It took me three failed marriages, nearly 30 years of marriage in total, and a good therapist to help me understand what needed to change so that I could break the cycle of relationship dysfunction that I was in. Once I realized that I was the only thing I could really change, I finally began to change.
Our attachment style begins to form in our earliest years of development. This typically occurs from birth to about two years old and some psychologists theorize that this sets the stage for our future relationships. A parent who responds to their child’s needs, consistently and appropriately, will help the child build a secure attachment style. The more consistently and appropriately the parent responds, the more secure the attachment style in their child.
An inappropriate response occurs when a loved one tells you yes, but actually means no. An example might be that a couple agrees to see a movie, and then when the movie is done, one partner is mad that “you made” them go to that movie. Laughing when someone is hurt, scared, or feeling insecure might also be an inappropriate response. These improper responses can be really frustrating as adults, but when it happens to young children it can confuse their understanding of relationships and attachment. Our brains are amazing pattern recognizing systems and these inconsistent and inappropriate messages can create problems in our development.
We may think that inconsistent and inappropriate responses are normal and we are attracted to people who display these characteristics. We may feel like these people complete us, make us whole, are our soulmate, and the person of our dreams. That person of our dreams may soon become something in a nightmare.
It might be easy to blame our problems on our parents and our families, and yet there are so many examples of people rising well above their circumstances. What matters most in our lives is the here and now and having the desire, knowledge, and ability to make meaningful change in the one thing we have the most control over, ourselves.
I have struggled with insecure (or anxious) attachment for as long as I can remember. Some of this started when I was very young. The patterns continued to develop past childhood and as I moved from school to school, sometimes multiple times per year, during grade school through high school.
I continue to work on and struggle with the feelings of insecurity and the fear of being abandoned. I have learned to recognize when those feelings come up that they are very old feelings and not at all related to my here and now.
As we do our work and become more emotionally healthy, we begin to attract people who have done their work and are emotionally healthy themselves. We can break that cycle of attachment styles.
I finally learned that if you dig deep enough that the gold will find you. It did for me, and for the first time I am in a relationship with someone who is emotionally healthy, doing their work, and I am learning how to give and receive a secure attachment style.
You might be in pain right now and I know how bad that hurts. I felt alone, unworthy, and invisible. I also felt like I was in a shame storm when I thought about three failed marriages. Who gets married and divorced three times? Well, I did!
I learned a lot from the experiences, and it led me to writing The ANTICS. My goal in writing this book was to help at least one person. Perhaps that person is you.
I wanted to share the story of Carence and Narcy to help people understand they are not alone, and that they can find a way to begin their healing journey. Meet them in The ANTICS and begin your journey to a more fulfilling life.
Dig deep, and the gold will find you!