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Wisdom available here, also helps parents stay connected and regulated, to better support their kids

Updated: May 17

I've been enjoying a 6-part series on attachment, which starts here: The Basics of Attachment (Part 1 of 6) {EP 34} - Robyn Gobbel

Even though I have a Master's in Psychology, revisiting to this topic, now that I am a parent and alternative practitioner, not to mention out of the woods of being reliant on my parents for support, has been helpful.

My current Esogetics teacher often refers to what we can see in a person's Kirlian photo as their "attachment story". This guides us to decide which treatments to apply to help them shift out of their current state.

Here are some summaries from the first few episodes in the podcast series linked above:

The middle episodes share that:

  • insecure ANXIOUS attachment is the result of an adaptation on the part of the baby/child, to appear to have MORE needs because their needs are not being met, but they have the expectation (and thus invoke in their caregiver) that their needs will not be met. The primary caregiver of someone who develops anxious attachment got too involved in the emotions of the child, could not stay regulated themselves, so there is little separation (or individuality) between parent and child

  • insecure AVOIDANT attachment is the result of an adaptation on the part of the baby/child to appear to have LESS needs because their needs are not being met, while they continue to hope that their needs will be met, because they expect that they won't be met, this is what they invoke in others. The primary caregiver of someone who develops avoidant attachment could not attune to their child at all, so their child assumes people can't, and doesn't get the opportunity to build mental models of self or other (i.e., empathy). There is almost no overlap (or common ground) between parent and child.

  • by contrast DISORGANIZED attachment is the result of a primary caregiver who is MEAN, WEAK, or GONE (more on this below), so the child runs from the caregiver out of fear but also runs towards the caregiver for comfort and safety, only to find that the caregiver is too overwhelmed (or absent) to offer suppprt, so they run again.

Interestingly, the podcast shares that anxious and avoidant attachment styles are organized, because the baby/child develops consistent adaptations and expectations, even if they lead to less healthy and enjoyable mental models, compared to people with secure attachment (see list above).

Looking back, I'd say my father laid the foundation for me to develop anxious attachment, while my mother laid the foundation for me to develop avoidant attachment. My step parents (though I never attached to either of them, maybe because I was older, or maybe because my parents taught me not to expect good attachment from anyone) probably contributed to the development disorganized attachment, mostly because they were mean, and when I ran to my parents for help, my father was weak, and my mother was gone.

It's hard to hear that one of the reasons kids are unable to part from their parent (secure attachment, as is the case for my youngest) is because they may not be have had enough time with their parent, to build a neural network inside themselves, to visit for safety and regulation, when their parent is not close by.

Reach Out Center for Kids (ROCK), something I have turned to on occasion, frequently offers the Circle of Security program (where the terms mean, weak, and gone come from). They have even offered us to participate in a Strange Situation (to try to identity issues with our youngest's attachment style). I could be insulted, by their automatic assumption, that because my child is not going along with what other kids accept, I might not be parenting well.

Something I think mainstream misses badly is that we are all different, we have different human designs (how energy impacts us), soul contracts (experiences we are attracting, so we can learn, gain experience, heal, and become whole), and gene keys (different needs at different stages of development).

I know sending kids to school at age 3/4/5yrs, with no access to parents, is considered "normal", but according to Esogetics, kids are hypnogogic until 6yrs of age, meaning that they have no protection from being programmed. I think this is why mainstream focuses only on the issue of kids under 3yrs of age having no explicit memory (timestamp) to add to their implicit memory (mental models, beliefs, and expectations about the world and others), for context and to prevent PTSD.

It makes me wonder "is mainstream/school mean, is that why my kid(s) run to me, as I ran to my parents when my step parents were mean, even though my parents couldn't catch me, and I can catch my kids" or is any other possibility more true? (see, I'm reflective, see below about my ability being closer to the summary in blue above).

I recognize that my interaction with the school (and anyone with mainstream parenting beliefs) borders on all forms of insecure attachment (anxious, avoidant, and disorganized), because their beliefs make me feel unsafe. All of it feels unkind to the varying needs of the family and the child, as well as contrary to health (due to their lack of acceptance and increased stress of do this because you have to or you won't be successful in life). What if my definition of success is different from yours?

My kids pull at me to spend more time with them because I have karmic 4s in my soul contract, I need to learn to share myself with others, by overcoming my insecure attachments.

It's nice that my husband does not scold me if I cannot sleep. But sometimes I still think people are mad at me if they ask me to call them. I agree with what is shared in the podcast series above, that when we understand what is going on for us and our kids, even if we can't change it, knowing keeps us more connected and regulated, and this allows them to change, without us needing them to change now. That's what my work does for clients too, but maybe in a different way.

When I showed these photos to my youngest she said "awe, you do love me":

Of course I do, it's sad that she would ever think I don't, but she has been working through trauma lately, and making great progress.

I recognize that building implicit mental models during covid was not ideal. There was a lot of chaos, a lot of people with opposing fears, and things they wanted to impose on others. She also witnessed dad at home, but always working, and more.

Going through this material (on attachment and vulnerable nervous systems) allowed me to recognize that my husband also has a vulnerable nervous system, he gets dysregulated, and has a watchdog brain. This is why he is so good at spotting the early signs when our youngest is getting agitated (and then it agitates me when he wants me to resolve it now before it gets worse).

All of this, is exactly what each of us needs, to be able to heal, learn, and do what we need to do in this life.

