Growing up with emotional immature parents can make one emotionally disengaged. This allows children to create imaginations that are tied to healing, they imagine how their needs can be met in the future by other people.
Some children without enough attention and affection will start to create a persona of themselves in order to gain attention and affection from absent parents. By creating another persona of oneself, it is likely that children who does this will slowly believe that true self is never good enough to gain attention and affection.
Most of the time, children with emotionally immature parents tend to think that changing themselves will get attention and affection from others rather than being who they truly are. Therefore, as adults, they start to think and question themselves when they feel that they are not noticed or loved.
The idea of “if only...then...” always comes to their mind. For example, “if only, I am more attractive, then I will be more loved and noticed”. Unfortunately, these creates a lot of self-doubt and self-questioning of oneself which leads to lowered self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-worth. And the hopeful wish of being loved and given attention goes into a vicious cycle.
As we enter adulthood, we tend to covertly expect people who are closest to us to make us feel wanted, needed and desired for who we truly are. But we keep believing that if we keep our other persona long enough, people will change to love us enough, to love us for who we truly are.
And when other people failed to do so, we confirm in our thoughts that our true self is never good enough. For example, a wife believe that if she does everything her husband wants, she will then be loved the way she wanted, but he fails to do so, she will get frustrated with her husband and blame herself for never being good enough.
When problems arises, and we feel unloved, instead of thinking the problem is ourselves, it is important that we target the issue without personalising it. We need to discover, accept and love ourselves before we can learn to be free as our true self.