Attachment Wounds are often under recognized because they can come from emotional trauma. And our culture continues to minimize or deny the reality and impact of trauma.
Just look at the GOP representatives attacked at the capital who turned around and denied any impact on themselves and even mocked other colleagues for sharing they felt emotionally impacted by the attack.
Research in neuroscience over the last decade has shown over and over that emotional traumas impact our nervous system & brain development much like physical traumas. If you're a believer in science like me, you'll be relieved to hear that there is evidence proving you aren't "broken" or "messed up" or "crazy" if you're struggling because of past emotional wounds. And these past wounds impact our relationships in profound ways.
If you've been following me for awhile, you know that your past wounds are impacting your relationships. If you're new around these parts, welcome. And FYI: your past wounds including childhood emotional neglect are impacting your relationships. We call emotional injuries impacting our ability to have healthy relationships attachment wounds.
It is ok to say simply "this is how I was raised impacted my brain and nervous system development, this is how what I saw about relationships growing up and how I was treated shaped my ideas about relationships and the skill level I came into adulthood with" you are stating facts. I'm not into the let's "blame mom and dad" game. That keeps us from moving forward. But we have to recognize the impact the quality (or lack of) caregiving we received had on us.
What the attachment research also shows us is that if we didn't have healthy relationships, attunement (feeling seen, felt, and heard), and nurturing as a child (or didn't get it consistently or often enough) as adults we: wont recognize it, won't resonate with it, and can have difficulty "taking it in."
To put it another way: if you didn't experience secure attachment as a kid, it's easy to miss or reject the opportunity for a securely attached relationship as an adult. This can explain why we're attracted to the "wrong" type of person for us, it's what we connect with on some level.
The neuroscience research says what wasn't "mirrored and contained" for you can't stick. For example, if you fell and were hurt, crying in pain, and your adult caregiver told you to
"stop crying/suck it up/I'll give you something to cry about/etc" instead of
"you're really hurt/you have an owie/I would cry too/I see your cut let's get you a band aid but first lets give you a hug to calm down"
as an adult, someone reflecting your experience, holding space for you, showing empathy and responsiveness, may feel uncomfortable. It may be so uncomfortable you dismiss them or push the help or the person away. This can lead to us unconsciously "filtering out" healthy relationships and hanging onto ones that in some way reflect the wounding left by our caregivers.
And the difficulty is, we often don't know what's missing until we start on this journey of self reflection. We can learn to identify how our attachment wounds impacted us. We can identify parts of ourselves and reclaim our wholeness. Often in finding these missing parts of ourselves we begin to live more authentic lives, find and ACCEPT healthier relationships into our lives.
To help you in your journey, I've created a free guide for you to help you get clearer on your attachment wounds & to start living from a more whole, authentic place. CLICK HERE to get the guide "Reclaiming Ourselves" This guide is for you regardless of your attachment style!
Cassandra Solano, LCSW