Before I remove myself from my writing again for this upcoming week during which I will again go sit in the office of my friend to cover for her while she is on vacation, I want to say a few more things.
First, as I wrote my previous post I hit the ‘level of truth’ for myself for the first time in my life where I could make the connection inside of myself that allowed me to honestly and truthfully say, “I love my mother.” That is not an insignificant step for me, and is one I will be able to appreciate as a useful tool when it is time for me to go ‘back there’ to retrieve my childhood abuse story.
The next comment I want to make has to do with my childhood stories as I have already written them (available here with some digging around through the links: +DEVIL’S CHILD – My Childhood.) As I just told my daughter in our telephone conversation, my ‘stories’ are nothing more than dissociated, discontinuous vignettes that exist not unlike letters of the alphabet or individual musical notes that have yet to be composed into a cohesive whole.
My mother’s insecure attachment disorder showed up in her incoherent life. She could not tell a coherent life narrative, and she gave this disability to me. My main motivation for spending the years that I did transcribing and ordering my mother’s papers was to create a linear time line that I needed to begin to place my own childhood experiences in a linear line, also.
The other comment I wanted to write concerns my father. At least NOW I know I have hit the point within my own self where I am clear how I love my mother. I love her as I described in my previous post. But I have not reached that level with my father.
When it comes to thinking about, describing and feeling emotions, I always have a sideline running in the background concerning my father. I think about the dismissive-avoidant insecure attachment disorder patterns as researchers are now being able to actually see them operate through visually watching the brains of such people.
Researchers can watch how some brains create in effect a firewall that leaves actual emotions as they ARE triggered in the body completely out of conscious awareness. Researchers can see the emotion being experienced in the brain AND at the same time be screened from a person so that they do not know they are even there — AT ALL. The brain is consuming massive amounts of energy during this screening process, and these ‘brain-holders’ never know it.
There are specific early caregiver-to-infant interactions that create these brains from birth to age one. These changed brains are intimately connected to the changed nervous system and body of their ‘holders’. Being cared for by unresponsive, unemotional, cold, depressed and ‘blank-faced’ caregivers are some of the ways these dismissive-avoidant brains are created in infants from the beginning.
These same infants, had they been interacted with by securely attached and appropriate-adequate early caregivers would have developed entirely different brains. My father was an unwanted infant born to an unwilling and depressed mother, raised by his teenage sister primarily who was not caring or nurturing. In the end, my father’s dismissive-avoidant insecurely attached brain worked very well on his behalf as he could NOT FEEL — did not HAVE to feel — and hence could ignore what he NEEDED to pay attention to and react to appropriately.
I have an important person I care deeply about who I believe also has a dismissive-avoidant insecure attachment disorder, and I can see how easily this pattern fits with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Very nicely indeed. The fact is that people who fit into this range can most often manage to get along just fine — but have extremely limited (if any) ability to FEEL and therefore to CARE how others feel, either. It would be easy to call them ‘intimacy disabled’.
Sometimes given the intensity of my emotions and my difficulties with them, I find myself tempted to envy these people for their cool, unemotional detachment. I then remind myself that to miss out on FEELING is to miss out on the entire color range of being alive. I also remind myself of the dangers of living without feelings — they have a purpose just as our physical body needs to feel its way through life, and to NOT be able to feel puts a person dangerously close (in my mind) to being ‘sociopathic’ — and therefore dangerous! It is not a good thing to NEED anything from these people.
And it is a sure thing that any infant born to its earliest caregiver with a dismissive-avoidant insecure attachment is going to have that same brain downloaded into their own forming brain — UNLESS there is another strong influence by another early caregiver who is safely and securely attached and therefore has a brain that operates with feelings included.
*Note: People with the other insecure attachment disorders of preoccupied and disorganized-disoriented tend to be attracted to those with dismissive-avoidant because they know these people will not overwhelm them emotionally.
2 thoughts on “+THOUGHTS – INCLUDING DISMISSIVE-AVOIDANT INSECURE ATTACHMENT DISORDER”
Im am the above have only discovered recently. I have been in therapy for the past 3.5 years and not making any progress in my eyes.
