Up until the age of two, our brain is growing at a furious rate. The neurons are connecting, and the brain is being wired, literally. In the relationship with our primary caregiver (usually the mother), we are being wired for relationship. As children, we depend on this person for food, love, understanding and survival, so we adapt out behaviour to suit the situation we are experiencing in that relationship to stay alive, fed and loved.
If the mother was not available or inconsistent in their availability, or even abusive, the created attachment bond is called ‘insecure’. Researchers have identified three distinct insecure styles:
🔅Ambivalent/anxious – develops clingy and insecure traits as an adult
🔅Avoidant – develops intimacy issues and can be ‘cold’ as an adult
🔅Disorganised – this is a combination of the two above – flips between being clingy and distancing. Often the result of trauma in the relationship with the mother.
This first relational ‘imprint’ continues into adulthood. We have unconscious expectations that the person we are in an adult intimate relationship with will behave the same way our mother did. If she was unavailable and cold, we would expect that our partner won’t meet our needs, and there is no point in sharing. We may want to be intimate but have no experience of what that feels and looks like from the inside. This is what it feels like to be trapped in a cycle.
If you read through the list and feel that you fall into one of the three insecurely attached groups and have felt the pain of that attachment style over and over again in your intimate relationships, in your friendships and at work, know that you CAN help yourself.
One of the things we will be looking at in my upcoming course, ‘ Relationship Cycle Breaker,’ are practical ways to rewire our personality for more fulfilling relationships. You CAN go back and rewire that original attachment to create profound shifts and healing in your adult life. I have seen it happen again and again in therapy, so have hope.
If you are ready to start your healing journey, click here to be the first to know when the course launches in a few weeks.
Love always, Jen