Attachment Theory: How Your Childhood Affects Your Relationships

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From Sprouts Schools: “Attachment theory argues that a strong emotional and physical bond to one primary caregiver in our first years of life is critical to our development. If our bonding is strong and we are securely attached, then we feel safe to explore the world. If our bond is weak, we feel insecurely attached. We are afraid to leave or explore a rather scary-looking world, because we are not sure if we can return. Often we then don’t understand our own feelings.”

The attached video gives a brief, informative introduction to this critical topic in mental health and development.

Video →

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21 COMMENTS

  1. Well, it’s a very basic video and only deals with one’s childhood. But it lays out a few of the basic concepts of attachment theory. However, it completely ignores the key concepts of safe haven, affect regulation, and glosses over proximity maintenance.

    The good news is someone who grew up with one of the 3 dysfunctional attachment systems (avoidant, ambivalent or disorganized) CAN learn a new way. However, at least in our case, it has meant rejecting the prevailing, pathological foundation of hyper-independence and hyper-individualism that our culture pushes, and it has meant that I had to understand my proper role of the primary attachment figure…something the ‘experts’ are only now beginning to study in romantic adult relationships. But the healing process isn’t easy: there’s no magic pill. I had to be willing to accept my wife’s ‘neediness’, something that this culture finds ‘toxic’. But as I filled her ‘neediness’ each day, slowly those attachment dysfunctions were healed, repaired and now for the most part, she displays all the signs of secure attachment.
    Sam

    • Alex, this was a VERY, VERY basic video, and I do agree that it came off kind of as if things are cookie-cutterish. But the basic concepts of attachment theory have been validated over a host of situations especially the ‘strange situation’ test that the video mentioned. But how those concepts play out…I would agree with you that they will be as varied as there are people on this earth.
      Sam

      • Thanks, Sam, I guess that’s what I was responding to. While I definitely can see a lot of truth in “attachment theory,” the video does come off as simplistic and “cookie-cutterish,” as you say well.

        I find that to be the case most often in how academic research along these lines, and the teaching of the theories from that, comes across, as though we are all the same, or should be–meaning predictable and controllable. And if not, then the projection would be that something is wrong with that person.

        To me, that is the heart of “dysfunction,” because one person’s truth is blatantly discounted simply because they don’t appear to “fit in.” That’s how oppression works, exactly. That’s the programming.

        How these things are presented and taught are important, because otherwise it becomes just more social programming. The idea that we’re each unique and therefore can respond in so many varying ways to attachment or lack thereof is way important, and can be missing from the education, as it is here. It’s too vital to leave out.

        It can make all the difference between being helpful information which we can apply toward finding our wholeness vs. social programming propoganda that “everybody reacts like this, and if you don’t something is wrong with you or you are lying or pretending,” something to that effect–perhaps the “sheeple theory?”

        It is a fine line, and I like to make the clear distinction between those two competing agendas because people can buy into the simplistic stuff, and start trying to fit square pegs into round holes. That is the purpose of that kind of programming, and keeps people off kilter and out of balance via perpetual sheer frustration and chronic distress.

        We HAVE to keep factoring in that we are all unique, and that there are exceptions to every rule and theory. That is a truth worth paying attention to, for the purpose of evolution, as opposed to snubbing or negating it from denial and avoidance, which is where stuckness and repetition happen.

    • I’d say that attachment is one important factor in development, but there are many others. We don’t want to go down the same path as the psychiatric profession by assigning all distress to one single cause and approaching it with one single approach. That being said, the current reality in the “mental health” field is for the most part to excuse parents’ behavior as “doing the best they can” while refusing to acknowledge the damage parents (and siblings, BTW) can do inadvertently, even with the best of intentions. So it’s good to have articles talking about attachment – it really does affect everyone, but it doesn’t explain everything.

