A while ago our therapist gave us photo copies of a text book to help us understand better how we survived our childhood traumas. I don’t know the title or author of the book, so sorry. The two chapters were on Attachment to the Perpetrator and Locus of Control Shift. The book is highly technical but we did get the jest of it.
I’m Peggy, and others in our core group are far more equipped to understand and apply these things, but reading them pulls at my heart strings. Under the heading of Healthy Attachment, it reads, “In a stable and secure environment, mother, father, and other caregivers provide a sense of safety and protection in an ever expanding world of new experiences. The growing child can test, experiment, explore, learn, and gain greater independence in the knowledge that there is a soothing voice and a hand to comfort when experiments go wrong.” Later this is stated, “A child growing up in an abusive, neglectful, or chaotic family is faced with a double bind. She has two opposing survival needs. First, she needs to develop and maintain attachment to her caregivers. Second, she needs to defend herself emotionally and mentally from the very people to whom she is attached.”
Wow! Does that ever hit the nail on the head! We struggle hard to be realistic in our memories of growing up. The thing is, in many ways my parents were exceptional. That’s not just our opinion, it is also the opinions of many other people. But in terms of our security, it only made the polar opposites more extreme.
This is what I/we are writing about in the book right now, so that’s why we are feeling it so intense.