Lesson 32, 3, 10. Attachment styles. Notes in brief. Another badly written blog entry.
Updated: Apr 18, 2020
Another valuable session in DBT path. Enjoy the typos:
Attachment certainly has been a massive white elephant in the room in my life since, well, forever.
Attachment, or attachment ishoooes has caused me and people I attach too or detach from, a lot of fucking bother!
It's an issue. It's a lot of work to do. This session again, probed and poked at bits of me that are very broken and hurt. Alot.
So, in brief:
We kicked off with a mindfulness exercise in grounding. I will practice this one more. Its a good one. Loads of good examples on YouTube to follow too.
A discussion about how are neurons and our neural path way develops as children and young people and particularly how they develop and establish themselves when surrounded by abuse, all types of abuse and abusive neglect and so forth. How those pathways and chemical and brain stuff become miss wired, under developed and damaged due to these factors.
We discussed this and how these factors come into play in life when developing attachment styles with one's "care givers" or lack of "care givers". Take ya choice.
Abuse, events, "care givers", BPD, PTSD, other mental health SNAFU's, cortisol, brain damage, missed wired neural pathways, attachment issues, interpersonal interaction problems etc etc are all hand in hand, connected and part of the jig saw problem to unpick and try to put back together again in the right (ish) order with education, insight, technique, communication, practice and hard fucking long haul work. Otherwise known as therapy (s).
More info on that topic, begin here. Tons on Google (other search engines are available!)
Our discussion took us into exploring how the all the above issues play out as a you baby, how inadequate and/or abusive care effects the development in babies up to 18 months and how in fact our brain development can be detrimentally effected in our prenatal stages of life. If our mother is under great stress and pain and emotional/mental turmoil whilst we are cooking inside her belly, her chemical in-balances as a result of such things has a detrimental affect on the developing fetus, impeding healthy development, especially of the brain. Therefore the beginning of mental health abnormalities can occur even before you pop!
As a young baby especially, resonance between parents/ caregivers is a vital part of our emotional development. Our nervous system is in resonance with our care givers (parents) and if that resonance is negative then, well, you guess the rest, A bad beginning. This is true of course through out life. Resonance with other people is a key factor in our mental health. As a developing fetus, baby, child and young adult, our developing years, healthy resonance and relationships and environments is key to a healthy mind. If that stuff goes wrong, shit hits the fan later.
As described in the attachment slide below, our nervous system is like a tuning fork being tuned by those around us, resonating in our lives and life events. Explains why I have been out of tune with life and relationships throughout my life but for want of trying to get it right. I tried to tune up and I failed. Here I am trying again, only with, finally, the support I need from DBT.
Research post traumatic growth !!! ⬅⬅⬅🔴
Internal and external: attachment:
Topics in the above slide were discussed at length, some of which was reinforcing topics that we cover regularly to really memorize and practice the subjects too help the become second nature, hard wired, default go too healthy patterns of thinking. I.E. the wise mind practice.
We briefly discussed out internal attachments as in our bonds with different parts of our inner world such as our "inner child", which is huge thing in human life and especially in conditions like BPD caused by a life traumatically interrupted during childhood. It's a huge thing for me both in a negative detrimental sense but also in a positive playful, humorous, creative sense. My inner child is there very much and its a double edged sword. I could write a book on this it's such a huge topic as it is for most people.
The creative me inside is a huge thing too. That's a blog entry for another day.
As is my dark side that I am very much in contact with and I am trying to make friends with it, kind of. This is what this is about right? My demons? My demon is me. That monster inside. That monster though has an important role to play and not entirely for the bad. It's there, i am there. Needs to be disciplined and forgiven a bit though. Many more blog entries about him to come!
Internal resource attachment figure:
This was an interesting part of the discussion.
I wont explain what it entirely means here for anyone else that might stumble upon my DBT examples here but in a nut shell, it means an internal figure, a role model, a spiritual figure, made up as in created by ourselves or a real actual person or spiritual idol that you turn too, resource from, think about or mediate on to help sooth you and/or get you on the "right track" when feeling challenged or not.
I have such things both real and created by in my mind, a kind of fusion of role models that guide my moral compass perhaps. I wont name and shame them here, no need, that's secret. But I will say inside and outside I have soothing, creative and intellectual influences from real life philosophers, psychologists, artists, psychiatrists, poets, politicians and more that make for a melting pot of internal medicine that I turn too in my mine and in books and online when I need to call on them to help guide my noisy mind.
