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What is Attachment Trauma?
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. CLICK FOR A FREE HANDOUT ON ATTACHMENT STYLES 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! With Compassion, Cassandra Solano, LCSW #traumahealing #healingtrauma #relationshiphelp #onlinetherapist #dysfunctionalrelationshiphelp 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! Sign up here to grab the guide!
Trauma & Addiction
This is one of those tricky, chicken or the egg questions. Many addicts can share about mild to harrowing traumatic experiences growing up that leave no doubt why they needed to escape the pain with using drugs and alcohol. Trauma Informed Treatment Whatever level of trauma you've experienced, it's vital that your recovery plan include trauma healing. Many traditional social models of addiction treatment reinforce power dynamics, punitive punishment techniques, and absolute compliance that is trigger for someone with trauma. Make sure you are working with a trauma informed professional as part of your recovery process, whether you are just getting sober or have been in recovery for awhile and are still struggling. CLICK FOR A FREE HANDOUT ON ATTACHMENT STYLES I'm an addict/alcoholic but I had a great childhood, how does this relate to me? I almost always find there was some type of Attachment Trauma with an addict in their childhood. These can be very subtle but still affect a person's ability to feel a sense of belonging, to have healthy relationships, or feel connected with others/themselves/a Higher Power. Often in an addiction people put themselves in dangerous situations such as driving under the influence which put a great deal of stress on the body and affect brain wiring. Don't be afraid to look deeper at your trauma with the help of a trained professional, often getting down to the root of our traumas can make the difference between relapse and long term sobriety. With Compassion, Cassandra Solano, LCSW #sobriety #recovery #sobercoach #addictionrecovery #addictiontreatment #traumatherapy #traumahealing #traumainformed 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! Sign up here to grab the guide!
It's OK to not be OK
In our self help saturated new age world filled with #inspirational quotes in our social media feeds, acknowledging our mental health struggles and shadow can be hard. You may wonder how can I share I binge eat, cut, drink too much, etc. when all I see are people living their best lives ever? As much as I personally LOVE following accounts full of inspiration and watching friends and loved ones celebrate success and love, we have to be careful not to jump into comparing our insides to their outsides. Comparison is a losing game. Whether you think you're better or worse, you lose. Comparing automatically shifts you away from the truth we're all divine children of the Universe, and in our Creators eyes equally beautiful. So what does this have to do with #trauma healing and #mentalhealth? When following accounts and people online becomes a comparison trap, it can create a sense of shame around your own struggles. In this way you continue to invalidate yourself, minimize your struggles, and downplay your mental health. Experiencing trauma, whether it was a traumatic event, emotional abuse, neglect, or several events over time deeply affects an individual on a physical, mental and spiritual/energetic levels. The aftermath of the trauma continues to impact another person with flashbacks, nightmares, reliving the trauma with triggers, and sometimes lack of support or belief from family and friends. CLICK FOR A FREE HANDOUT ON ATTACHMENT STYLES What happened to you was fucked up, you're gonna be a little fucked up. And that's OK. It's OK to not be OK. Don't be fooled by what you see online and let it reinforce isolation, denial, and suppression. When you add spirituality into the mix, it becomes something called "spiritual bypassing" “Spiritual bypassing is a very persistent shadow of spirituality, manifesting in many ways, often without being acknowledged as such. Aspects of spiritual bypassing include exaggerated detachment, emotional numbing and repression, overemphasis on the positive, anger-phobia, blind or overly tolerant compassion, weak or too porous boundaries, lopsided development (cognitive intelligence often being far ahead of emotional and moral intelligence), debilitating judgment about one’s negativity or shadow elements, devaluation of the personal relative to the spiritual, and delusions of having arrived at a higher level of being.” —Robert Augustus Masters, PhD Using crystals, essential oils, practicing yoga and getting Reki are all beautiful, beneficial tools. However, if you are not looking at and processing your trauma/shadow/areas for growth you are not doing true healing. Deep, life-changing transformative healing happens when you shine light in the dark places. Acknowledge your wounds, reach out for help. Know we are all a little fucked up and also beautiful souls traveling this journey together. With Compassion, 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! Sign up here to grab the guide!