My therapist keeps banging on about the relationship and attachment to her and how this is so important to resolving the issues of abuse in childhood.
My question is what is the treatment to overcome this type of attachement, therby allowing them to from a relationship that will deal with the issues?
Im not sure this makes any sense but Im trying to work out what type of treatment or therapy can help this type of person develop appropriate attachment/relationship.
I am single and not in a relationship.
Thank you for your time,
Thank you for your comment, Trisha. If you were able to access someone who could give you the assessment ‘test’ called the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) only THAT would truly tell you (or anyone else) which of the insecure attachment patterns-disorders you might have.
This assessment tool is based on this:
Grice’s Conversational Maxims
Maxim of Quantity:
1. Make your contribution to the conversation as informative as necessary.
2. Do not make your contribution to the conversation more informative than necessary.
Maxim of Quality:
1. Do not say what you believe to be false.
2. Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence.
Maxim of Relevance:
Be relevant (i.e., say things related to the current topic of the conversation).
Maxim of Manner:
1. Avoid obscurity of expression.
2. Avoid ambiguity.
3. Be brief (avoid unnecessary wordiness).
4. Be orderly.
These maxims are considered to be reflected within rational ‘cooperative discourse’, and have been incorporated into the rating structure of the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) used clinically and in research to assess adult (secure and insecure attachment)
If you take a look at the post at this link below, and scroll down you will see a scanned picture of a page that gives a very brief description of how each adult attachment pattern is related to Brice’s Maxims:
+ATTACHMENT – HOW WE ARE WHO WE ARE
I am not a therapist so cannot offer anything more than my personal thoughts. I would most strongly suggest that you take a look over at Amazon.com at the titles of books written by Dr. Daniel Siegel:
of his books, Parenting From the Inside Out is probably the easiest to read, but still it requires some work and thought. It is at this link:
There are many types of therapy, and choosing one depends in part on the issues a client is trying to heal from. Everyone with an insecure attachment pattern-disorder suffered from a lack of safe and secure attachment during the most important earliest months of life — before the age of one (and then with more trauma after that age).
Many therapists are not themselves aware of the latest research on what ‘attachment’ truly is, and what it is designed to do for us. Safe and secure attachment lets us ‘repair’ what are called ‘ruptures’. Rupture and repair is a normal part of life, but people who were traumatized-abused when they were little did not experience enough of the REPAIR at the same time they experienced way to much RUPTURE.
If you think you might be interested, read this by Dr. Allan Schore — you can access the article online:
Traumatic Attachment and the Early Origins of PTSD at this link:
and on early right brain development and infant-caregiver attachment:
Click to access schore1.pdf
You are probably one of the rare people who already understand how attachment patterns from early in life affect all are later attachments in relationships. We can learn to understand how the different insecure attachment patterns operate so we can recognize our patterns and consciously begin to change them — not an easy task, but certainly possible.
We also need to be able to recognize our partner’s attachment styles. About half of our population was able to have a safe and secure attachment from birth with their earliest caregivers. That leaves the other half of us with some version of an insecure attachment pattern-style-disorder. (Again, please take a look at the post I mentioned at the start of this reply).
Working to understand and improve our insecure attachment pattern happens at the same time we begin to take charge of the effects early (and even later, but especially early-in-life) traumas have had on us. If a person has an insecure attachment pattern, they had early trauma as I mentioned above.
And tied into all of this are our difficulties with what is called ’emotional regulation’ which is tied both to trauma and to insecure attachments. Again, Dr. Allan Schore has a lot to say about this, as well — and I know we can trust anything either he or Dr. Daniel Siegel has to say.
Personally, I would want any therapist to be familiar — completely familiar — with the work of both of these doctors before they talked to me about attachment! Just my belief!
Go get ’em!! You are well on your way! I hope you stop by this blog again and post a comment! (If you pop attachment into this blog’s search window all kinds of things will come up — but don’t overload yourself!!) All the best!