My "made up" internal soothing attachment resource character is a creative figure with philosophical and moral monologues (dialogues?) to impart when needed. An internal me with me.
How I relate to I. Me on me. You on you. you get the drift. Self parenting!
External /Relational attachment: Me with others.
Talking about attachments with other peeps and being clear about bounders covered a fair bit already and will be even more soon I wont bang on about my take on that one here, this time. Safe to sat that external attachment styles really do affect ones personal boundaries though and that's been an issue for real however as I get older and wiser and educated here, that's becoming healthier. less bullshit taken, less bullshit given.
The taking nourishment from others part of the discussion was healthy reminder to allow positive things in and to happen relating to those around me. Accept the love and accept the wisdom. Some other people really can be a healthy influence. Again, I have seriously fucked up with who I let in and who i push away in my life due to, well, being fucked up. Lesson have been learned through. I want loving healthy nourishment in my life from others and I have a lot of it for which I am grateful. Some brilliant friends and family. And cats!
My impact on others is why I am here equally to my impact on my self and therefore my attachment style is in sharp focus. My toxic attachment issue(s) have cost me dear and driven my most cherished away. I have hurt, confused, abused and used through my attachment issues. My impact on others is why I am here. To make it and get it right.
That said, I am acutely aware of the impact both positive and negative people have and have had on me. Some of those I have hurt and abused have certainly had their fair share of negative impacts on myself. Its not a one way street. So I do temper my inward gaze with an external focus too. Yep.
We took a good look at the various types of attachment personalities, listed above and below. I need to invest in the book above note to self! ⬅⬅⬅⬅🔴
We discussed the various styles/types of attachment and how each one manifests in certain types of people according to their circumstances and natural temperament genetically speaking.
We also discussed what style/type tends to attract to themselves and attach to romantically, sexually and in platonic friendships and how and why so. What tends to work and what tends to burn although it's not an exact science whatsoever, absolutely not a black and white thing.
I can vouch for that. I've attached to all kinds of lunatics and them me and I also had a very important person in my life who was without a doubt the secure attachment type. My illness and I put pay to that one. Fucked that one right up, with my twisted attachment styles. I was never taught any healthy skills as a kid and developing teen ager. The opposite is true and that's an understatement.
Learning about my attachment styles(s) in depth and radically accepting how I am and the fact that needs to be picked apart and rewired is a massively mind opening journey in my life and about fucking time too. I've touched on these things in therapy in the past through mental health teams and in psyche hospitals and abuse/neglect counselling via social services but its always been scant and fleeting and disjointed and just wrong. Very wrong in one particular case but that's a whole other can of worms I need to deal with separately, privately and perhaps legally. I'll pick that one up in the future blog wise, perhaps.
Establishing the fact that I am a rather complicated mix of Anxious, Avoidant and Dis-organised through our sessions and conversations and certainly this session, really delving into the nitty gritty nuts and bolts of the issue has given me both relief in terms of clarity and some huge "ahha" moments validating many many feelings and theories and pennies dropping, etc etc but has also given me a clear view of the mammoth task ahead of me in unpicking the faulty wiring and putting in all back together, if not entirely correctly, in a better, healthier, safer order. I'm in this for the long haul and to try to be the best version of myself I know I can be and am, in fact, inside there somewhere.
Anxious, Avoidant, Dis-organised. Fucking hell. That's me indeed when it comes to intimate relationships and i tick every bullet point under each three labels. That's messy.
I have been very toxic. just a fact. Gunna change that.
Problem is, I also embody a certain amount of secure style too. Quite a lot in fact when I'm (when I was) well. Really well. I CAN get it right see. When I'm on the level, not under pressure and, well, happy. When that goes to shit, when my mental health slips, the monster gets out of its cage. Here in lays the work to be done between me and the monster me.
I have a lot of work ahead of me.
I am worth it.
That'll do for now. More will be added here.
According to this attachment quiz thing I am:
Mark, your attachment personality is:
Avoidant! Avoidant attachers tend to be emotionally distant from their partners. Avoidant attachers take pride in their independence and can see attachment as weakness. They like to process emotions on their own and don’t like to share vulnerabilities with anyone else. Unfortunately, they tend to pull away when they need help most. They are not as attentive as their partners because they worry they will become too co-dependent, and this will take away their independence. They also can shut down emotionally during arguments or close themselves off from feelings.
well, that's nice : /