      • With a sibling, it can often be with the worst of intentions. Sibling rivalry can lead to deliberate sabotage, especially if it follows the sibs into adulthood, ala Cain and Abel. That’s a reality in many families, although not so overt, perhaps, at first glance. But there are patterns that emerge in a family.

        Some parents play their kids off of each other, inciting competition for their love and/or approval, by creating an alliance and then changing teams when #1 child disagrees and displays their independent mindedness, things like that, which would easily confuse the issue of “attachment,” and which, in turn, would potentially create a mess for people in their lives and relationships. That is confused and confusing mirroring.

        There are lots of clever and highly manipulative ways to inflict dysfunction in a family or the community at large, out of ego needs and spite, or just plain lack of conscientiousness. No good intentions there, I’m afraid, just a need to control. And they are hard pressed to give it up, at all cost.

      • Steve,
        I don’t have the breadth of experience that you do, so this isn’t meant to refute or argue with your statement, but in our personal experience until each of the girls (alters) were securely attached to me, they seemed unable to go past the original trauma. But once they had that foundation of being securely attached, it seemed to propel their ability to connect to each other (by tearing down the dissociation) and allow them to mature and discover latent abilities/traits that had otherwise been absent in my wife as a whole.

        That doesn’t mean I think attachment issues are everything, as much as I may talk about them, but they seemed to be foundational in my wife’s healing experience.

        Alex,
        I’m sure you, as Steve noted, would agree that often times the dysfunction is inadvertent, like it was mostly in my family, and even in my wife’s as messed up as her mom was/is. But the dysfunction is still painful even if it is inadvertent and I’ve ended up kind of being the black sheep of the family because my mom wasn’t properly attached to my dad as she blamed him for them ‘having to get married’ and so she waged a 56-year war against him as she jumped from child to child to child looking for that emotional attachment she refused to give to her husband. And yet, if I were to call her out on it, she would be dumbfounded and defensive as she feels she is the model Christian wife.

        It’s rather sad how we humans can live with so much cognitive dissonance, sigh. But I really don’t think she is, or most of us are, intentional about it. I would chalk it up to dissociation. And though I feel it’s a much milder form than what my wife experienced, I still think it’s what causes so many incongruent words and actions in most of us. Kind of like the murderous mafioso who is kind and loving to those within his own circle. He has compartmentalized, ie dissociated, the incongruence between his various spheres of life.

        Sam

        • Well said, Sam. You are giving examples of what I’m talking about. No blame or resentment, but it is necessary to keep raising awareness for the sake of healing these splits in present time. It can be done, that’s my only point.

          Denying the truth only keeps things chronic and spiraling downward. Owning a hard truth is where we experience freedom, and that kind of healing ripples far and wide into the world.

        • I agree, attachment is fundamental, and without it, a person has no sense of safety and can’t relate to others. Naturally, any kind of therapeutic intervention (the real kind, anyway!) depends on connecting to the counselor/therapist/helper/group, and absent the ability to attach, it’s almost impossible to process traumatic experiences of any kind. It is the most overlooked and most important element in a child developing what is so euphemistically called “mental illness.” So I don’t minimize the importance at all. I only wanted to be clear that there are other people who have good attachments but experience other kinds of abuse and trauma and oppression that lead to “mental illnesses” as defined in the DSM. Of course, the psychiatric profession doesn’t want to look at any of these valid and real sources of distress, because it upsets their political and financial power base.

          • “I only wanted to be clear that there are other people who have good attachments but experience other kinds of abuse and trauma and oppression”

            Yes, and that “good attachment” internalized is actually an innate sense of safety which serves as an internal regulator and inherent balancer. I don’t see how having internalized healthy attachment would translate into anything as per DSM. Chronic anxiety, depression, and/or dissociation would all be the result of not having the experience of healthy, interdependent attachment. When we have it, our paths are much, much clearer and we manifest way better. Why would that person need a shrink?