Here are my current inner thoughts, compared to what is listed in the image above, as an example for someone with secure attachment:

  • I struggle, but I've learned to accept myself more, even if other people don't seem to like what I have to say or how I behave

  • Generally help is not available, but sometimes I can phrase things in a way to get what I want

  • I can't make a generalization about people, some people feel like I can connect with them, but most don't

  • People rarely respond to my voice or see me as being in need of help that they are willing to provide

  • Generally speaking, I can figure out a way to navigate anything in life

  • I trust life enough not to be attached to surviving

  • Being vulnerable and trusting others sometimes results in being pushed away

  • Some relationships offer repair, others don't, I have learned not to expect more than people are capable of and, in these cases, to learn by observation instead.

My inner beliefs may still need some more work, but my outer ability is a closer match to what I shared in the blue summary image (above), for someone with secure attachment.

Given that 85% of people have the same attachment style as their primary caregiver, I am working hard to be among the 15% who can shift this (half of which may be for the better and half of which may be for the worse, I am obviously aiming for the better), or at least to help my children get there.

I still don't think kids should be forced in order to get them ready. They are ready when they are ready. Forcing them before they are ready puts them at risk, and this why my youngest fights.

Further evidence of my work in progress, and why it's important to continue to do the work:

Someone told me today that my youngest "needs to share", after my youngest hit their child, after they forced their child to enter into my child's play (even though I was standing in the way, deliberately, trying to keep both kids safe). I know people want to believe that "socially acceptable should override biology", but forcing children to override their sense that something isn't safe, isn't smart or safe.

We all have our baggage, and it's sad when kids get hurt, because parents have unresolved issues. This mom is at the beginning of her journey, we are all entitled to make mistakes as we go.

If we want our kids to be happy, resolving our attachment issues, and supporting our kids to feel safe, for as long as they need it, should be part of our goal, shouldn't it?

Why don't you give the exercise a try? Take the sentences in the image above (or my edited version) and then edit them to match your own inner view. Don't be shy to have an opinion about what feels more naive, rigid, or healthy, for you. As you get to know people over time, you will see how their beliefs are a good match for their experience, the sensitivity of their body, and the people they have access to for help or support.

Just like how my experience of my parents allowed me to develop protection, so I would know better than to try to attach to the people their attachment style would draw into their lives. And how the little girl who got hit (above)'s experience of me and my youngest would cause her to be appropriately weary of entering someone else's play, when all signs point to "this person doesn't want to share and doesn't have the capacity to tolerate my intrusion, because they are getting aggressive, they probably don't feel safe".

Sadly, her mother didn't see what was happening in front of her, only her own mental model of "kids need to share and I don't want my kid to be abc" even though forcing the opposite resulted in her kid being hit.

I apologized for what happened, but I am also aware that an apology doesn't take away the pain, or judgement, or attempt at social shaming, and also, that my child taught them a lesson, that may or may not stay with them, that it is not always best to do what you think you should be able to do, the world is not always that safe of a place, there are some lessons to be learned, and it's ok, we have the ability to tolerate difficult experiences, in order to learn from them. Which I feel is less naive, doe-eyed, and more empowering than blind trust, which leads us to do things that hurt and harm us, maybe some of you know what I mean?

Side note - a friend/client who I learn a lot from, who is trauma informed, gentle in her approach, allowing what could be difficult to feel comfortable, and very good at rupture and repair, shared with me, with regards to her experience at ROCK (mentioned above): "I think ROCK has very different intentions. One of their mantras is no blame no shame. Their programs are about helping parents who didn't have good parenting role models develop skills." I wanted to honour her experience and include it here, because I've found parents have varying experiences at ROCK, depending on if the parent feels or is judged as being the problem. It's a very tricky field to enter into, the dance between parent and child, and I think part of feeling judged is our own internal mental models. I myself have declined services from ROCK if the intention was one way, but was open to them if the intention was another way, and I did not hear back. My work has also been recognized by ROCK as a breath of fresh air, accurate, with no blame, but also, it doesn't go far, because "the story I tell myself is" people are afraid that what I can do may invalidate what they can do (when they can in fact work together). I have also been discharged from ROCK's Halton's Families for Families Advisory Board because my health prevented me from following their requirements during COVID, even though I offered to hold space for families who might also have different opinions on how they want to care for their health. Nothing is perfect, especially if they have to do certain things to continue to receive funding. I've had more gains, some drops, and minimal insults, from my experience with ROCK. It's worth a try, each experience that I've had with them has been different and has brought me something important. But, I've had to be discerning on what they see in me and how I want to spend the precious time (which I pay for through agitation in my family) if I put my kids with others in order to participate.

I do think my youngest has a disorganized situation going on in her brain, which is why she flips to watchdog and baffling behaviours, spinning chaos instead of resolving anything. Not because of her caregivers being mean, weak, or gone, but because we flip into watchdog mode ourselves, maybe because our own caregivers were one of the above, and we need to try really hard not too.

I think I react to mainstream suggestions (even ROCK at times) because they don't always make me feel seen:

...they either can't handle my story or situation or they try to push me towards something that is not right for me.

A lot of my clients find that looking at their (and their kids) unique psychology (human design, soul contract, astrology, gene keys, kirlian image, and more) allows them to feel seen, because it allows them to open the flood gates and cry. Because, what I can see through these modalities, is something they have been wishing someone would just be able to see and say it's ok. Because it is ok. My work is about self acceptance, understanding, by looking at who we uniquely are. I am not thrown off if someone has a big story, I have not heard everything, but I do know the human experience has room for a lot of difficult experiences. And we can hold space for that and work together, to claim the gift, if you so choose.

These are important add ons from the 6th episode in the attachment series above, about how insecure/disorganized attachment heals:

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