Life is full of trauma (physical, emotional, energetic, spiritual) and attachment is at the root of much of it. At the root of many sexual issues are attachment injuries. Our relationships reflect these issues in behaviors such as withdrawal, conflict and aggression to name a few.
Our earliest attachment (often our mothers) lays the foundation for how we connect with
others throughout our lives. Our bonding and displays of love from our parents
and families affect how we love our significant other (or others) later in our
Trauma at any stage along the way will affect
our capacity to bond and trust another person. It leaves us guarded and
protected, not wanting to be hurt again. Our bodies automatically shut down to
guard against any further harm …even when we want intimacy in another
It's as if 'parts of us' are in conflict
with our desire for closeness and love due to the fear of invasion or injury.
It may seem like we have “parts" that don't want to go along with other “parts"
that desire intimacy and relationship. These opposing "parts" may show up as resistance,
conflict, sabotage, aggression or conflict.
Conflict in a relationship is often a space
creator. It guards against intimacy and closeness when we are feeling threatened.
We are trying to guard to our hearts and our bodies in order to protect ourselves from
further harm. Underneath that, we long to feel safe and loved and
transparent so that we feel seen and loved just as we are.
When we become aware of our particular
attachment histories and the specific traumas holding us back from giving and
receiving love, we become free to love others and ourselves without living from
our defenses. With therapy, we are able to live from our vitality and core
energies rather than our defenses that are always trying to keep us safe.
We are able to open and trust and dissolve
into each other intimately without losing ourselves. We are able to feel safe
in the world. We no longer live in
relationship from our defenses. In
couples work I have seen many couples that are relating from their defenses and
it's painful to see. They are often frustrated
and out to “be right." Do you want to be
right or do you want to be happy asks Dr. Phil.
Mature love is a learned set of thoughts,
beliefs and behaviors that most of us need some help to develop. Our parenting
and early childhood experiences, as well as any
trauma (specifically attachment related) will cripple us and need
to David Wallin, author of Attachment in Psychotherapy, most of us have “islands"
of trauma and dissociation in our history.
A client of his states “ it's like a sharp pebble in my shoe and when
you've got a pebble in your shoe, it can't help but deform your stride.
Not all traumas are attachment based but
I'm sure much more of them are than we recognize.
Diane Poole Heller, a Somatic Attachment
& Trauma Expert, states “The good news is that we are all inherently hardwired
to heal. We have an innate ability to overcome the effects of trauma and
unleash the core aliveness we all possess.