What’s Love Got to Do With it?
Our earliest interactions with our caregivers have impacts on our relationships in the future. For example, if you grew up with secure caregivers, where their presence towards you was comforting, when you had a need, it was met. You learned to be secure in others meeting your needs. As a result, as an adult, you will feel secure when you engage with people, that they will respond to you and meet your needs.
If your primary caregivers however were not safe, reliable, and consistent in their attachment to you, then as a child you may have had to find other ways to seek attachment and safety elsewhere or with other behaviors.
Growing up in a household where there were inconsistent or ambivalent feelings around love and connection may have led you to yearn for closeness but push it away simultaneously. Here are some examples of how our relationships with our earliest caregivers manifest later on in life: Example 1: If your attachment figures could be explosive and then calm, you may remember looking back and seeing yourself as a child who was always “on alert,” waiting for the next blow-up or unpredictable outburst. People often share a feeling of being overly suspicious of people or having a constant “hyper activated'' sense of awareness as they move through the world. If you find yourself constantly monitoring the temperature of the room you may want to consider what closeness or care felt like for you with your caregivers.
Example 2: If you encountered your parents fighting constantly you may have developed a sense of distrust in relationships or maintaining long term relationships as a result. In adulthood this can also turn into ambivalence with choosing sides or black and white thinking rather than seeing multiple views and holding both accountable as well as reasonable.
Example 3: If closeness felt good but had an ominous component to it then you may find yourself unconsciously following that style and finding another person that feels similar. This is often the cause of women who are attracted to “bad boy” types or men who are attracted to highly critical or unavailable women. This could also lead to finding a way that is the safest for you to have the strongest connection for yourself which sometimes means isolating or other avoidant behaviors. All of these serve as ways to protect yourself which have become adaptations to safeguard you for a long time.
The ways we react to inconsistency and threats in adulthood are ways to keep us safe and are usually learned in early childhood. When a situation presents itself where we feel threatened, we commonly adapt to respond in a way that keeps us safe. This is why it is commonly said that an intimacy disorder is the desire to have connection with others while rejecting it at the same time.
Even though these reactions begin as defenses to feel better, they sometimes become out of control or maladaptive, which is when finding a therapist who understands these patterns matters.
Sending light, Desiree Nazarian
How can Seen Therapy help?
If you are interested in learning more about Seen Therapy and how to deepen your connection to yourself and others, contact us today for a free and confidential 15 minute consultation. Call: 1-800-607-7922 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
***Seen Therapy provides individual, group, and intensive therapy for women seeking healthier connections and healthier lifestyles. Specializing in therapy for Mental Health challenges, Trauma/PTSD, Women’s Sexual Health and Intimacy difficulties, Betrayal Trauma, and Sex and Love Addiction***