            I think the attachment issue is core to all of this, and can make all the difference to a person’s psyche and their experience of the world. And it can be acquired as an adult, if missed in childhood, it’s just going to be a bit harder work in some respects. That’s a good awakening to have, and very powerful, transformative healing.

          • I do agree that attachment is central, as I’ve said, however, there are plenty of outside influences, such as racism, sexism, etc., oppressive schools and churches, our mobile, disconnected society (lack of community), and other influences which can result in anxiety, depression, anger, distractedness, and anything else in the psychiatric hierarchy. I want to make sure that people who don’t perceive themselves as having been mistreated or having had poor parental attachment are not considered of less importance or have their suffering minimized.

          • I don’t think deconstructing how suffering is created for the purpose of reversing this trend has anything to do with dismissing or minimizing traumas of life which are not about being the product of poor parenting. However, if your emphasis is on protecting people due to how they might interpret this on a personal and comparative level, then the discussion is extremely limited. Everyone’s issues and feelings have a place in the discussion, but not in a competitive way. That’s the road to nowhere, as far as making progress with all this goes.

            In the end, I still think that lack of emotional foundation due to poor parenting will make ANY situation harder to deal with in life. Whereas if a person has the good fortune of being born into an unconditionally loving and nurturing family where everyone is valued for who they are and what they bring to the community, they will still face social and personal challenges, and will have all the emotions which make us human, but with a built-in foundation and more than likely, a positive sense of self, so the perspective would be from a different vantage point.

            So yes, life deals everyone blows, no one is immune from grief and confusion and disorientation and disillusionment and living in a world filled with all kinds of strife, war, abuse, and injustices. But if we are raised to feel good about ourselves and empowered in life, then more than likely we can tackle these issues with confidence.

            Without this internalized positive sense of self, we are more than likely going to crumble from enormous fear and anxiety because we do not have the confidence, perspective, or internal sense of support that we otherwise would. That’s how I see it at this point, in any event.

            We’re talking about going into life with vs. without the foundation of having a sense of self. The quality of early childhood rearing would speak directly to this, and it makes all the difference in anyone’s experience of life, I would imagine, it stands to reason. In fact, I’d stick my neck out a bit here and venture to say that this is universal.

          • Alex,
            I agree with everything you are saying…and yet, attachment theory is so much more…as I started out this entire discussion, attachment theory cuts against the Western cultures’ over-valuation of independence. It is not only about instilling that secure sense of self internally during childhood, it is about developing at network around our loved ones who will have each other’s back when things go wrong. And it’s about learning to go thru life developing a ‘buddy system’; learning how to help regulate each other when life hits us with trauma or storms.

            I love John Bowlby and the work he began, but I also had to learn how the concepts of safe haven, proximity maintenance and affect regulation could be practically implemented to help my wife heal…but beyond that, how those concepts just help each and everyone of us walk thru this life that can be so difficult at times. Those are concepts that my wife and I now each use with each other AND our 28-year old son even though he lives 12 hours away.
            Sam

          • Sam, I think this is a good discussion to have, although right up front I will confess to my limitations of online communication in this case, at least for me this would be a problem. While worth having, I also believe this would be a long and somewhat multi-perspective conversation to have, to give it justice.

            I like what you are saying, too, while at the same time there are many considerations among the various ways we experience relationships on their varying levels of dependence and co-dependence vs. interdependence, as I’ve seen you talk about before. I’d say these can be different stages, and at each stage, different boundary needs would be exhibited.

            So really, we’re talking about allowing relationships to unfold in a mututally respectful way, rather than expecting things from each other without consideration of how we affect each other on so many levels. Relationships are complicated, and to my mind, in a mutually satisfying relationship, everyone’s needs would be respected as a natural REFLEX from within the relationship, an understood boundary, rather than struggling for competing needs. Relationships grow, expand and change over the years, and as we all know, love cannot be forced. It can only occur naturally.

            So your vision is lovely, Sam, and *ideally* (big emphasis on that word) this would be easy, to create a harmonious support system where we all felt supported and not sacrificed by a system–whether it be a two-person relationship system or a social, political, or institutional system.

