Let's talk about problems with attachment to other people

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voicelessagony2

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Re: Let's talk about problems with attachment to other people
« Reply #30 on: March 13, 2015, 03:39:06 PM »
Detachment is a form of self-sabotage for me, I think.

I recently started forcing myself to get out of the house, and two weeks in a row I went to a Wednesday morning "between jobs ministries" thing they have at a local church. I made note of my behaviors & interactions, as if I were an anthropologist following myself around, trying to understand social dynamics.

I put on my professional knee-length "jackie o" type of dress, pearls, bring my professional game. I pay attention, take notes, and I am very smiley, happy, friendly, and engaging with everyone I meet. I always converse at length with whoever sits next to me, exchange contact info, and I'm pretty sure we both leave feeling good about the whole thing.

The first time, I ended up getting an interview with a recruiter I met there. I got offered a job, but after doing some math, I decided it just wasn't worth it - the drive was too far, and the pay was too low. So I emailed the (male) recruiter and explained my reasoning. His reply to that email had a distinctly flirtatious tone to it, which disgusted me. OK, that's beside the point, another topic...

But the next time I went, I met a lovely female professional, and we had a wonderful chat, lots in common, etc., but here I am over a week later and I have not followed up with her. Or the other people I met the previous week. I have not checked my LinkedIn messages since Jan or Feb. CLEARLY this is self-sabotage, and I sit in this house day after day, feeling out of touch, and hopeless, (yet more apathetic than anything) and I cannot bring myself to do the most basic essential interactions, not even online from the safety of my home, with people.

Have you noticed how unpredictable and the infrequency of my visits here in OOTS? Kinda the same thing happening that always happens. I make connections, then I let them die of neglect. It's my comfort zone I guess, and I don't know what to do about it. I have close to 100% success rate at killing connections with people in my life. Family, friends, communities, I have nearly zero meaningful ongoing interactions.

The one thing I hear over and over again, from people who are well on their way to recovery from trauma, is how IMPORTANT it is to have a strong support group or community. How can I ever expect to improve, if I have no such thing, and I constantly sabotage every attempt?

Anamiame, I agree, this must be at the core of mine too.

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Anamiame

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Re: Let's talk about problems with attachment to other people
« Reply #31 on: March 13, 2015, 05:38:32 PM »
Have you noticed how unpredictable and the infrequency of my visits here in OOTS? Kinda the same thing happening that always happens. I make connections, then I let them die of neglect. It's my comfort zone I guess, and I don't know what to do about it. I have close to 100% success rate at killing connections with people in my life. Family, friends, communities, I have nearly zero meaningful ongoing interactions.
:applause:

LOL  PERFECT!  So me.  I do that not only here but IRL as well.   :doh:

The problem I am having now, is, I think for the very first time ever in my life, I've ATTACHED to an adult and it scared the livin' CRAP out of me!  For me, it's extremely painful because the 'inner children' are SO afraid of getting hurt.  I never realized just how painful it could be; but I know you have to go through the pain in order to properly heal. 

I still hate it though!

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Rrecovery

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Re: Let's talk about problems with attachment to other people
« Reply #32 on: April 12, 2015, 07:35:37 PM »
Thanks Mary for starting this thread.  It's golden.  Related to so much of what has been said.  Enjoyed the article you shared.  I agree that having a sense of non-duality/connection with All That Is is grounding and helpful.  I also agree that it's not the whole "answer" since we live in a relative/relational world and that aspect needs to be addressed and healed as well.

I relate to moving from disorganized to avoidant, and I like seeing it as progress.  I think I'm somewhere between avoidant and ambivalent/anxious at this point.  It's still so stressful.   :stars:  I can also relate to not wanting to "inflict" myself on others; protecting others from my inner-pain and trauma.  I think I come off as socially capable but a little sad and nervous.  I think it's a turn-off to people and that makes me sad because I can't snap my fingers and rid myself of the trauma.  There's no "social skill" that will lift that part of the equation.  So I feel like I am trying to cultivate friendships and deeper connections but I'm operating with a handicap.

I am also very picky about the people I allow in my life.  Perhaps too picky because if I pick up on "character" issues I'm outta there.  But, at least in my culture, "character" issues seem to be the norm.  What I mean is that people appear to have little integrity relationally, e.g. they don't return calls/texts/emails, they say they want to get together and then are never available, that sort of stuff.  It's a real turn-off for me.  I feel like I'm reaching out for connection, doing all the work and it comes to nothing.  *?  Everyone is so busy.  It's a crappy culture to try to cultivate friendships in IMHO.  Like I say, perhaps I'm too picky/judgmental/have unrealistic expectations of people.  Seems I'm attracted to busy/unavailable people.  They seem interested in me, but are so rarely available for face-to-face time it's not even worth it.  I feel like I'm out-of-sync.  Perhaps I'm too serious and not compelling enough. 

I think what I'm wondering is: do I have attachment issues?  or am I merely feeling the affects of an attachment-challenged culture.  Ya know?

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C.

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Re: Let's talk about problems with attachment to other people
« Reply #33 on: April 12, 2015, 10:23:45 PM »
Hi Rrecovery,  I hear you about the cultural issues.  I bet it's both...

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Rrecovery

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Re: Let's talk about problems with attachment to other people
« Reply #34 on: April 13, 2015, 12:42:01 PM »
Hi C.  Yeah both.  The culture exacerbates my own issues. 