Polyvagal Theory In Action
A client with #cptsd shared last week in our live group coaching program how she used what she’s learned in our #traumainformed coaching program to not loose her shit at work. She was flooded, being pulled a million directions, and dealing with an annual special event that pushed her to her breaking point. In the past, when her fight or flight response would kick in, she would walk out on a job or snap at someone and deeply regret it later. But she did something amazing. She noticed her body was stressed and recognized from our #polyvagaltheory work she was flooded. She stopped herself dead in her tracks and used a breathing tool to #selfregulate and within a minute was able to reach out, connect, co-regulate with a coworker and ask for support. You may not think this is a big deal, unless you’re a person who gets flooded with #anxiety when stressed. If you’ve been there you know this is a big deal! CLICK FOR A FREE HANDOUT ON ATTACHMENT STYLES Polyvagal Theory was defined by Steven Porges to further describe the "stress response" the nervous system experiences. Most of us have heard of "flight or flight" or even "freeze" when we are stressed out. But what do we do with that information? The first thing is to grow our self awareness through practices such as mindfulness and meditation to know when we are being "triggered." Usually our bodies will know we are "triggered" or stressed before we consciously do, with a rapid heart rate, sweaty palms, confused, overwhelmed, etc. The second step is to not judge yourself! Especially if you've had trauma, your body is operating it's own show, separate from your conscious thought and overriding years of reading self help books or even "knowing better." So go easy on yourself! The last step is to implement targeted coping skills depending on how the trigger is affecting you. If you're feeling shut down, confused, overwhelmed, unable to speak, or "frozen" you're going to need coping skills that ACTIVATE you and get energy moving! Typically you don't want to use coping skills like take a bath or meditate in this stage, because it will just keep your nervous system in the "dorsal vagal" or shut off stage. If you're feeling more activated (think "fight or flight" response) the goal is to discharge or release the energy. I like to think of anxiety as information the body is giving you and energy that needs to be released. So if you're in "fight" mode (tunnel vision, feeling defensive or attacking in an argument for example) or in "flight" mode (feeling flooded with emotions, overwhelmed, like you literally want to flee) coping skills that can help you release energy such as dancing, yoga, a brisk walk or grounding skills such as meditation, breathwork, and grounding visualizations work well. If you found this helpful, leave me a comment! And if you want support in implementing these skills and healing your trauma, reach out to me! With Compassion, 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! Sign up here to grab the guide!
What is a Secure Base and How Having One Can Change Your Life
Attachment is how we connect and relate to other people. It is influenced by how we were raised, and the quality of the caregiving that we received by our parents or caregivers growing up. It shapes our brains, our nervous systems, it also influences our the relational patterns that we see. These experiences influence who we choose to be in relationship with when we grow up, how we show up in our relationships, and even the pattern of relationships we find ourselves in. Attachment is not just something that we think about with romantic relationships, but also with friendships, with our relationships with our career, business, money, etc. It's important to share attachment styles are not a diagnosis and they're not fixed. They can also change over the course of life and look different in different types of relationships. For example, I tend to lean more anxiously attached in my romantic relationships, and more avoidant attached in my friendships or in my relationship with money. It took me a long time to start checking my bank account in my adult life on a more regular basis. The good news is that we can all heal and grow towards the healthy attachment style, which is secure. What shapes our attachment is the quality of attunement that we received growing up. So attunement is how we were seen, felt and heard growing up. Attunement is also how responsive our caregivers were to us, (did they come when we cried? did they give us a band aid for our boo-boos? did they feed us when we were hungry?), the appropriateness of their responsiveness (did they scream at us or silence us or hold space for our feelings) and the consistency or lack thereof, of responding to our needs. The quality of attunement shapes our brains, it shapes our nervous systems, and how we look at behavioral and relationship patterns. The research shows that a parent only needs to respond to a child's bid for attention or for connection, about 30% of the time for that child to grow up with secure attachment. So you didn't need to have perfect parents or you don't need to be a perfect parent or caregiver yourself. However, the research also shows that only about 20 to 30% of people entering adulthood have a secure attachment. So we have a lot of work to do as a society and supporting our parents and caregivers more in raising children. A core tenet of attachment theory is this idea of a secure base, that when you have an adult or a caregiver who is attuned to you it provided you a safe place to explore the world from and come back and be nourished and resourced from. To illustrate: