How do childhood attachment patterns impact our adult relationships?

In a healthy mother and baby relationship, a secure attachment is formed when they are responsive and can provide nurturing care, protection, and emotional support. Building a secure attachment is important for:

  • Babies’ brain development.
  • Learning to self soothe.
  • Feeling deserving of care.
  • Seeding self esteem.
  • The first experience of love.
  • Building confidence to communicate their needs.
  1. Anxious attachment : This attachment style happens when parents are inconsistent with care so the child does not trust if their needs are going to be met or not. This anxious attachment style shows up in adult relationships as:
  • Difficulty trusting others
  • Low self-worth.
  • Fear of abandonment.
  • Craving closeness with unavailable people.
  • Being overly dependent.
  • Requiring frequent reassurance that people care about you.
  • Being overly sensitive to a partner’s actions and moods.
  • Being highly emotional, impulsive, unpredictable and moody.
  1. Avoidant attachment: In this dynamic the parent cannot show up and the child knows that their needs are not going to be met. This leaves them feeling unloved and insignificant.  Avoidant attachment shows up in adult relationships as:
  • Compulsive self reliance.
  • Fear of closeness.
  • Disconnection from your emotions which means you’re more likely to minimise the emotions of those close to you.
  • Relationship sabotage, (i.e affairs.)
  • Preferring casual relationships (hook up’s and situationships.)
  • Emotional unavailability.
  1. Disorganised attachment: The child experiences and/or witnesses abuse and will act out/in through withdrawal and/or intense rage. Disorganised attachment shows up in relationships as:
  • Confused emotions swinging between love and hate for your partner.
  • Insensitivity, controlling and mistrust.
  • Explosive drama and/or abusive behaviour.
  • Being hard on yourself and others.
  • Refusal to take responsibility for your actions.
  • Feeling unworthy of love and fears abandonment.

Justice for your inner child involves creating a safe, nurturing, and validating environment where they can flourish and thrive, free from the burdens of the past. Are you on the path? 

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