I am getting more awareness around my own anxiety issues these days. I borrowed a book from the library on male borderline personality disorder and reading the section on attachments reminded me how much we can suffer and how insecure we can feel when in childhood early attachments were a source of pain. If they were non existent or unreliable or if we suffered physical or emotional abandonment when young, then we never got to establish that sense of secure trust and holding that I mentioned in my post on the mother wound yesterday. And without this it is nearly impossible to establish a secure sense of self. We may struggle for a lot of our life with anxious feelings around being close, reaching out, establishing intimacy and depending and relying on others.
In a post I wrote a while back on avoidant attachment https://wordpress.com/post/emergingfromthedarknight.wordpress.com/35898
I addressed how avoidance can be a response to being let down and emotionally abandoned as well and then that pattern is replayed. Those of us with avoidant attachment may attract those with insecure attachment (really we are both insecure but one of us is invested in NOT showing it). It can be hard for both parties to see their part and then the relationship can be full of hurt, misunderstanding and frustration.
This week I have managed to organise to have two outings with friends and that is a difficult issue for me. I am anxious prior to meetings at times and then I am anxious also in initiating contacts too. As an empath I often fear being overwhelmed. Developing a sense of trust in new relationships where I am no longer as invalidated as I have been in the past is taking time, but it is happening.
Its important to know what our attachment style or difficulties are in life, especially if we have known past abuse, abandonment or trauma. This lessens the self blame we can feel for ‘not being like everyone else’. If we can explore our past as well as the things in childhood or friendships that hurt us or overly trigger our anxiety and core wound we are better placed to find boundaries to deal with it. I had to let one friendship go last year because each time I organised to meet up with this girlfriend she would be up to half an hour late. It wasn’t just once that it happened but nearly every single time. The last straw was when she turned up late to take me to a radiation appointment. I chose to get myself there and she was upset when I told her I was annoyed. What she didn’t realise was that every time she ran late without doing me the courtesy of letting me know she was forcing me to carry anxiety. As a over scheduler who was always doing too much, her relationships got to bear the brunt of her own tendency to have poor boundaries. I have felt better not spending time with her though I do honestly miss aspects of our friendship but caring for myself meant I had to set my boundary.
Dealing with the ongoing effects of insecure attachment is not easy. Its not our fault that we suffer from the affects of earlier abandonment or abuse or inconsistency. It was not until I read a book on attachment styles earlier in the year that I learned that those with anxious attachment do better if they don’t have to deal with those who have an avoidant style. If we do we are endlessly triggered and that is not good for our stability, ongoing emotional and physical well being or mental health. If we were not sufficiently held when young we may not be aware of what is healthy and recovering a sense of self means we need to find out what is best for us and not endlessly settle for less or second best. ‘To gain we have to know we have value and the power to ask for what we want and need or express distress if it is necessary or will help our connections and intimacy with another to grow.