Imagine you're walking out the park and you go by a playground, and you see three sets of adults and children come to play. In the first set, the caregiver arrives, and the child clings, is crying and grabbing on their caregiver and doesn't want to let go. In the second pair, the caregiver and child arrive, and the child takes off like a jet, running all over the place, even running far away. Finally in the third pair, the child may be hesitant to go out and explore the playground, but eventually is able to go out with the parent a few times. But then the child gains confidence and can explore on their own (I'm using a kiddo about 5 years old in this example who does not need constant adult supervision at a playground). The child might explore the little Playhouse close by and then run back to the parent and get a hug. And then the child might go and explore at the little jungle gym, and then run back to the parent get a hug. And then the child might go to the slide and shout, "hey look at me look at me, and go down the slide." There are three different scenarios here. The first scenario is an example of a anxious attachment, where the child doesn't feel safe to let go of the adult, because maybe they aren't sure that they're going to be there when they come back from the playground. The second example is a is an example of an avoidant attachment, where the child just runs off without the caregiver because they don't feel that the caregiver is that secure base is paying attention to them, is maybe checked out or on their phone. And then the third example is actually an example of secure attachment, where we may feel a little scared. But then we also feel safe to go out and explore and to take risks. And the child will like keep bringing back to the parent for like the hug, or to check in and kind of get their batteries charged back up. So they can emerge back into the world or back onto the playground, and explore, take risks and try new things. In our adult relationships this can look like having secure attachments that nourish and fuel us so we can take risks, try new things, expand our horizons, and feel free to develop into our most authentic selves. You may be realizing you haven't had a secure base. I often suggest and work with clients to help them first establishing that secure base between their adult self and their inner child. We can also identify places, people, and communities that can also serve as a secure base. What does your inner child need from your adult self to feel seen, felt and heard? What's even one small action you can take to show your inner child that you are here to nurture them, pay attention to them, provide safety for them? Ideas can include: boundary setting (with ourselves and others), cultivating a mindfulness practice so we can get more in touch with our bodies and care for ourselves better, journaling to and then from your inner child, engaging in positive self talk, and more. If you'd like to dive deeper into healing attachment wounds grab a free guide I created. CLICK HERE to grab it! Until next time take care, Cassandra Solano, LCSW
3 Common Blocks to Intimacy
Hi There! Whether you're single or in a relationship, emotional intimacy can be a challenge. You may be in a relationship and feeling disconnected. Or you may be single and having a hard time imagining yourself having a relationship where you feel emotional intimacy; or finding someone who can provide that for you. What is emotional intimacy? It's feeling safe, seen, and connected with our partners. In this safety we can bring our secrets, we can trust, we can give feedback and disagree. When we're seen we feel empathy from our partners, we feel understood, not judged, and have our thoughts and experiences mirrored back to us. When we feel connected with our partners we are holding space for each other, we are present, and even if we or they are upset, we know that connection is still there. Emotional intimacy comes from having what attachment theory calls "secure attachment." This means you know that your partner will be there for you (reliability & consistency), there's mutual vulnerability, fun and play, and reciprocity (give and take). There's many reasons why we can feel emotionally blocked with our loved ones. Attachment wounds, emotional neglect, not having the nurturing and attention we needed, past relationships gone badly are just a few examples of what's keeping us blocked. I'm going to break down a few of these for you today. (keep reading for 3 blocks to intimacy) #1: We aren't feeling safe. When we aren't feeling safe, we first need to distinguish between actual threat and danger vs. our own past wounds that could have led to feeling not safe, regardless of actual lack of danger. This is also known as having a "hypervigilant" response and is a symptom of PTSD. Action step: write down what actually may have led to feeling unsafe or distrusting. There may be legitimate reasons you don't feel safe in a relationship or that you can let your guard down. In cognitive-behavioral therapy, this is called "reality testing." If after you write down your list you're finding no actual reason to feel unsafe in a situation, it may be past wounding that needs to heal. #2: We aren't asking for what we want and need There's a saying I like that "expectations are premeditated resentments." There's nothing wrong with having expectations or standards, but when we aren't verbalizing them, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment and disconnection. To be frank, we can't be irritated or feeling let down by someone and want to be intimate. Action step: Write out your expectations of your partner/future