Much time has passed. Yet, so much has remained the same. Where shall I begin as 2017 is about to end? With a bit of both. Let’s begin at my latest Ah Ha moment. Attachment. Having studied Attachment for my Masters in Social Work the theory of Attachment was not a new topic. However, sitting the in room with over 100 Eye Movement Desensitization (EMDR) practitioners a curiosity about my own attachment was stirred within my being.
We can look into the work of psychoanalyst John Bowlby or the work of psychologist Mary Ainsworth to give us an understanding of the theory of Attachment. In a nut shell, the way in which our primary caregiver related to us in during our developmental years informs how trusting we are of others, our self esteem and or how we socialize with others (in particular to relationships). The four types of attachments are: Secure, Anxious preoccupied, Dismissive avoidant, Fearful avoidant.
Secure attachments are the anomaly of sorts. Not meaning to be cynical but think about how many people you know live their lives out with an ultra self secure sense, or in an ideal relationship, or with minimal anxiety or stress, or with a harmonious sense of self. When stuff happens in life they are cool as a cucumber. Confidence exudes and that this is real type of confidence not just fake it till you make it type. Their caregiver was lovingly present and provided the nurturing in which they felt, well secure.
The Anxious preoccupied individual is just not quite sure. Being self-critical and insecure gives platform to needing other’s reassurance. Will they stay? Do they like me? this person has the tendency to go through emotional highs and lows because they so want to feel the acceptance and when they do feel the acceptance a surge of doubt arises that says this won’t last. Let us not forget that this person is difficult to satisfy because of the tendency to want control and be somewhat dramatic. At times the primary caregiver was nurturing and responsive while at other times the caregiver was intrusive, insensitive or emotionally unavailable.
Dismissive avoidant. This guy or gal is independent , non trusting, cynical, less likely to fall deeply in love , is well not so emotionally expressive and experiences little anxiety. I do me you do you with times of dabbling but mind you keeping my personal emotions at bay. This person maintains a composure of a secure life built on one’s own terms. You see, if I live an emotionally apathetic personal life then I won’t get hurt. Dismissive types have poor access to early emotional memories. The caregiver was not reliable.
Fearful avoidant (Disorganized-insecure) Anxiety exists because the need for relationship while fear of rejection and abandonment feeds into the anxiety. This person struggles with rejection, abandonment and intimacy. Often passive-aggressive tendencies are prevalent with low self esteem and feeling of inadequacy and does not deserve to be loved. The caregiver was absent emotionally and or physically.
After the EMDR training I began to think about my own unaddressed attachment style and the impact of what that style on my life decisions and actions Full disclosure, my childhood memories are suppressed. I have allowed a life time of Dismissive avoidant tendencies to dictate my life’s journey. I can choose to live stuck in my attachment style allowing life to happen to me as informed by my past or I can create a the life I want. Am I willing to venture into the unknown and take a chance on community, on love, on living an authentic life? Yes, I am positioned for the journey. Will you join me?