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Childhood Emotional Neglect and Autism

I did a lot of therapy, a real lot, but much later when I realised I had L1 autism I tended to feel less cross with my parents. Partly because I had expressed a lot of anger and frustration with them by then, too, and also because I suppose my difficulties with delayed processing and with unstructured social interaction must have been relevant too, to my difficulties.

Additionally I do recognise that my parents both had difficult early lives, and ended up with little to offer their children. My dad probably had Level 1 autism, ditto his father. Maybe his mother too actually. I reckon it's more common than is currently believed.

Either way though, there was not much bond between me and either of them. None of us could do it. Ditto my sibling.
Yes, I was emotionally neglected, but then so were my parents, who are also autistic. My parents were struggling so much themselves, they were, barely, keeping their own heads above water. I got a complex post traumatic stress disorder diagnosis before my ASD and ADHD diagnosis' Yes, there are plenty of overlapping symptoms, but they have different causes. I was told by my trauma specialist psychiatrist that everything I was telling her about could be put down to childhood, etc. trauma.

I did a lot of trauma recovery therapy for many years, but, eventually, I realized that something else was at play, underneath the trauma and then, because my Dad had identified his "Aspergers" and my second born son was very obviously autistic, I looked at the research and found that autism is genetic and after doing my due diligence, I realized that the typical sort of quote unquote high functioning, high masking and/or females description, fit me to a T. 6 years later I received the diagnosis.

I poured a huge amount of attention, educated parenting and love into my youngest autistic son, because I could, by then, but, even he ended up with a complex trauma diagnosis, but, my older autistic son and, in fact, most of my children were emotionally neglected, because of my undiagnosed autism, untreated ADHD, late treated cPTSD and the fact that their father abused me, narcissistically, throughout their childhood (not to mention I was 17 when I had my first and kept having children until I had 7 of them.

My youngest wouldn't say he has been emotionally neglected by me, he gives me much feedback, to the contrary. And my youngest daughter says she had a fairly happy childhood. But there are so many reasons why children are, and they don't get autism from it. That's just not a thing. They get complex ptsd. Autism is genetic; possibly, there is Autism made worse by certain environmental factors, but the Autistic genes are already there.

Autistic kids need more support, in a bunch of ways. They need the right kinds of educated and loving supports and still, they can get complex ptsd, on top of their ASD or ASD and ADHD, because just having the condition(s) is pretty traumatizing, in the world that we find ourselves in, as it is. So, it's pretty nuanced and complex. Many, many Autistic and AuDHDers have complex trauma issues, on top of ASD with, or without, unmet emotional needs, from their parents.
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I struggle far more now than I ever did in my youth, and it's not because I care less about public opinions.

I would answer "yes" to most of those questions.

I WAS NOT emotionally neglected, and I am ASD. So was my father, my sister's boy, and my daughter.

It's genetic.

Also, just for fun - my "symptoms" seem worse now that I am old, but only because I don't have to constantly mask. My actual mental health is NOW much, much better.

Every question on the list relates ONLY to self-image. The probability that an ND individual will have self-image problems is sky high. There are no questions about personal history ("what did your mom do when you cried?").

This looks uber suspicious.
As far as autism goes, I think of the nurture aspect as a kind of external modifier. As an analogy:


dog groom.jpg

Can present very differently, but still the same dog inside.
I don't have to take a test to find out, I know I have been emotionally neglected. Regarding your nurture over nature argument, I agree there are both going on. Have you ever thought, and mind you this is a dreadful thought, that maybe some of us didn't get enough love and tenderness as infants/children because of our of-putting and funky autistic personalities? My mum kind of admitted that to me after I told her about my ASD diagnosis (big shock and guilt trip for her by the way). In any case, I believe this parameter shouldn't be overlooked in a nurture vs nature discussion or future scientific study.
I was far too oppressed to show any autistic traits - we were beaten for all sorts of 'crimes' which were nobody's fault, I was silent and still for most of it to avoid drawing attention to myself
Dear friends
I've been having counseling for a while now, and my counselor recently introduced me to CEN (Childhood emotional neglect). There is a simple questionnaire you can do to see if you're suffering from CEN here... Emotional Neglect Questionnaire | Dr. Jonice Webb
I was shocked by how many of the CEN questions referred to feelings/thoughts/behaviours that I'd previously labelled 'ND' traits.

There have been a few discussions about potential genetic components linked with being ND, personally I've been wondering if there may be a nurture aspect to it too. I worked in cancer research for a long time and I know that no two cancers are the same as almost they all of them have been through on average ten changes to go from a perfectly normal cell to an aggressive metastatic cell; some of these changes are inherited, some are acquired during life; and I wonder if the same applies to ND. Particularly since it seems to me that no two NDs are the same - we have similarities, but I see ND as a field - we're all standing in it somewhere but all in our own unique positions, and some of us are further away from those on the opposite corner of the field than we are from some 'normies'.
My counselor told me recently that it's very common for ND traits to become worse with age, and for ND people to struggle increasingly as they get older. This suggests to me that 'nurture'/experience may be an inducing/enhancing factor.

I'm very interested to see if anyone else here identifies with any CEN traits, or is it just me!?
Thank you for your time
I identify with it.
It is very painful for me when I was a child I did not notice it as much
It also gives a person with the a disability the chance to be taken advantage of more because you have no solid backing to rely on.
For me now..I do not believe in love here
I've been thinking about this a lot recently; I wonder if anyone in my family even knows what love is? Do I really know what love is? I think I know quite a bit about what it isn't (even though I was told repeatedly that 'I'm doing this because I love you')!! But I can't say if I've ever experienced real love (in either direction). 'Romantic' love like in the fairy tales where they get married and live happily ever after is clearly fiction! Maybe it's all a myth. Maybe humans just aren't capable of true love. I don't identify as a Christian but I do think a lot of the Bible makes sense. Specially the bit in Corinthians about love: 'Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.'
Everyone who's ever claimed to love me did at least one of those things to me, many of them did lots!

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