How to make more attachments

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Boatsetsailrose

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How to make more attachments
« on: February 02, 2019, 09:40:10 PM »
Hi back again
Trying to understand just why I'm so isolated ...i do try a lot ...go to activities groups etc. ...work to be open and interact with people ...
The other side of me often has a lot of judgment about others and always wants others to fit in a perfect framework which of course no one can. I feel these attitudes come from the way i was treated by my m.
I feel as i get older im losing the ability to form friendships ..not sure if this is actually true but its how it feels.
I always feel I'm the one who needs to make more effort in a friendship to keep it going ...maybe its the type of person i choose ? I also find a lot of people too loud and opinionated ..but i know im opinionated and can be pretty blunt in some of my communication .

Knowing that cptsd has attachment issues as part of it ...how do we heal in this area ? I really want to make a couple of friends ..have more people to hang out with not just people i know in groups ...
Any ideas suggestions or experience in this area greatly appreciated

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DandelionCrown

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Re: How to make more attachments
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2019, 11:13:32 PM »
Hi Boatsetsailrose!

Wow, I've been in that same position. I know it's so frustrating to try and to not feel like you're making any headway. I've worked with my T on this intensively lately, and her recommendation to me was to start reaching out to people when the going is tough-- not just when we're going to spend a fun afternoon together. There are a couple of people who really get what I've had to deal with and who also struggle with similar issues, at least tangentially, who offer really great listening ears.

The Outer Critic is really harsh and really difficult to manage, and I don't want to minimize that at all. Usually a real friendship for me starts with hearing the other person's story. Before that, it's just an acquaintance. Encouraging them to be vulnerable with me reminds me that the people who are around me don't HAVE to be perfect to be good enough. I can start to trust them because (and I'm not entirely proud of this) I have a little bit of leverage. Our relationship becomes mutual and cruelty on their end will result in them being in a tough spot.

If you find that people are too loud and too opinionated, maybe find another group or try to get the people you know into a different environment which requires quietness and listening on their part. You'd be surprised how much an environment affects people.

I know my advice isn't perfect and I wish I had more wisdom, but my tiny breakthroughs have been very recent and I haven't really sat down and thought about them so much yet. I hope you have the best of luck in finding a few people who you feel you can be vulnerable with. It really makes all the difference.

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Boatsetsailrose

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Re: How to make more attachments
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2019, 12:32:56 PM »
Thanks dandelion
Yes being vulnerable is good to be reminded of ...feeling shame is hard to shake and feeling pathetic and weak is something i feel ....i mean how can i not even im failing at life as much as i am. But know that is one side and i am developing my self care and self compassion ...
Finding the right people to be vulnerable that is key hey

All best wishes to you

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Kizzie

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Re: How to make more attachments
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2019, 04:57:22 PM »
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Knowing that cptsd has attachment issues as part of it ...how do we heal in this area ?

I actually am a bit stuck on this myself Boats. In my case I still have an aversion to letting people too close because after disconnecting from enmeshing family I just really like my space. I feel like I can finally breathe. 

I avoid attachment because it still feels smothering/controlling which I guess comes back to attachment. Maybe the first step in moving forward is recognizing what we are doing (or not doing) and why?  :Idunno: 

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Boatsetsailrose

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Re: How to make more attachments
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2019, 09:01:37 PM »
Hi kizzie
I can so relate ..any inkling of control or judgment coming from someone puts me straight into defense.
I too love my own space but then get lonely ...
I do notice when I'm.feeling more in my own skin and confident people often give me more awareness.  .when i try to hard it doesn't nec get the results I'd like and i lose my center

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Kizzie

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Re: How to make more attachments
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2019, 04:46:33 PM »
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I do notice when I'm.feeling more in my own skin and confident people often give me more awareness.  .when i try to hard it doesn't nec get the results I'd like and i lose my center

This really resonates for me Boats - I too tend to lose my centre when I let people get close - I end up focusing on them and can't quite stay in my own skin because I have been trained to be other referenced versus self-referenced. It just gets difficult to stay in my self. 

I think I am better at staying in my own skin around some people, but if I sense someone has any N, abusive or even overly needy traits I pull back.

Right now we're looking to move because unbeknownst to us the lovely new neighbourhood we moved into five years ago has become a retirement zone.  We can't go out for a walk or even in our back yard because everyone is retired and wants to chat whenever they see me/us (I am friendly) which then leads to coffee, block parties, all the things that make me lose my sense of safety and space and pulls me out of my skin - right now at least.  Fortunately my H is on board because he likes his space too so he likes the idea of a house with some land or at least a neighbourhood that has a better mix of people.

This is when I get really frustrated with this legacy of CPTSD I was gifted by my family.  Wanting to move to feel comfortable, having to disconnect from family, and so on - grrrrrr. 

Anyway, in my heart of hearts I feel like I will always need my space but as I continue to recover I will become better at staying in my skin and thus will become more willing to let people closer.

Does any of this resonate with you?


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Boatsetsailrose

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Re: How to make more attachments
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2019, 09:59:32 PM »
Hi kizzie
I hear you , i really do and its good to be talking about this subject .
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'because I have been trained to be other referenced versus self-referenced. It just gets difficult to stay in my self'
Yes i get pulled out so easily ...needing to stay conscious of staying in takes focus and because i get pulled out i lose focus.
The energetic bubble helps and conscious breathing. Also taking toilet breaks ...
Im working at the moment to hone in hyper vigulence and focus more on my own body and sense of grounding as well as keeping my eyes more on things in the environment other than people and that really helps. Walking around in the world like an electric wire with no covering is exhausting and jangling on the nervous system ...nature is such a healer from this.

Understandable about moving lots of chatty elders would be draining I'd imagine. ..i live in a everyone keeps self to self neighbourhood so its the opposite here.

Have you read the highly sensitive person by Elaine cameron
That is a good book to read

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Kizzie

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Re: How to make more attachments
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2019, 06:35:41 PM »
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Walking around in the world like an electric wire with no covering is exhausting and jangling on the nervous system

Yes, it's as though the coating between us and the world has been scraped away by trauma.  Hypervigilance and an outer focus = safety and survival for trauma survivors. 

I like the things you are doing to stay in your skin  :)  One thing that helped me a lot was a CBT course for social anxiety. It helped me to realize not everyone is interested in me for less than healthy reasons (controlling, crowding, needing,  dominating etc).  I have been able to turn down the hypervigilance and be more self-referenced as a result but there is still anger/fear about ever being back in a relationship where I am unable to stay self-referenced so will keep chugging along. Like most things in recovery it just takes time.  Sigh, patience Kizzie patience  ;D