I'm seeing a REALLY nice guy right now who I feel anxiously attached to.  It causes somatic symptoms in me.  He's 99% sure he'll be moving out-of-state for his next job.  Talk about exacerbating anxious attachment  :stars:

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C.

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Re: Let's talk about problems with attachment to other people
« Reply #35 on: April 13, 2015, 06:04:36 PM »
Ugh...I see how the anxiety from that situation could wiggle it's way in to other areas of your life.  At least I find that happens for me, if I have a very big challenge causing an emotion it's like it creates a special set of glasses w/which I start to see other things as well.  Also, knowing his leaving seems like it would also fit in with a normal type anxiety about relating and might even be situational as much as an "anxious attachment"...

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Boatsetsailrose

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Re: Let's talk about problems with attachment to other people
« Reply #36 on: April 23, 2015, 10:45:16 PM »
Thank you for your post - it makes me feel less weirdo :)
I am in a detached phase - it gets lonely but I know within myself it's been healing to 'have time out -
 :wave:
I feel I am slowly coming back around and opening to people - I have to go slowly - I haven't been able to rely on my radar for who to make friends with but have identified ( with therapist ) that I don't want to go for the loud / dramatic people anymore but more for the people who have some balance and poise - I feel I'm getting some more balance so am hoping it works out - :)

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Boatsetsailrose

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Re: Let's talk about problems with attachment to other people
« Reply #37 on: April 23, 2015, 10:49:14 PM »
Yes acoa is also for anyone who identifies with a dysfunctional family - I have been to some meetings and got lots of identification - cried and released - felt really good to be in those meetings

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wingnut

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Re: Let's talk about problems with attachment to other people
« Reply #38 on: April 24, 2015, 02:50:29 AM »
I used to go to ACoA meetings and found a lot of comfort in knowing how many dealt with the same issues I had. The Laundry List, etc., quite helpful...

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C.

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Re: Let's talk about problems with attachment to other people
« Reply #39 on: April 24, 2015, 03:46:01 AM »
I thought those meetings were only for people with parents or family members who were alcoholics/addicts.  But I looked in to it, and like you said, it's meant to address any/all family dysfunction.  Thank you for pointing that out as an option.  It's the first F2F group I've come across that most closely responds to the reality of someone w/C-PTSD.

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Rrecovery

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Re: Let's talk about problems with attachment to other people
« Reply #40 on: April 24, 2015, 12:31:22 PM »
Ugh...I see how the anxiety from that situation could wiggle it's way in to other areas of your life.  At least I find that happens for me, if I have a very big challenge causing an emotion it's like it creates a special set of glasses w/which I start to see other things as well.  Also, knowing his leaving seems like it would also fit in with a normal type anxiety about relating and might even be situational as much as an "anxious attachment"...
Yeah, I think it's both. My body is creating a somatic illness over it - that's the EF facet.  I'm also finding that when I try to meditate that I'm in a constant state of low level anxiety, like I'm waiting for the shoe to drop.

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anosognosia

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Re: Let's talk about problems with attachment to other people
« Reply #41 on: April 27, 2015, 11:44:51 AM »
So attachment to me, is the key issue for me.  If I do attach, it's wildly dysfunctional and outrageous.  THAT is what I'm currently afraid of in my current therapeutic relationship.  (Let me clarify, now that I KNOW I'm gay, I don't confuse the attachment with sexual desire, so it's not as confusing as it was before)

I have NO idea what a healthy, bonded relationship feels like.  I wouldn't recognize it if it was thrown right in my face.

Ana, I'm wondering if you think your relationship w your sons models out healthy attachment?  You love them, and yet you let them live their life as self confident individuals with lots of freedom and autonomy?  I don't know. 


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Kizzie

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Re: Let's talk about problems with attachment to other people
« Reply #42 on: May 09, 2015, 07:43:10 PM »
Just wanted to mention that recently I found a book for ACoAs that is one of the first (that I am aware of) to link having an alcoholic parent to trauma and attachment issues.  It's "The ACOA Trauma Syndrome: The Impact of Childhood Pain on Adult Relationships" by Tian Dayton PhD (see http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/Books.html).

My F was an alcoholic and I went to meetings years ago and like you Wingnut found them helpful. Back then though the emphasis was on dysfunction versus trauma and attachment issues. I always felt like there was a lot missing and there was. I think that moving from characterizing alcoholic homes as dysfunctional and recognizing this instead as traumatic and abusive sheds a lot more light on the needs of the ACoA community.  Like those of us with CPTSD, ACoAs need (deserve) greater attention from the mental health community and more treatment options imo. I suspect that the "ACoA trauma syndrome" Dayton talks about is very similar to if not the same as CPTSD actually.

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wingnut

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Re: Let's talk about problems with attachment to other people
« Reply #43 on: May 11, 2015, 01:20:41 AM »
I read that book and found it an interesting blend of information I've read in the past about ACoA and the new information on trauma. I think her role playing practice sounds very powerful. I'm not sure I could do that in the setting that she provides, but I am wondering if it would help to simply talk to a pillow like it was your abuser (and then kick the crap out of it - oops...did I say that???)

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Kizzie

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Re: Let's talk about problems with attachment to other people
« Reply #44 on: May 11, 2015, 07:03:34 PM »
Go for it Wingnut lol  :pissed: