You've always sensed something was off about the way your parents treated you. You wondered why they were so judgmental, critical, or short with you and yet so pleasant or loved by their co-workers or friends. For a lot of years, you likely chalked it up to you just not being good enough for them, no matter how hard you tried.
You likely clung to the hope that maybe if they just knew the depth of the pain they have caused you, they'd change. Or, if they received some kind of help, your relationship dynamics could shift, and they would finally show up for you in the way you need.
And if you're anything like the other anxious adults I have treated, you've likely read the various self-help books and might have even tried therapy for this before. You may even fully understand intellectually that your parent is emotionally immature, but knowing that doesn't seem to help the constant rumination, resentment, and pain from never feeling good enough for them.
Healing from an emotionally immature parent requires more than just an intellectual acceptance. True healing requires an honest exploration into the very core of your experiences; a deep dive into understanding not just "what happened" but the ways you made sense of this pain and continue to blame yourself for it. It's about undoing all the ways you try to change and twist and contort yourself into being something worthy in their eyes. Only then can you create space to see your true intrinsic worth and stop chasing after external validation.