            Can everyone benefit and prosper and feel supported in their well-being and life goals and heart’s desires in said system? If so, then no question this would be desirable, at least to me it would, seems win/win.

            But to achieve this, we’d need a grandiose awakening to happen, where everyone would actually be on the same page in some basic and fundamental way, don’t you think? How on Earth would that occur, with all our diversity along with the tendency to fight and compete? Not a rhetorical question, but also not a simple “yes or no,” I’m wondering, can it be done? As of now, that remains to be seen. But in the event that this could occur, theoretically, it would not be easy to get there, I would imagine. That would be a matter of doing a lot of healing and awareness work, on everyone’s part.

            In the meantime, we can all do the best we can to support others when we can, and maybe even make an intention to raise our own bar a bit in this respect, to start noticing when we have opportunities to support someone in the moment, and take them.

            But if it is at our own sacrifice, then what have we gained? Is there a way we can support ourselves and others, without feeling we are sacrificing our own lives and well-being to do so? That just seems like a hamster wheel to me.

            Like I said, this would be a long and complex discussion with many facets of consideration–and practically every voice on the planet–if we’re talking about what is a mutually healthful relationship and then what is nurturing support and what are the obstacles to creating a functional community, etc., and how to overcome them. Everyone would have an opinion and vision about that, as per their own life experience and their own needs.

            We cannot control people, and we cannot control the feelings of others, or their needs. The more we try to control rather than actually support, the more we sink into a hole, because that is an inherent power struggle. That, I believe, has been proven by experience throughout the ages.

            So how to achieve harmony and whether or not is it possible or even desirable would take a while to sort through. Worth it, I think, but not in this venue. I think it would be a rather mammoth discussion, but one which would definitely bring great clarity, light and truth to the table. I think this is that important, and it seems you do, too, Sam. Are we still in disagreement somewhere?

            I’m not the “rugged individualist” you might think I am, I advocate for good support big time and I more than understand the value, power, and safety of having a healthy relationship, and for me it took some time to get there. We had many, many, many, many issues to work out, it was a big transition we went through as part of my personal healing from psychiatry.

            But there are times where we are caught without good support, that can happen in life as it did with me at one point, and for a while there, I had to figure it out on my own when my brain was totally out of whack from psych drugs withdrawal and I was suddenly not the person I had been for 40 years at that point, and at one point I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make it through, seemed everyone around me was toxic at that point. I was no picnic to be around, either (not agnry, but dripping with fear and despondence and general negativity), but I was trying really hard to get on with my healing and experienced a lot of direct sabotage and found absolutely no one for this one period of time who could in the slightest support or advocate for me. That’s a dark-night-of-the-soul, exactly.

            I had to create my way out of that and consciously manifest what I needed along the way, and it took every ounce of will I had, which was not much at that point. Took years, and I had to recognize every bit of light which came my way until, finally, I experienced a turnaround and things started falling into place, and I was guided to where I needed to be, and my relationships personal and with life transformed because I learned to ground and center and come from an entirely new perspective which I had to apply and embody via new practices.

            But some people made this really, really hard for me, and it seems that is par for the course. This is where I discovered systemic bullying, abuse, and sabotage. It’s what I speak about the most, because it made my life so much harder with no need other than someone else’s ego (one after another after another) while I was doing my fucking hardest to get it together and working my ass off and producing and creating and moving forward, and some asshole would come along and try to undo all of that for me.

            I used this all as guidance, in the end, but I’m still angry about it, if you can’t tell. I have a hard time with bullies because they are so sabotaging to truth and light and social growth and expansion, but at the same time, I am really tired of seeing bullies win and get to the top because no one around them has the guts to do anything about it. When in my sphere, I call it out. I’ve done it in my family, in a work place, and all through my journey in the system, as I woke up and woke up and woke up.

