There’s a significant difference between your parent’s benign neglect and their unkind neglect. The former is a way of giving you space to develop and grow at your own pace. Your parent will, for example, have let you wander off to explore your environment, help yourself to something to eat and not ask too many questions about what you’ve been up to.
Your are unlikely to feel abandoned because when you’ve been with your parent you get lots of attention and feel loved. You also have the sort of relationship where you can suggest you do something together and they will happily agree.
Unkind neglect, however, is when your parent is too distracted by their own life to give sufficient attention to your needs.
Their job may involve long hours and regular travel and you have often been left at home on your own or with a minder, who may deal efficiently with the practical side of your life but not give you emotional support. At one level this may suit you as you wouldn’t want to confide in someone who is neither part of the family or a special friend.
A good parent with a demanding job will ensure they carve out special time with you to keep the relationship close. Unfortunately some parents become so unused to making your needs come first that, even when they are home, their computer, iPad, mobile and their social life takes priority over you. They are distracted when you talk to them and so busy with themselves that any affection they do show is likely to be fleeting and rather mechanical.
This means you may not get that vital emotional support from your parent either.
Recognising that they are not very interested in you is difficult to manage and getting their attention for any length of time can be so difficult that you learn to keep your feelings to yourself and become quiet and inward. .
It can have a long-term affect.
So what can you do?