As children we all make attachments to our caregivers. What type of attachment we make with our caregivers directly affects our adult friendships and romantic relationships.
When our primary caregiver is attuned to us, they respond to our cries, our need for food, attention, changing our diaper, etc. in a timely and effective way as infants. In early childhood, we feel attuned to by our caregiver responding with empathy and care when we get hurt, have a bad day at school, or match our excitement when get get a good grade.
Caregivers who make children feel "seen" and valued, respond appropriately and with empathy at least 30% of the time foster SECURE ATTACHMENT in children. These children grow up with a strong sense of self, an expectation when they ask for help their needs will be met, have trust in themselves and others, and have minimal relationship issues or dysfunction.
When caregivers do not provide experiences to foster secure attachment through their own distractions (i.e. alcoholism, working too much, being too "busy" even with positive commitments), children can learn to feel un-valued, unseen, and unloved. These children adapt to the lack of attunement, empathy, and care in creative ways to help them cope through childhood. Unfortunately the maladaptive coping skills children learn to survive family dysfunction backfires in adult relationships due to the Attachment Trauma. These children grow to have Avoidant, Anxious, or Disorganized attachment styles, depending on the parenting/care giving they received.
The good news is, regardless of how you were parented, there is help out there to get you into a SECURE ATTACHMENT style, which means healing yourself and your relationship. If you are not in a relationship, doing this work will attract healthier potential partners into your life. You may be someone who is always dating the wrong type of person for you, someone with issues/addictions/commitment issues. YOU can change this but it will take some commitment and work. Will it be easy? Nope. Will it be worth it in order to experience healthy & happy relationships? Absolutely!
How you were parented and your Attachment Trauma is not your fault. Taking steps to heal your attachment trauma is your responsibility and your key to claiming a happy life!
Cassandra Solano, LCSW
Yay for New Friends!
Hi there! I'd love to gift you a free handout on a huge key to having healthy relationships: Attachment Styles. Your attachment style is just as important as your enneagram or horoscope in helping you understand yourself!