What if falling in love was only our childhood attachment trauma being reactivated?
Passionate love, lust, and love at first sight as amazing as it sounds can sometimes be a sign of trauma bonding.
When we are so obsessed with someone that we can’t focus on anything else, have trouble sleeping, play up scenarii and start to implement strategies to a point where we actually adapt our behaviours in order to be liked, it is definitely a sign of
Trauma is often thought of as something dramatic like abuse or assault, but it can be more commonplace. When a caregiver ignores a baby’s distress, this can be a traumatic experience. The infant is crying and frightened and the caregiver ignores the distress and provides no comfort.
In his attachment theory, John Bowlby highlighted three attachment styles:
Secure Attachment is when the caregiver provides comfort, affection, and basic needs on a regular basis and with consistency. People with a Secure Attachment know they are worthy of love and feel a deep sense of safety and security within them as well as a clear sense of self. Their sense of identity is not dependent on other people’s perception and they are confident in who they are. They know that whether or not someone loves them has nothing to do with their worth or value. If someone ghosts them, they won’t question their ability to be loved.
Anxious Attachment occurs when the caregiver is inconsistent or unpredictable with comfort and responsiveness to distress. The child may use strategies like neediness or extreme emotional responses to get the attention of the caregiver. As an adult, this person may feel very insecure in relationships and may act needy and clingy, always looking for reassurance.
Avoidant Attachment occurs when the caregiver is not sensitive or reactive to distress in a child. That child is then more likely to avoid showing emotions. Later in life this person may be emotionally distant in relationships and unexpressive.
Anxious/Avoidant or disorganized attachment occurs when a caregiver’s behaviours are
Our attachment style is rooted in our childhood and modelled upon the love and affection we received from our caretakers.
If as children, our basic emotional needs were not satisfied, most likely we have developed strategies to protect ourselves from being hurt.
Attachment trauma is a disruption in the important process of bonding between a baby or child and his or her primary caretakers. The trauma may be overt abuse or neglect but it also may be a lack of affection or response from the caregiver. A divorce or absence of a parent,
Anxious Attachment is when the fear of being abandoned or rejected is so strong that we need constant reassurance from our partner. Obsessive text messages, phone calls, obsessive thinking about the other person (what is she/he thinking about/doing right now… maybe he/she is cheating on me….
Avoidant Attachment is when the fear of being abandoned or rejected is so strong that we avoid any situation that could lead to us being hurt. This is when we end a relationship when it starts to be “too serious” or when we feel the other person’s starting to get attached and we just want to run away and escape. This is also not returning calls, having trouble making plans, as it makes us feel trapped. We tend to stay vague when asked to commit to something or someone.
Anxious/Avoidant Attachment is a mix of both. We can feel anxious when we don’t hear from the other person but if the other person is too clingy we might get overwhelmed and feel like running away.
De même, un enfant ayant grandi dans une famille où les parents sont omniprésents, surprotecteurs et étouffants développera lui aussi des comportements compensateurs. Il pourra par exemple fuir dès qu’il sent que l’autre s’attache trop ou au contraire penser que la fusion entre les êtres aimés est normale et donc devenir extrêmement anxieux si le partenaire est plus distant. Il pensera que c’est de sa faute, qu’il a fait quelque chose de mal et se remettra en question jusqu’à se dévaloriser complètement.
Also, a kid who grew up in a family where the parents were overprotective, omnipresent, controlling, where there were no boundaries and where enmeshment was the norm, might develop compensating strategies. As an adult, he might suffocate and run away from a partner who makes him feel trapped or on the opposite, he might think that it is normal to have zero boundaries and develop codependent relationships.
These different attachment styles reflect different coping mechanisms or survival strategies. A baby is dependent on his/her caretakers to survive so when we were not given the love, care and support we needed as children, we develop attachment trauma.
Passionate love, lust and love addiction often occur when our lover reactivates our initial wound. He/she may act in a similar way as one of our caretakers and make us feel the exact same way we felt when we were a kid. When a person triggers something so deep within us that our nervous system is thrown completely off balance, we somehow label our anxiety and distress as passion, when really, it is trauma bonding!
Deep physical attraction and the desire to merge with another often reveal our subconscious desire to go through the same pain. We hope the outcome will be different this time and that we will be able to finally heal those wounds. However, for this to happen, both partners need to be conscious about it and willing to do the work together. Otherwise, we just reinforce this pattern over and over again and the belief that we are not worthy of being loved becomes stronger each time.