The Unfulfilled Parent

Many fathers, mothers, and other parent figures are needy. Dysfunctional, even toxic. Psychologically and emotionally impoverished. Unable to meet their children's legitimate needs.

If you're raised by unfulfilled parents, chances are you've unmet needs. And if they're basic developmental needs undelivered, more likely you've difficulties with your functioning, identity, or enjoyment.

Cesar didn't receive what he needed from her mother since childhood. He was constantly mistreated or abused verbally. With physical beatings from her mother especially since his father abandoned them, he had great difficulty relaxing and having fun with her.

At first it may seem inconceivable that a mother would use a vulnerable, helpless child to get her own needs met. But this occurs in the case of Cesar's troubled, wounded mother. In fact, anyone around which happened to include Cesar will be "unconsciously used" by his mother.

Why do parents become unfulfilled, dysfunctional, or even toxic?

A common psychoanalytical reason is that their needs were not met as infants, children, and/or adults.  As a result, they tend to use others, including those close or near them, in unhealthy, inappropriate ways to have their needs fulfilled.

For both the unfulfilled parent and the victim child, it's then a case of recovery of the "wounded inner child." To heal the confusion, regression, and misdirection of both, they grieve over the unmet needs as well as things they experienced that they didn't want.

In therapy, both the parent and child with the "wounded inner child" undergoes a healing journey. In order to survive, a stronger true self replaces an exaggerated false self created by psychological wounding.