem seems to be that I see neglect and inevitable abandonment everywhere. He didn’t brush my arm with his fingers when he walked by me? He must not love me anymore. He didn’t immediately answer me when I said something? He must be ignoring me, probably on purpose. Does he actually even care?

Of course, he cares. Despite all the touches that make me anxious because I was never really touched lovingly before him. Despite all the tones I hear that signal that he must hate me. Despite all the times when I think he is about to abandon me. Despite this all, every day he tells me he loves me truly. How come I’m not getting the message?

In the past, I thought that love meant changing everything for a person without ever getting anything back. Now that I’m getting an abundance of love without having to do anything but be myself, I don’t know what to do with it. I finally have someone that gives me what I need, yet, I just can’t trust it to be real. 

Do you believe that you can get the love you need and deserve? Let us know in the comments!


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2 thoughts on “Life Traps | Pt. 15: Emotional Deprivation

  1. Amethyst

    You are worthy, Love how you write. It’s so honest!

    1. Maria

      Thank you!

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