My mother left me when I was 14. I’ve honestly always thought that that was the primary root of my problems, but it can’t be. I think it goes back much further than that. I’ve been reading up on attachment and it seems to me that the evidence of who I am today and the ridiculous difficulties I have indicates that something went wrong when I was a baby and I did not experience or form secure attachment. I actually think it goes back to my mother having never formed that secure attachment either. If you don’t break the cycle it just keeps getting passed on to the next and the next and the next.
My adult relationships have been a disaster. In fact I would say most of the time I don’t even feel like I am an adult. I am still that 14 year old kid who doesn’t know how to talk to people or exhibit what most people would consider normal adult behavior. I don’t know if I even believe in God, but thank God I do not have any kids. To subject them to what I have been through would be selfish and unfair.
I completely believe in the cliche phrase “knowledge is power”. The more you know, the more you are capable of change. This article lists a number of things you should develop if you have had secure attachment as a baby. Feeling safe, developing meaningful connections with others, exploring the world, dealing with stress, balancing emotions, experiencing comfort and security, making sense of our lives, and creating positive memories and expectations of relationships should all be a natural part of a child’s development just as much as physical growth.
Feeling safe. Well I basically never feel safe. I have passed on so many things, changed my mind, backed off, given up on an idea all because I don’t think anything is safe. I have always been afraid. I realize life is filled with opportunities where you have to take a risk and that in itself means that there will be some fear involved. But natural, healthy fear is supposed to be a motivation that pushes you to do, go, and see more. Instead, my lack of feeling safe has held me back completely from taking any kind of risks.
Developing meaningful connections with others. I’m not sure I can say if I have that capability or not. Other people would probably have a better sense of that. And I think my opinion of whether a relationship is meaningful or not isn’t the same as most people. I don’t seem to have good perception when it comes to that whole meaningful connection thing.
Exploring the world. I think that goes hand in hand with feeling safe. If you don’t feel safe you aren’t going to explore the world and look at it as something full of wonder and opportunity. Instead I was given the impression the world is a horrible, bad, scary place that I should hide from at all costs. I am getting a little better at this. I did finally move out of my parents house so that’s a step. Mostly I have found that the world is full of wonder and exciting opportunities instead of a place that is completely evil.
Dealing with stress. Yeah I’m very very bad at that. I don’t know how to handle stress. When it starts piling up I don’t eat well, I don’t sleep well, I don’t exercise, and I start having anxiety attacks. These things of course only contribute to making the stress level even worse. It’s a vicious cycle. I also think this is one of the things I hate the most because I feel like I’m turning into my mother. And that can’t happen. Being healthy is really important to me. Any kind of health including, physical, mental, and emotional was never a concern or priority in my house growing up.
Balancing emotions. Another one I’m really bad at. I don’t think I even know or recognize what it feels like to have balanced emotions. I’ve always been a highly sensitive person, but that isn’t the bad part. Highly sensitive people are perfectly capable of having a balanced emotional life, they just have to go about finding that balance in a different way. But it is something that makes finding balance more difficult.
I pretty much feel constantly overwhelmed by emotions both good and bad. They take over. Of course I know intellectually that I have the capability to control and manage my emotions but that doesn’t seem to help much. I still feel like they control me. When I’m happy, I’m elated. When I’m sad, I’m despondent. I feel there’s no in between, it’s all or nothing. An example of this is any time I ever feel like I’m being abandoned, I flip out and lose my mind and don’t really act like myself. It’s terrible. I turn into a crazy girl. I seriously don’t know what to do about it.
Experiencing comfort and security. Nope, I don’t experience either of those things. Sometimes certain people make me feel safe and secure for a time but they usually leave and I lose it again. I have absolutely no idea what it feels like to truly have comfort and security in my life. The irony is that I end up being the one who pushes away the person who makes me feel secure and comfortable.
Making sense of my life. Not being able to do this has taken me around in circles again and again. The number of times I’ve changed my mind about what I want to do is innumerable. I think people don’t believe me when I say I want to do something because a few days later I want something else entirely.
Creating positive memories and expectations of relationships. I don’t think I can do that very well either. Positive expectations of relationships. My head is all messed up about that. I don’t really know what I should and should not expect of relationships and I am constantly in fear that at any moment I am going to make a terrible mistake and throw the relationship down the drain.
And now that I’ve told the entire world my every weakness I’m going to go hide in my room.