How we attach to the adults in our lives determines whether we are calm and at peace or we are anxious and in distress. The way in which we attach with others has crucial lasting effects for our emotional functioning. There are four styles of attachment, the first is called secure. This is when you could count on your caregivers to respond to you quickly and consistently. The response of this care means that you just naturally feel worthy of love and you can feel the feelings of closeness. Generally speaking this results in high self esteem and the ability to be emotionally resilient.
The next three attachment styles go under the heading of insecure. (Yes, there is only one good one.) Avoidant is the result of caregivers that are somewhat unresponsive, discourage crying and promote separation. This results in a personality style of being aloof, and a persona that can also be described as being unlike-able, as well as highly controlling, with difficulty in regards to trusting others, and highly anxious. This type of person just naturally has a feeling of being unworthy, which results in a sense of neediness, being clingy and jealous, fear of being abandoned and never getting enough.
The next attachment style is ambivalent. Ambivalence is a sense of indifference, the caregiver can be there, or not. Behaving in an inconsistent manner of avoidance as well as attentiveness resulting in a sense of anxiety and insecurity.
The last attachment style is disorganized. These caregivers are impulsive as well as depressed, have an extreme lack of attune-meant and can be frightening. This results in adults who have difficulty relating to others as well as being able to regulate negative emotions. This style is representative of children that grow up in an abusive environment with an alcoholic parent or a drug abusing parent. The difficulty with insecure attachment is that it leads to poor self-esteem as well as the need to find emotional satisfaction by turning to behaviours that satisfy when relationship doesn’t.
These patterns start very early in life and might not even end up as conscious memories because you don’t establish long-term memory until you are around the age of three. So the way to get in touch with whether you have been involved in an insecure attachment style is if you have a feeling within yourself of distress and unworthiness that eeks out when current situations are not going your way. These emotions can be held in the body as emotional memories in the subconscious, which lead to patterns of distress and resulting negative belief systems.
There are four different belief systems in which we interpret our negative emotional experiences from insecure attachment. These self-limiting beliefs are; disconnection and rejection, in which needs can never be met. Impaired autonomy and performance, in which the ability to be successful can never be met. Other directed-ness in which life has to be focussed on everyone else, never on your own needs and desires. Over vigilance and inhibition, resulting in continual worry, living life according to rigid rules creating negative effects on well being, health, and happiness.
Avoidance of these negative emotional experiences into the subconscious is a way to prevent us from becoming fully aware of how we feel and by using coping such as emotionally eating, it is an excellent option for not having to deal with the resulting emotional chronic pain and stops it from having to come into conscious awareness. Therefore, you get to eat the pain away. (Of course, creating more pain).
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