There's a tiny voice inside. Maybe it's a whisper. It says, "Something is wrong. I don't know what it is or how to define it. I don't know what to do to change anything, and I know something needs to change." If you keep listening, that voice will guide you to changes. They might be difficult to understand, enact, or perpetuate. In The Princess and the Goblin, George MacDonald writes about trusting your intuition. Through a great-great-grandmother, he explains that sometimes the route to which you're guided is a circuitous path. Trust it, he says. You will not fail you.
Neglect is easy to miss. As a child, I wouldn't have told you that my parents neglected me. Neglect became apparent through my friendships, romantic involvements, and other relationships. I kept befriending people who either took advantage of me or treated me poorly, and I didn't recognize the mistreatment. It became obvious only with time and introspection. I had to eventually own my own actions that took me to neglect. That was a challenge in itself.
I'd get into relationships and then find myself angry without knowing why. I joined a spiritual group in my early 20s. The leader of that group still runs it in my town. She studied at the now-defunct Jaffe Institute, and her line at the time was that people choose their lives before they are born. I talked myself into believing her. That was another facet of neglect -- that I could easily change my own mind, that I didn't have a foundation.
After my parents divorced, my mom swiftly jumped to rely on my uncle. He ran (and still runs) a church in my town. It was uncomfortable to observe her shift her reliance from one man to another. We went to that church, dutifully tithed, and committed our free time to its activities. Little-known fact: Mostly men run that group. People with money call the shots. So, we were "saved" by patriarchy and capitalism in the form of Godliness. It was great for a while. It also set me up for reliance on that Jaffe leader.
It's convenient to rely on spiritual leaders, especially when a background of neglect is involved. With neglect in place and not acknowledged, one is ripe for abuse or mistreatment. It likely won't seem wrong since the person experienced similar treatment for most of life. S/He will probably blame her/himself for any wrongdoing, and s/he will likely keep trying to make things work well past an end to health.
Listen to subtlety. Do you feel like something is off? There's a reason why. Find it. You're worth the search and effort.
Well hello there.