            I say it is systemic because I went from person to person in the system and it was the exact same thing, like a script! Gatekeeper after gatekeeper, protecting the system, and often, the actual bully-in-charge, while at the same time indicating that we’re ALL being oppressed by this one person at the top, supposed to make me feel like a “comrade.” Total bullshit hypocrisy, and very typical of dysfunction–no conviction, talking out of both sides of mouth, just following orders. THAT is cognitive dissonance, how it begins and is perpetuated through a system.

            Of course, they were also being paid to protect the bully and the system, and I was looking for work, so that was easy for them to blow me off in favor of protecting the bully-in-charge.

            Until this enabling stops, we will experience unnecessary suffering from systemic abuse and society will be in perpetual chaos. I’d bet the farm on that.

            Calling out bullying does bring chaos to light, but it is short lived as social healing is occuring at that point, starting with truth speaking and breaking a dysfunctional system. Nature will take its course from there. That’s a process of change.

            Indeed, I would LOVE to live in a world where people do not have to go through dark night of the soul because they have nowhere safe to turn when they most need it and will only face scorn and judgment from people when they need to be seen for their courage, at their very least, more than anything. It is beyond awful and terrifying, but right now, this is what we’ve got. How to rise above this would be a good question to ask, imo, and an excellent problem to solve. Then and only then, would we have a shot at achieving social harmony and due justice for all.

          • One last thing about this for now–

            “there are plenty of outside influences, such as racism, sexism, etc., oppressive schools and churches, our mobile, disconnected society (lack of community), and other influences which can result in anxiety, depression, anger, distractedness…”

            Steve, my thought around this is that these are products of social dysfunction, I don’t believe we are born “racists” or “sexists” or “disconnected.” In the latter case, it’s quite the contrary. We are born physically connected to the mother, which has to be physically severed so that the kid can move on toward independence, one learned or intuitive step at a time. Our processes are inside us, unfolding as we go, and somehow, due to the nature of our dependence at birth, we intuitively seek guidance and to get our basic core needs met. Is this there for us how we need–and naturally expect–it to be?

            I believe that issues of divisiveness such as homophobia, for example, and even classism, have to be taught by example, and internalized, if we choose to take on the beliefs and perceptions of those around us. We are not born to hate and fear people, and to feel disconnected from them; that comes later, or not. How would that be determined and where does it begin?

            And most importantly, is it possible to come from this dysfunction and then do the kind of internal shift necessary to overcome it, and then ripple that out into society as examples of healing from this? That would be a transformative shift in multiple ways.

          • Well, you do make a good point here. We have to start somewhere, and building strong attachments always seemed to me to be the easiest place to make the biggest impact, because the kids aren’t messed up yet! But of course, the kids are raised by parents who have their own attachment issues, and have also been trained by our social system to believe certain things that aren’t necessarily very helpful to creating a connected community of human beings. So we have to somehow help the parents attach to the children despite their own fractured attachments. A monumental task. Alice Miller has a lot to say about this. I guess my wife and I decided to simply start with our own kids and build out from there. It wasn’t perfect, but they are certainly some of the least sexist, racist, whatever-ist boys I’ve ever met. Modeling is the most important part of learning, including learning that the world is a safe place to be who you are.

  2. …” But if it is at our own sacrifice, then what have we gained? Is there a way we can support ourselves and others, without feeling we are sacrificing our own lives and well-being to do so? That just seems like a hamster wheel to me.”

    Alex, I want to preface what follows by stating up front, I believe two people can believe very different things, and neither person is inherently ‘wrong.’ I wish more people understood that very few things are black and white. If more people understood that, we wouldn’t have the pointless tribal wars going on in America right now. We would be able to find the good in each side’s arguments, and the rest…we could learn to chalk it up to ‘live and let live.’ Instead we take differences as if they are a threat to our very existence and survival, and that is detrimental to us all because then, rather than becoming enriched by someone else’s perspective we simply see it as a threat.

