Sunday, May 5, 2014. At least I put the key into the ignition yesterday and turned the blog post writing crank. That’s a start? Makes me think of the 2003 Mercury Sable wagon sitting out in my apartment’s parking spot my daughter SO sweetly bought for me. I have yet to open the car door. It’s been sitting there for nearly a month. Where did the DRIVING LINDA GO? It is downright spooky to be experiencing this bizarre non-driving turn of events up here post-move. Spooky! Especially because I don’t know why. I don’t know what internally happened to me to remove my 40+ years of perfectly fine driving ability. No idea.
Meanwhile back in the apartment complex….
I am randomly thinking post-post from yesterday’s thoughts about Dr. Daniel Siegel’s considerations about ATTACHMENT being essentially a differentiation process that leads to “linking up” with other differentiated people toward a healthy integration.
Situations involving any kind of attacking behavior don’t seem to be about any of these health-provoking attachment processes.
I have never thought about “codependency” in terms of safe and secure versus unsafe and insecure attachment before today. But then, as I mentioned yesterday, I tend not to think in terms of “codependency” at all unless something comes along that seems to besmirch my blithe ignore-ance of the blotched intertwining of balanced versus imbalanced human inter-dependency interactions. BLECK!
Truth of the matter might be that as a person becomes increasingly vigilant about their own differentiation-linkage-integration (DLI) processes there becomes a correspondingly lessening need to exercise self-defense or self-protection. Other people would increasingly NOT trigger the DLI person!
(DLI – I have to say, last night I sent my first text ever to one of my daughters. One word but still. Today I sent my second text to my other daughter. My thinking has been that if people cannot bother to communicate at least voice-voice or in person with one another nothing of meaning could possibly be worth reducing “communication” to……… Did I ever mention I get tangled up in change?)
I have been aware that the end-goal of safe and secure attachment from birth builds a body-brain-self that is geared for maximum healthy, happy autonomy as an individual who is perfectly competent and comfortable participating as a member of a greatly social species. Siegel seems to be clarifying essence with his thoughts about differentiation-linkage-integration (DLI) processes. For someone like myself who was so abused and traumatized from birth, who was forbidden to display even a single aspect of self safely within the home, discovering self through this suggested “differentiation” process can take most of one’s adulthood.
The simple word BOUNDARIES does come into play as differentiation of self from other takes place, but this process is supposed to proceed in a predetermined orderly progression from birth within a safe and secure attachment environment. When trauma interrupts these developmental stages especially in the absence of ANY other safe and secure attachment relationship I think the self of a child remains in a kind of suspended animation state. But moving out of an abusive early environment does not guarantee that any kind of developmental catch-up happens predictably or smoothly.
I was left without “prior training” about what human relationships even are — let alone what they are SUPPOSED to be. I suspect it is because I am living in proximity of my two adult children and my little grandsons I am faced with opportunities for whole new relationship discoveries. Mostly I feel I am getting TOO MUCH INFORMATION, more than I have the inner assets to process comfortably. “Live and learn” as the adage states.
What “should bother?” What “is supposed” to be ignored? What left for later? When is a good later? What circumstances determine this? What can be put into words and verbalized and what cannot be spoken of? And to whom? And when? Where? How?
Where are the lines drawn, by whom and for what reasons? HOW does this differentiation process proceed in real time? Does stepping away from and out from as much touchy drama as possible accomplish eventual DLI? Where is there — actually — RELATIONSHIP if this differentiation-linkage-integration (DLI) process between adults is never completed? What happens to “the stuff” that is never identified let alone differentiated? Is “floating along” the basic goal of adult relationship? Always? Sometimes?
How is a person supposed to KNOW the answer to these kinds of confusing questions — let alone know how to put whatever those answers might be into good practice?
Is silence simply GOLDEN? When is pretending, pretending? Does pretending all is OK keep the peace? At what cost? To whom? How does one filter what matters from what doesn’t? Differentiation means to me that different things matter differently to the different people involved. How is this “differently mattering” ever discovered? Does THIS even matter?
If I had not lived through 18 years of horrendous early abusive trauma would I ask such questions? Would I need to? Would I know all the answers naturally without conflict or struggle?
“Hello out there! Does anybody know?”
Here is our first book out in ebook format. A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job – I think we will have to find an alternative!). Click here to view or purchase –
It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge. Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site
5 thoughts on “+ADULT RELATIONSHIPS – “SAY WHAT?””