partner in a relationship. Have you clearly articulated these in a kind and direct way? Most of my clients are not communicating clearly (or at all) about their wants, needs, and desires in relationships. #3: We have difficulty receiving Emotional intimacy means there's reciprocity, or give and take. Not just who does the dishes, but an emotional, caretaking give and take. If you were parentified, had to grow up too soon, or had some other experience where parent-child boundaries weren't upheld, you may have difficulty allowing yourself to let people in. Action step: Be curious about your relationship with receiving. Do you feel safe to allow others in? To let others help you? To even let a date buy dinner? What comes up for you when you think about letting yourself receive more? Identify one area of your life where you can let yourself receive more: connection, support, money, help, etc. and take one small step towards healing your relationship with receiving. I hope if you identify with any of these common blocks that you find the tips I've included here useful! And if you're ready to go deeper in healing your past wounds keeping you stuck in love, reach out to me! I currently have one opening for a new 1:1 client in my deep dive 1:1 Four month program, "Thrive in Love" details HERE. Sending you so much love, Cassandra Solano, LCSW
We Connect to What We Know: Healing Attachment Wounds
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! Don't forget to grab the guide here! With Compassion, Cassandra Solano, LCSW
A Spiritualist's Guide to Family Dysfunction: Holiday Edition.
The most wonderful time of the year is here. But for some with dysfunctional families, unresolved trauma, emotional triggers, it can feel like going into hell, even if YOU are a conscious, spiritual, zen person the other 364 days of the year. I put together some tips to help you prepare for potentially triggering situations and maintain your high vibe as much as possible! 5 Tips for the Body Mind Spirit to prepare for your dysfunctional family gathering: BODY: Prepare for battle! Ok, not really. But you do need to be as present as possible during your family event. Although downing a bottle of wine to blot out your annoying/triggering situation seems ideal, you are putting off the HEALING that is waiting for you once you go through those feelings with a clear mind. TIP: In the days coming up to the event, step up your self care. Eat clean, drink a ton of water, get yo' nails done or get a massage. Nurturing yourself in this way is healing, especially if you didn't get nurturing you needed from your caretakers. CLICK FOR A FREE HANDOUT ON ATTACHMENT STYLES MIND: Keeping your body clean will help with mental clarity. We need to wake up to ourselves. I'll explain with a personal example. When my husband I were dating and I took him to meet my parents, he gave me the feedback after that I "changed" around my parents. My posture diminished, I let people in my family say rude or passive aggressive things, and boundaries were crossed. He had never seen me like that anywhere else in my life.
Your subconscious takes control when you're with family always if you haven't been practicing meditation, looking at these issues in therapy or with a coach. TIP: Take at least 10 minutes and get out your journal. Get clear on who your parents/family REALLY are. Try to disconnect and look at them as a stranger, taking into account how/when/where they were raised, the trauma they experienced, and how all that shaped them. PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS DOING THE BEST THEY CAN WITH WHAT THEY KNOW. This can be difficult if you still feel hurt, as if they owe you an apology. This resentment only harms you, takes your energy, and lowers your vibe. Try for a moment to surround them with compassion as you would a sick, mentally or spiritually ill person (because to some extent, we all are works in progress), and hold them in a bubble of compassion from a distance. TIP: Then write on how you would be if you were free from the hurt/anger/sadness/abandonment that this person triggers. Would you have more self esteem, more confidence, better relationships? Write down the person who exists under that pile of shame and imagine feeling those positive things. SPIRIT: If you really want to start resolving your trauma, stop the pain cycle, and engage with your family from a healed and whole place, keep reading. TIP: Taking the previous journaling activity to another level,and if it feels safe to you, start praying for those people who harmed you NOW. I pray for my ex husband every night and nothing is better for MY peace of mind, MY freedom, and keeping MY energy lit than doing a this spiritual act. If prayer ain't your thing, light a candle, say a healing affirmation, or whatever works for you. This all works on the spiritual law of as one person is healed, we are all healed. TIP: If you do not have an ancestral altar, make one, even a tiny one ASAP. Ancestral trauma, pain and grief is also part of what's happening for us still on Earth School that are struggling with family dysfunction. There are ancestors who have not become well due to their unresolved life issues. You better believe they are all up in your space, causing trouble. Making a place like an altar for the well and unwell ancestors, with some offerings such as food, water, an artifact, herbs or even stones (outside of your bedroom) can give these spirits a "seat at the table" and get them out of your energy field. (For more on this check out Daniel Floor's work). With Compassion, 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! Sign up here to grab the guide!