    Anyway, attachment theory teaches us that in the beginning of our lives we are wholly dependent upon our ‘primary attachment figure’ and others to lesser degrees. But over the course of time that singular dependency slowly changes until, in a healthy relationship, parent and the now-adult child will become equals in interdependency, but then, eventually, the roles will reverse and the parent will become dependent upon the adult child late in life.

    However, when severe childhood trauma occurs, it typically screws up that natural progression. When my wife and I first started this healing journey together 11 years ago, she told me over and over and over, “I don’t know what healthy looks like.” And I took her seriously. Meanwhile the other little girls began to crash our world. At one point ALL 6 of the girls (alters) currently out fronted as 8-years old or younger: the youngest 3 all started out fronting as 2-year olds.

    This is kind of where attachment theory and my Christian upbringing that emphasized sacrificial love and the golden rule meshed so well. I had been naturally raised to believe that sacrifice is a good thing…but pragmatically speaking, well that was a very different thing. We struggled the first 20 years of our marriage because I expected the marriage to be mutually beneficial, mutually giving, and it simply wasn’t. And I am not implying that my wife was completely at fault: I was selfish and immature in so many ways which complicated her issues. On top of that, I was simply ignorant about how early childhood trauma was affecting the woman I love because my own childhood was rather idyllic in comparison.

    But over the course of the first 3 or so years of our healing journey, I was transforming: her issues were so massive that I had to grow up and make many changes myself or I knew we wouldn’t make it. All that to state that I had to become willing to sacrifice my needs to help her heal, but I don’t want to come off like I think I’m some saint: I’m NOT. But I had to learn to take the long view to our marriage. I sought a win/win solution, and that meant I had to be willing to do the work that her parents failed to do and help each girl become securely attached to me, help each girl then begin to connect to the others (the personality development that naturally occurs during childhood), and anything else they needed. It’s meant for much of the last 11 years, my life companion hasn’t been an adult woman, but 7 traumatized and very needy little girls in various states of dysfunctional attachment.

    But eleven years later, we are slowly moving toward the healthy, adult interdependence that I often speak. Two of the girls have grown and now front as Millenials. I got engaged to one in December and I’m pre-engaged to the other. And all the other ‘littles’ (alters who view themselves as little children) truly do the activities of adults (other than in the bedroom), even if they still interact with me as a daddy figure who they want to take care of each of them. Edit: and let me state at this point that ALL of the girls are almost wholly healed. They are vivacious, vibrant and full of life in a way that my ‘first girl’ (the only one who sees me as her husband) never was.

    My goal is still a fully healthy, adult interdependence with all of the girls who make up my wife, but we aren’t there yet. I had to be willing to start where each of them was and walk with her, at her pace and at whatever stage of dependence she started until she was able to move forward.

    …Sigh, this reply is already too long…

    And yes, you are correct that this topic of attachment is massive. I naturally used the principles to help my wife. I think we are all ‘wired’ that way, but the Western cultures seem to want to beat those principles out of us for some reason even though most of us want treated the way the theory espouses. Once I discovered the theory proper, I studied up on it so I could become more purposeful in it. I even did quite a long series of articles on my personal blog to address some of the main concepts that were critical to our journey.

    Let me simply state that using the attachment concepts of affect regulation, safe haven and proximity maintenance I was able to not only walk my wife thru EVERY extreme state that she manifested (and trust me with d.i.d. you essentially get the entire spectrum rolled up into one journey), but I learned to pull her out of them more quickly and help her heal to the point that she rarely experiences them anymore. And when she does get triggered nowadays, her reactions aren’t much more severe than my reactions to things that trigger me. And the theory helped me with all the ‘lesser’ issues, too, like depression, anxiety, and anything else you can think of.

