I’d hear people say, “Our photos from our childhood may be blurry, cranky and not pleasing at all, but our smiles were real, they moved from our mouths to our cheeks.”

It’s a pity that I don’t relate. My childhood was not so pleasing, just like those pictures, my childhood was more than I could handle but I did. Growing up in a home where warmth was lacking, a home where everything was tense.

The reason? Well, nothing much. Yes, my parents were busy but not too busy for us, they made time for me and my brother but still the energy felt forced and we all know things done forcefully can never be agreeable.

I mean, yes. your parent can’t spend the whole day with you, watching TV and all that stuff, but if they don’t smile it still doesn’t count, just like my parents. Mostly my mother, it was so hard for her to smile, I mean, maybe I’ve seen her smile four or five times in my whole life. That woman rarely smiles. Even if I rack my brain I can find only a few shared memories of her smiling. To me, these are important and I treasure such moments. She was really cold towards me my whole life, to her all the little things I did trying to make her smile at the age of seven weren’t enough.

I’d mop the house but still she would point out the dirty spots and scold me for leaving them behind. To her the thought didn’t count, the fact that I was trying didn’t matter, I was just not good enough to be her daughter. I say I’ve never experienced financial poverty, my parents were always there, but I’ve experienced emotional poverty: when they were needed, they were absent.

Tell us: Did you experience emotional poverty? How?