Thursday, February 20, 2014. I cannot find a way to stop the Merry-Go-Round of my thoughts this morning as they continue to inform me that insecure attachments are STILL — attachments.
My thoughts are telling me “There is something worse and that is no attachment at all.”
NEVER in all of my years of research and study about what happened to me as an abused infant and child (birth to age 18) have I had these thoughts before: No matter how psychotically abusive mentally ill Mother was I was STILL attached to her. Majorly so.
I had no choice. That this attachment was NOTHING but unsafe and insecure matters not a bit.
Mother interfered with and prevented any attachment I could have had with anyone else. She had great difficulty in preventing my brother’s attachment to me in the early years of my and his life. He was 13 months old when I was born and loved me as much as is possible. While his love and care for me did not go away when he reached about the age of two Mother could control his access to me.
The same thing happened very early in my life with any relationship infant me could have had with my father and with my grandmother. Eventually right before my 6th birthday Mother made sure my grandmother could no longer interfere at all on my behalf. Grandmother was left behind in Los Angeles, CA while Mother moved her family to Alaska.
Never before this morning have I ever thought in terms of me having ANY attachment relationship with Mother. Yes, I have considered the “trauma bond” that connected me to her. But at this moment I am realizing that I would have to list my newly discovered fact about my childhood that I DID have an unsafe and insecure attachment with Mother (the only attachment I was allowed to form).
An unsafe and insecure – insanely abusive attachment AS ONE OF MY RESILIENCY FACTORS?
Oh, Geeze! This can’t be good.
My thinking has been running along the general groove of early primary attachment figures being those people in a young person’s life who are CONSISTENTLY present over LONG periods of time.
This basic definition as it runs through my thoughts does NOT include any information about the quality of such an attachment relationship.
Is it, then, a bottom line in regarding attachment histories that ANY such ATTACHMENT exists versus NO such ATTACHMENT — AT ALL?
What is the length of (real) time required for such an attachment to be formed for a little person? How many hours a day? Hours per week? Over how many months? Over how many years?
What is the degree of dependency needs a little person has to have as it seeks to fulfill those needs in a primary attachment relationship?
What if the requisite amount of time is not available for the little person to get their needs met?
Are they forced to substitute less permanent (and faulty ineffectual by default) attachments (as Dr. Neufeld might suggest, with peers) in an attempt to get their needs met?
The kinds of attachment needs and patterns portrayed in
Still Face Experiment: Dr. Edward Tronick – YouTube
do not only exist in the first year of life. My thinking today is scanning the recesses of my being for information about what I could imagine happens for little people who HAVE FORMED NO ATTACHMENT IN THE FIRST PLACE that allowed them to get to the advancing stages of the baby in this video as it interacts with its mother.
When more and more mothers abandon their infants at birth to care that is ALWAYS substandard to the mother-infant attachment relationship care an infant is built to require are we “breeding” as a society a strata among us who are without any primary attachments at all?
Of course we must rethink what primary attachments are, I suppose. What worked in eras where mothers, with the assistance of other very close kin, invested massive amounts of contact time with offspring – even in modern times – before a child entered kindergarten PART TIME is not working today. How CAN it work with the mothers absent?
I am honestly scared by what the determined nature of my thoughts is telling me. No matter how horrifyingly torturous and abusive — on a consistent and longterm basis — my mother’s treatment of me was I WAS STILL BETTER OFF THAN CHILDREN BEING STRANDED IN DAY ORPHANAGES today because at least I DID have an attachment relationship with mother — NO MATTER HOW UNSAFE AND INSECURE it was.
My thoughts today are telling me this is true even though I know the insecure attachment disorder that I have had all of my life beginning at birth is among the most complex and troublesome possible (as it includes disorganization, disorientation, reactivity, emotional dysregulation, dissociation, etc.). At least I HAD attachment.
(I have also been considering that the troubling rise in austism-spectrum disorders would OF COURSE be tied to such scenarios where they exist — and who is looking THERE for source material inside little people being raised with socially-legitimized absent mothering?)
I encountered the term ALLOPARENTING this week (which is what I am doing 50-55 hours per week with my youngest grandson who turned 19 months today). I have to research this term which is evidently rooted in sociology and anthropology.
I also want to mention here that any thinking I do about early attachment an infant NEEDS with its mother begins in the kind of information presented in this article which I consider to be among the top 10 most important articles on the internet:
Effects of a secure attachment relationship on right brain development, affect regulation, and infant mental health
SCROLL DOWN PAST THE MULTI-LANGUAGE ABSTRACTS – TO PAGE 16 FOR DRAWINGS if you do not want to read the entire article — but PLEASE consider trying to read enough of Dr. Schore’s words to gain a basic understanding of how fundamentally essential these interactions are to the physiological development of a human being. How could it be possible for daycare center staff to replicate these essential interactions?
Attachment and the regulation of the right brain – by Dr. Allan N. Schore
Notes on this blog: **Dr. Allan Schore on Emotional Regulation – Notes
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