    Beyond that is the theory’s concept of the inner working model. The littlest girls and I figured this one out together. It can make the difference between the healing one experiences being temporary or being permanent. I’ve been trying to follow the debate over on the CBT blog on this website, and I haven’t quite figured out if CBT takes into account one’s inner working model or just tries to force the change without realizing that the inner working model is like the operating system in a computer. EVERYTHING else is founded upon that, and so unless you change the inner working model from the trauma paradigm that most childhood trauma victims have to a more healthy one like someone who was securely attached, a lot of healing work will have limited effect.

    But for Steve’s sake, I will sincerely add that the theory is NOT a cure all: we’ve had to use other principles for various issues, but it definitely can help in so many, many situations.

    I guess I’ll finish. I’m sorry not to do this topic better here. Like you said, this website just is not set up for that kind of a multi-layer discussion. I wish the attachment series on my blog had gained more traction: it’s one of the things I’m most proud of, but it takes a lot of work for the SO or support person, and it required so much change on my own part before I was able to implement some of it to the fullest extent that I wonder if most people wouldn’t rather those little magic pills…
    Sam

  3. Sam and Steve, this has been an extremely thought-provoking and productive discussion, thank you both so much for sharing your deep thoughts and personal experiences, and for hearing mine. At this point, my brain is about done with this for now but my heart and mind both feel open and fulfilled from this dialogue.

    Regardless of theories and healing modalities, I believe it is obvious that we are all coming from a sense of deep love for our partners and kids. I don’t have children, but it is easy to feel the love you both have for your kids and of course you want them to have the best experience of life they possibly can. Where this is concerned, I cannot see the relevance of whether or not we agree on the details of any perspective. If our motivator is love, then the feeling in our hearts would the same, our universal connector.

    And finally, as someone who experienced first hand the debilitation and craziness of barbaric systemic social and instintutional abuse–which includes the abuse my body took on from a plethora of psych drugs over a period of time–my personal quest in life is to help others who have experienced this abuse to learn to love themselves in a way that they will not unwittingly go into self-sabotage mode, which is what gets internalized going through this stuff.

    Mostly, I want those who have experienced chronic abuse to respect themselves enough to fight back and assert their God-given rights as a human being. No one can do it for another, really, if we want to feel our own empowerment, and that is vital in healing, especially after experiencing this kind of abuse which can be very disorienting from the gaslighting, as we talk about often on here. This needs healing, the same way our bodies do when something is not working for us.

    I support people using their own voice and trusting it to move them forward. Sometimes people cannot use their own voice at first, but it is a process because I know eventually we all have the power to get ourselves through life’s challenges. I ask people to not listen to negative feedback and programming, which inhibits our belief and trust in our own processes. That’s how others can get inside of us and try to manipulate and control. That’s part of the abuse system.

    Healing from systemic abuse is a process of releasing old programming and naysaying voices and finding one’s own truth and learning how to trust it, embody it, and manifest from it. That is how anyone gets into synch with their own lives, by walking our talk. That would be universal.

    For the record, this is my “psychiatric abuse survivor perspective.”

    Done for now, thanks again, and a happy Sunday to you both!

    • Thanks for that, Sam. Loving oneself is not sufficient to change the world, but I do see it as a prerequisite to making real change. Believing one deserves to be treated with respect means it becomes OK or even necessary to stand up for what is right. And all sorts of things become possible once we’re at that point.

      • “Loving oneself is not sufficient to change the world”

        It is sufficient to heal, grow, and take care of ourselves. No need to think beyond that. And then, one’s personal reality changes, it has to, happens without effort. If we are feeling good about ourselves, we have good boundaries and do not tolerate sabotaging energies. Everything changes when we shift our self-perception.

        No one person needs the burden of changing the world. That would be an oppressive grandiose responsbility and an impossible task. However, the more people who practice unconditional self-love, then more the world changes simply from that shift. That would be mass awakening.

        This is a collective consciousness, not contingent upon one individual, but more so, on the various individuals in the collective to work in harmony. That would depend on everyone’s will, focus and intention. So there is another energy at play here, unseen and unpredictable.