I have what is called "insecure attachment". It is due to the time spent in an incubator before volunteer baby huggers, and being raised by a 1st time mother who had herself been raised to a "schedule" and the belief that picking up and cuddling babies too much was bad for them and would cause problems for them as adults. Add in that I'm high-functioning autistic, and the regimen for my behaviors was more rigidity, and yeah..."insecure attachment". I was also an extremely intelligent and sensitive child with a mother who thought expressing emotions was a weakness and expressed her displeasure in my sensitivity and emotionality. I grew up to be a strange, distant child who avoided things that made me feel deeply. I withdrew into books, art, and writing. Books were approved of, at least. In fact, my mother taught me to read before I started school. I'm still the same sensitive, feeling person underneath, deep underneath. But after a childhood and adolescence of being beaten down for that, of being silence, I've developed a thick, hard veneer that is the outside face I present to the world. I protect the soft, shell-less worm of my real self behind that veneer. I've matured out of using my intelligence as a weapon for the most part. I do use my vocabulary to make up for my lack of physical expressiveness and body/facial language though.
Thank you, Going North. That is interesting. Appreciate the sharing.
My mom never held me. She said I didnt like being held. I believe it. She propped a bottle.
I dont have insecure attachment any more, but I did. I was a moody and depressed kid and that didnt help, Im sure. My dad was distant.
I had a few close friends later on
I learned to trust them and my grandma was always so kind to me. We had a special bond that may have saved me. Then i met my husband and became close to him quickly and I can and do trust him completely. It feels so much better not to be afraid to show and feel deep affection and connection, but I dont think I did until my 40s, except with my kids.
Anyway I find the suject interesting so thank you for your feedback.
I can so relate to a lot of this. My parents didn't believe in hugging or cuddling or saying I love you. Or attending to our basic needs after they got overwhelmed with too many kids as they were against birth control. Lots of verbal abuse. I moved out shortly after turning 16.
I struggle with self esteem issues and constant self doubt. I was an attachment parent - I didn't want my kids to feel how I did growing up. So it is so painful they all have had problems. (Actually my oldest is doing great - yes, she had depression and anxiety, but she wanted to get better and she did, and she is just great.)
I keep to myself a lot - except for my kids. I don't know if this is just introversion, or reacting to childhood.
SOT - how wonderful you have a good marriage. I can't relate to that at all!
Sometimes, if parents are not so loving, grandparents csn save the day I was very close to my grandmother all my life. She was like a best friend. My grandmother to the end always told me I was her special grandchild. She had favorite people (her son was always #1) and had no bones about expressing who her favorites were.
I credit my grandmother for making it possible for me to learn deep attachment.
Pisces, i am sure your kids love you very much, in spite of their issues....things probably would have been worse without your intense love.
Thanks. Maybe you are right. the girls and I get along very well. And I am slowly starting to get some perspective on things, not just reflexively self blaming.
I am wondering about ... ok, like am I anxious and insecure because of upbringing or genetics? How do you separate inherited tendencies from early family experiences? I know - twins raised apart studies, but that doesn't help in our own unique situations.
My ex's extended family tends to have a lot of encounters with the law, crime, addictions. My extended family runs a bit meek, neurotic, and prosocial. We barely get parking tickets.
Not to digress...this is a different topic.
But yes, I do think I have attachment issues...
The other issues are also importany, dear Pisces. I do not know much of my fathers family but the little I know and heard of them...., is problematic. My Dad loves me the best he knows how. In my mothers small family neurosis, EXTREME sensitivity, a tendency to play obvious favorites, mood instability and eating disorders (including an uncle!).
I think we all fight DNA. I feel nature trumps nurture. I got many of my not so endearing traits from DNA and also many traits that held me back (like HYPER sensitivity). I am still sensitive so I made a decision to avoid people that are harsh to me. For my peace of mind.
I feel nature beats the heck out of nurture. But I feel a kind upbringing may help those born with a poorer deck of cards. Many of us here did not have kindness. My role model and hero was my mother in law, a wonderful, quiet, graceful, giving, just all around wonderful woman outside of my DNA. She related to everyone with calm compassion, the opposite of my own family drama and anger and favoritism and scapegoating. She would get 100 Christmas cards .. you had to love her and people did.
I have learned to love peace and harmony and avoid contentious people, maybe too much. But those in my life...I am very close to them. Even my difficult son...I am sure he loves me. I feel very close to my husband and children and one special writing friend.
Thanks, Susie. She said she tried to hold me but I would scream. Could be. I would have tried anyway. I did so with Sonic. Autistic people tend not to like being touched...you just try. At least, I did. He is very attached.
My childhood is long over and I have become very touchy feely and capable of loving. My mom was kind of a non affectionate person...i dont have any memory of her hugging anyone.