Trauma Healing Practice for Avoidant Attachment Style
Ok babe, you are Miss Independent and like to get the job done yourself because of your competence. You don't put a lot of faith in people to keep yourself from being let down or disappointed. You may feel you have a wall up around your heart and no one gets too close. If this sounds like you, the path towards helping you heal this attachment wound is all about asking for help, vulnerability, softening, and connection. Practice for Avoidants: Ask for Help. I know this sounds simple, but let me go into more detail here. Asking your partner to take over paying a bill, asking your work colleague to cover a call for you, asking your kids to do another chore, asking your in laws to babysit so you can take a yoga class (or a nap, no judgement)! Any of these things make you cringe just a little bit? Like maybe you don't even remember the last time you delegated or asked for help? That gut reaction of hesitancy or even stress when thinking of asking for help is linked to the many times your cries for help when you were very young weren't responded to properly. This is why "crying it out" is just awful advice. I know, sad stuff. But remember we're not in the parent blame game here! Some of our parents were suffering from trauma themselves, were emotionally unavailable, struggling with addiction, stress, poverty, etc. and did the best they could with the resources they had. CLICK FOR A FREE HANDOUT ON ATTACHMENT STYLES The key to getting the connection and intimacy you truly desire lies in vulnerability. And you cannot be vulnerable when you are in superwoman mode. Allow yourself to soften up a little bit and ask for help even with one small thing. Notice how it feels to have your request heard and responded to. Really feel how it feels to be helped. This simple process will start healing your inner child who wasn't helped or responded to. Try asking for help in things in incremental increases of need/vulnerability and allow yourself to process how you feel in your body when you're being helped. Having awareness of any stress, relaxation, happiness you feel in asking for and receiving help is literally re-wiring your brain and putting you on the path to healing! With Compassion, Cassandra Solano, LCSW #trauma #traumainformed #ptsd #cptsd #traumarecovery #traumatherapist 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! Sign up here to grab the guide!
What is Intergenerational Trauma?
Intergenerational trauma is: biological, relational, systemic, and spiritually passed down. On a BIOLOGICAL level, science is showing through epigenetics and DNA coding that trauma responses such as PTSD can be inherited. Studies have shown symptoms of PTSD such as “hyper vigilance” were found in the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, Cambodian refugees fleeing war, and pregnant mothers in proximity to the World Trade Center attacks, even when none of the children or grandchildren experienced “trauma” in a life threatening experience. On top of that, 50-70% of PTSD patients also meet criteria for major depression or anxiety disorder. So if you have one parent who has experienced trauma, you’re three times more likely to experience PTSD symptoms. Symptoms included depression, anxiety, numbness, insomnia, nightmares, frightening thoughts, and being “on edge.” If this is you, does it shed new light on how you show up in the world? On a RELATIONAL level, Attachment Theory explains that we will do as we have been done by. A person who was abused, neglected, or not consistently helped by their parent will grow up and may become dysfunctional in their own relationships and as a parent themselves. There are generally considered 4 attachment styles: the first one is secure and considered the "healthiest" style which we can all grow towards. The other three: avoidant, anxious, and disorganized come from having caregivers or parents who also had these attachment styles themselves, and likely had untreated trauma, mental illness, or substance abuse. (Check out my other blog posts for more details!) CLICK FOR A FREE HANDOUT ON ATTACHMENT STYLES On a FAMILY SYSTEMS level, we also will repeat the same types of relationship dynamics we've always seen. Sometimes it feels like you can’t fight the (family) system. When we try to change, we’re met with resistance, coercion to not change, or straight up attacks when we come from unhealthy families. Along with systems are the RULES of our family systems and the STORIES we have told. If we understand thought creates form, then we know our stories create our reality. So what are your family stories? •Everyone in our family gets diabetes •The men in our family abandon their families •We’ve got 3 generations of addicts •We don’t have money, we will never be like “so and so” family Can you think of any? Finally, on a SPIRITUAL LEVEL, there are a few different belief systems here. Some may call it "karma" while I've learned and experienced directly that not all who pass along become well seated ancestors. In his work, Daniel Floor taught me not only how to connect with my healthy and well seated ancestors in the spirit realm, but also that there were ones who were not well. In Christianity they may be thought of as "in hell." But in the practice I learned which was derived from dozens of native and ancient traditions, those who are not well can be healed by the healthy ancestors, and brought to a place of light. I'm not an expert in this, and have worked with my ancestors only on my mother's lineage so far. What I did learn is that "unresolved" issues such as grief, terror, loss, guilt and shame can be passed along through our DNA (Back up to the first section!) and can also spontaneously be healed though our work here on this plane, and through healing beyond the veil as well. I'll be diving deeper into each of these topics in future posts! Please comment and ask any questions! With Compassion, 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! Sign up here to grab the guide!