Hi Linda! I have been on vacation for the past week and a half, and it’s hard to comment on my cell phone…I have so many thoughts on this post. First of all your avoidance of driving. I went on vacation with my adult daughter and we drove a long distance to get where we were going. This involved some urban areas of high traffic as well as some rural areas up in the hills and mountains. This is where the first item of contention came up for me and my daughter. I will admit, I am not as brave or as aggressive as I was when I was younger as far as my driving is concerned. Driving in the big cities and in the mountains scares me. I also don’t like driving at night because my middle aged eye sight makes it difficult. My daughter has a lead foot and although she is a good driver, she gave me quite a few gray hairs with her weaving in and out of traffic. My fear, and somewhat deteriorated driving skills gave me some pause for thought on this trip (I had plenty of time in the car to ponder because after a while my daughter just decided to do ALL the driving because she didn’t like mine, and that was fine with me). I used to drive all the time, hell, I’m an Army trained truck driver who once drove a semi tractor trailer fuel hauling rig and way one of only three people to make it up “heartbreak hill” during my truck driving training. I used to live in Seoul, Korea, Berlin, Germany, and Tacoma, Washington and had to drive in high-volume traffic all the time. Here’s what I decided. I am just getting older. My reflexes are not as quick as they used to be and I SIMPLY DON’T LIKE the stress of high-concentration driving. So, you moved from a rural area to an urban one. It takes some getting used to. Both being there and driving there. Maybe start with short trips when you’re ready. Plus it’s a new, unfamiliar car. We took my daughter’s car, and she had these really weird side view mirrors with little rounded bumps on them to show you your blind spot when changing lanes. All they did was make me dizzy and piss me off. I get my first pair of bi-focals this week, I probably won’t like them either…so on to the next topic of communication. There were several times on this trip where I felt that my daughter was overly short and critical with me. I called her on it and she accused me of being over-sensitive. Now, I will admit that is true, but I have worked long and hard on that over the years and can honestly say that I didn’t yell or get dragged into an argument, I simply stated how her remarks made me feel (and stating my feelings alone is a huge improvement from what I used to be like). I then stomped down the beach for a couple of hours. Good for the old girl’s calves and put some needed distance between me and my daughter. On the couple of times this happened, when I got back from “walking it off”, my daughter made a concerted effort to be nicer when I got back. It was very tense there for a couple of times though. In my horribly dysfunctional family of origin, everything had to be a major deal. One wrong word could throw my father into a rage that could last for days. So you learned not to talk. He was the only one allowed to express any feelings or opinions. He was verbally and sometimes physically abusive. I learned to always be on high-alert for the next barrage of hurtful comments. I keep trying to remind myself that my daughter is not out to get me or hurt me, she’s just at that age where she’s trying to show me really hard that she is an adult. She does that by acting like she knows everything and has to disagree with pretty much everything I say and do, from the way I drive, to the friends I pick, and to the way I choose to do (or not to do) my housework. In my family the children were not allowed to have opinions, let alone voice them. I vowed it would be different with my kids. I did a good job with that obviously, cuz now it’s coming back to bite me! You are so smart Linda. On some days you just have to say that ALL relationships can be difficult and communication is hard. I always come back to the motto “the only person you can control is yourself”. The fact that you are so introspective is such a good thing because you will be able to sort it our eventually.
THANK YOU!!! Your descriptions on both driving and daughter fronts is VERY helpful to me! The situation is more complicated and difficult here than I could have EVER imagined. My inability to drive seems to be just an uppermost visible “symptom” of my entire inner state up here. A metaphor for all that’s happening here….
my friend who drove truck towing car up here from AZ was NASTY to me – not good for me. Was not helpful to me that I can see so far. So glad to receive this affirmation from you this morning after very tough day yesterday. I really do think lots of this mom stuff of adult kids IS GENERATIONAL. They have to go through their adult developmental stages – and by the time they mature enough to WANT to really get to know parents we are long gone from this earth. What the biological intention of these patterns offers is a mystery to me. Perhaps it is entirely socially-patterned and is not biological at all?
Some tough stuff…..
I thoroughly enjoyed this post in a dark humor sort of way given these thoughts also run through my mind and when I get to the point of frustration as indicated by your closing “Hello out there! Does anybody know?” I reached out for my single serving Haagen Daz sea salt caramel gelato…..and know I am not alone in this….thank you for keeping me company and letting me know I am not alone
Thanks for the smile you dropped into my very cool and very wet, gray day! I actually tried to treat myself to a scaled down version of my Haagen Daz fave Rocky Road the other day. Local Wal-Mart didn’t sell it – tho price was right on something else. Picked out a comfort jolt in the form of Caramel Cone (never tried before). In the crazy rush of things brought it home and forgot about it in the grocery bag plopped on the floor.
Refroze it when discovered – tried to eat it – AWFUL stuff! The remainder still hides in my freezer.
Need to stick with my newly discovered-in-the-frigid-darkness of a North Dakota winter favorite comfort food SNICKERS. What can I learn about my current state of life from talking to candy bars? “Where have you BEEN all of my life? You are FANTASTIC!”
I now keep a visible stash of them in my cereal cupboard.
“This too shall pass?”
I love this. Now I know I am really not alone. ;p Snickers will never let you down.