Having an Attachment injury can feel like you’re lugging around a forty-pound weight everywhere you go. This may prevent you from fully enjoying life, or even cause you to make poor decisions regarding your future happiness.
There is good news, however; we can heal our Attachment injuries in adulthood.
Here are three ways that Attachment injuries can keep you from reaching your full happiness potential:
#1 Unhelpful Patterns on Repeat
Nothing is worse than feeling like you are living the same day over again – like the movie Groundhog Day. If, however, you are living each day with an unresolved Attachment injury, it can feel like the same scenario on repeat.
By developing Secure Attachment in your adult life, you can quiet these insecurities that lead to unhealthy habitual patterns.
Example: Kate and her husband generally have a good relationship. He is a loyal companion and a great communicator. Her husband is Securely Attached, while Kate leans toward the Ambivalent Attachment style.
Kate texts her husband to see what time they will meet for dinner. He does not respond immediately, so Kate begins to write a story in her mind about why this might happen. As time passes, her story becomes less logical.
Kate becomes frantic, insecure, and lives in a suspended state of anxiety.
Where could he be?
She carries her phone with her, ready to blast her husband when he finally responds. In the meantime, she creates potential scenarios in her mind.
Ninety minutes later, Kate receives a text from her husband that he had an unexpected visit from his boss and was in a closed-door meeting. Could they meet for dinner in one hour?
Kate starts crying on the phone and bombards her husband with questions. This is not the first time something like this has happened and he doesn’t understand her response.
This begins an argument that Kate and her husband often have when he cannot respond to her immediately. She has no reason to suspect him, yet her mind goes wild when she cannot connect.
#2 There Is No “I” in Team
No one is an island, right? But what if you feel like you really are that isolated even when surrounded by others?
Example: Gus works an extraordinary number of hours per week and there does not seem to be relief on the horizon. He works diligently to complete an ever-growing number of projects by their tight deadlines and does not have a personal life as a result.
Feeling increasingly burnt out, Gus does not understand when his colleagues receive promotions all around him, while he is still sitting in the same cube day after day.
At his yearly review, Gus’s boss shares with him that he doesn’t behave like a team player, opting to complete the work himself rather than working in collaboration with the rest of the group.
Gus was completely unaware that he could or should ask for help due to his Avoidant Attachment style and isn’t sure what to do next.
#3 An Unwelcome Guest – Unexplained Anger or Hostility
Not having a rational explanation for your own emotions can feel frustrating and leave you helpless.
Example: Sasha feels like she should be happier. She has a great husband, healthy kids, and a gratifying career. Sometimes, however, she becomes overwhelmed and just loses it. She has angry outbursts over the smallest things with her family and regularly feels like her life is too much. This leaves her family feeling like they have to walk on eggshells.
At work, Sasha often loses her temper while explaining something to an employee and feels like there are never enough hours in the day, as though entire chunks of time simply vanished.
She often experiences regret after her outbursts, but can’t manage to stop. Everything just feels completely overwhelming and she wants to run away from her seemingly perfect life for a while.
Unfortunately, her Disorganized Attachment style has left her unable to fully enjoy the life she has created and also damages her relationships with those around her.
Hope Eternal: The Journey Toward Secure Attachment
You can learn Secure Attachment and develop it in your life with the proper support, information, and diligence. There is no “quick fix” when it comes to healing Attachment injury, but the good news is that with each step toward Secure Attachment, you will be able to identify real improvements and benefits that propel your journey forward.
If you are a therapist, coach, body worker, or simply an interested and dedicated seeker, joining our international and domestic live trainings or even applying for our Certificate Program can help you develop a solid foundation on which to build your Securely Attached future.
As a therapist, you will learn the necessary techniques and exercises to help clients heal their own Attachment injuries much faster and with the support of other Attachment therapists. This can be an invaluable addition to your therapy practice and help you feel more satisfaction in the work you do.