The Truth About Change
I'm here to keep it real with you. And honestly? Change is hard. And it's not always hard in ways you'd expect. I love the bliss of a good meditation, the high after a yoga class, and using beautiful crystals and sage as much as the next basic New Age millennial (ok, I'm using the term millenial liberally as a 37 year old woman) and all that "love and light" stuff. But the real work, the "shadow work" where true transformation in the core of your being and in your life lies in making big changes. Think of something you'd like to change but haven't been able to. People pleasing? Controlling behavior? Being taken advantage of? Always being there for others but they don't return the favor? I bet you don't WANT to be stuck in those patterns of behavior. So why is it so hard to change? CLICK FOR A FREE HANDOUT ON ATTACHMENT STYLES Simply put, you're wired to be that way. As effed up as it is, your nervous system knows that the old familiar way of being has guaranteed your survival in the past, and as we know your nervous system is King when it comes to changing patterns. So if you've had an overbearing parent who (perhaps due to their own untreated trauma) never let your voice be heard, you learned to keep silent to survive and not suffer the pain of being silenced, put down, criticised, etc. Now you have a hard time speaking your truth with your loved one, and despite wanting to voice your opinion, speak up and be heard, your nervous system gets a whiff of this and puts the brakes on it. Your brain says "I want to speak up!" and your body says "oh HELL no! Don't you remember what happened when we were 4 and we tried to voice our needs? We were punished and it was so painful that we cannot let that happen again." Kinda cool how our bodies protect us from harm, and they're so good at it they will do it without us even thinking. Ever get a "frog in your throat?" So when it comes to making change that's hard, take baby steps. And if you are realizing you need support in this, I'm here for it sis. With Compassion, 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! Sign up here to grab the guide!
Don't Expect Your Partner To Treat You Better Than You Treat Yourself
Here's a bit of tough love that eventually comes up in my sessions with partnered and married folks: there is an often unconscious expectation that their partners will show up for them in a way that they are not showing up for themselves.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This comes from our childhood wounds of not having adults in our lives who could hold space for us, who took care of us appropriately, who gave us structure, love, and boundaries.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
So we look to repair these wounds in our adult relationships and often end up in a "codependent" dynamic because we are looking for our partners to fill a need that we got to do for ourselves first.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ CLICK FOR A FREE HANDOUT ON ATTACHMENT STYLES ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
As @angelamarymagick says "Love Yourself First and Best." Your adult self needs to give your inner child the respect, encouragement and validation that they need.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀
Your partner can support you and provide these things too (as they should!) but are you filling your own cup first? Are you showing yourself how much you value yourself, respect yourself, honor your own boundaries, have self-responsibility first and foremost?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This isn't meant as a call out. I just love you and do not want to see you suffer because your partner isn't meeting a need that YOU, my dear, have the power to fill.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
So today, lets look at our relationships with ourselves and see where we can show up for ourselves a bit more today.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ With Compassion, 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! Sign up here to grab the guide!