I Am Not A Priority

I spent most of my childhood and part of my adulthood thinking I was unimportant or feeling like I wasn’t a priority to my parents.

So when someone that is a priority and is important to me tells me I can never be a priority to them, yes, I am triggered, and yes, I will walk away from them.

As kids, our parents don’t have to tell us we are not a priority or important to them. We see it from their actions. Although they may not intentionally try to make us feel that way, we feel that way.

I am aware of my abandonment and neglect issues. And I am making conscious decisions to heal from them. It has helped me dig deep, and sometimes I remember moments that made me feel that way.

Like my parents not attending or getting involved in anything that had to do with my school or education. At some point, I used to see that as a flex because I could do what I wanted, but I wanted them involved. I wanted them to ask me what subject I hated or see that I had improved, and my results were much better since I started day school instead of boarding.

I know a lot of people will say, “your parents had work providing for your family”. They were occupied with making money to send you to school, but I’d like to point out that we have different realities.

I watched parents who worked a 9-5 job show up for their kids at PTA meetings or Tea parties to hear about their kids’ performance and still had to report back to work immediately after.

So no, we don’t have the same realities. My parents had a choice, but trust me, I understand why they couldn’t make it.

An ungrateful sulking child I am? I know lol

Moments like growing up around people that now, I will classify as unfit, and dangerous to be around children. With their inappropriate behaviour and abuse, I never felt safe, protected or like I had anyone on my side. But then still got shamed or blamed for whatever happened to me.

How can a six year old protect herself from adults?

I can talk and write about this now because I have worked towards forgiving myself but mainly about not being able to protect myself.

Or even the “grand gesture” moments of getting birthday money to get your cake.

The emotional labour and stress from growing up in a Nigerian polygamous home.
Trying to be on the good side of your parents especially, your dad. To be validated for how good of a child you are. And it helps with your mother’s position in the family.

Making mistakes felt like hell. And having to live like you live amongst your enemies where you have to be careful about your food, clothes and everything.

That’s too much labour for a child.

And so, I am aware of my childhood traumas and that I never want to transfer this or carry the weight throughout my life.

So yeah, that familiar feeling like you are not relevant, a priority from people you expect to treat you that way can be heart breaking. Trauma has also taught me not to expect things from people. But this journey has also opened my awareness to why.

I don’t want to feel like that little girl who was constantly disappointed by her parents or the people she cared about.

I hated going to boarding school because I knew and it felt like a place to be dumped and forgotten. Did they miss a few visiting days or forgot to send pocket money?


Did a parent never show up to visit?


Having kids requires a lot of patience and emotional work because they need you, that’s it.

They need you.

Knowing this has helped me be kinder and more compassionate to my parents. Not excusing their behaviour or choices but leaning into doing better and understanding we are in different times or generations.

We all have priorities and important things we want to do in life, and that’s one thing to be grateful for. But I never want to feel like “I’ll never be a priority” to the people that say they love and care about me. It’s even worse when they tell you and show you that you are not.

Trust I know when certain people make things like these toxic and abusive. I am all for communication, healthy boundaries, balance and a healthy dose of everything. And it’s okay if we aren’t on the same path.

I can only hope that we all work towards healing from our childhood wounds and traumas.

I am currently reading a book which read, “problems in our romantic relationships always eerily resemble the problems in our parents’ relationships”, and this scares me because when I look back at my past and my parent’s relationship.


I don’t want that.

If we are not conscious, we become our parents, and unfortunately, not their best parts.

A friend reminded me recently that I told him when he was going through a difficult time in his relationship to let his heartbreak. lol

It made me smile because we are so scared of our hearts breaking that it never opens up.

So, I will let my heart break a thousand times. And I know for most of it, I will be breaking it myself when I find that I am in a position that makes me feel like I am not important, or that I am not enough.

Nothing I would have done as a child would have ever made me feel like I was enough for my parents or important, or even a priority to them. But I am happy I no longer have that resentment towards them because I know I am enough and a priority, especially to myself.

Well, the people I care about will always be one of my priorities, as well as myself, my goals and the life I want to create.

I hope this inspires everyone to evaluate their current habits and behaviours and work on healing their inner child.

Thanks for reading.


Featured Image:

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

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