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  • Writer's pictureAshley

But I Had a Good Childhood

If I was to ask you about your childhood what would you tell me?

I frequently have people tell me how they had a great childhood filled with sports, camping and "never wanting for anything". They often leave out any details about emotional connection, feeling accepted for who they truly are and playfulness.

When I start to ask about their relationship with their parents they often start to talk about how one parent worked a lot and was never around and the other parent was always stressed and unhappy but did the best that they could.

More often than not one or more of the parents drank a lot, yelled a lot or was never there. Usually it was a combination of all of these.

However, the gift of going on a healing journey is this my friends, all of a sudden the truth shall set you free. All sassiness aside, it is true.

Imagine that you are always feeling like a piece of shit because you get close to people all to push them away because in the back of your head you are just waiting for them to leave you or distance themself from you. You see yourself doing it. But you feel powerless against the strength of the desire to not let someone close for fear of losing them.

But what if when you look back in childhood you could get 100% clear on why it is that you behave that way?

If we use the example from above, a likely story could be that there was an on again off again parent in that persons life. One moment that parent was super present, attuned and carefree and fun, the next they were distant and unavailable.

The child would believe that when the parent was distant that it was their fault somehow and would alter their behaviours to make sure they were "perfect" all in the quest for the parent to love them like they do sometimes.

Eventually the child gets sick and tired of being perfect and starts acting out in a desperate plea for any attention, even if negative, because they are just longing to be seen, heard, and understood.

Can you see where I am going with this one?

All of our attachment "issues" in our adult life are us playing out the relationships we had with our parents or parenting figures when we were young.

Secure attachment is our desired state. This is where you feel seen, heard and understood. Where the parent allows and encourages the child to be themselves, there is lots of loving eye contact and playfulness.

Show of hands, be honest here, who had that as a child?

Not many of us. Not many of us at all.

This does not mean we had horrible shitty parents. They did the best they could with the knowledge and tools they had, however, there is a lot of pain and suffering that was a result of our parents, whether intentional or not.

It is important to allow yourself to go here, understanding you are not being judgemental and unthankful for your parents but being curious about why it is that we do what we do in our adult relationships.

Most of us grew up with one of three insecure attachment environments which are, Avoidant, Anxious (Ambivalent) or Dysfunctional. Often it was a combination of some or all three.

Want to find out yours? Here is a quiz from Dr Diane Poole Heller, a renowned expert in trauma informed attachment therapy that I've had the privilege of studying under.

It's important to think of ONE of your relationships with a parenting adult, whoever was your primary caretaker, in mind while answering these questions.

After you've taken the quiz if you want to learn and know more please don't hesitate to reach out and I can send you a informative PDF diving a bit deeper into each of these attachment styles, the way you were parented, and the way it manifests in present day.

Honestly this program has been one of the most eye opening courses I've taken in regards to relationships and how truly important and critical it is to help our kiddos to feel safe and secure in their relationships with us.

Before you start to worry about the fact that you fucked up your kids and that they will be talking about you in therapy remember this....... 30%.

30% of the time as parents if we can be attuned, loving, caring and patient parents that is all the base that our kiddos need to go out into the world and create their own secure, loving and amazing relationships with others!

Phew! What a relief eh? As I mentioned in my last blog the most important thing is REPAIRING.

One or both of the persons has to be willing to initiate repair and the other person has to be willing to put their pride as aside and ALLOW the repair to take place.

So what do I remain by repair you may ask? It simply means discussing what happened and how you felt about it. This can be a bit of a daunting task for someone who has never had someone who initiates a repair with them or someone who is quickly to take the fault because, well, childhood.

Here is an example to highlight;

Person 1- When you told me that you were upset that I didn't take out the garbage YOU MADE ME feel useless.

Ish can you feel how the person on the other end of this may be triggered and get their back up?

Instead try this;

Person 1- When you told me that you were upset that I didn't take out the garbage last night I experienced shame because I felt useless. I'm wondering if there is a way that we could come up with together to prevent us from having to repeat this incident again? Do you have any ideas? What about a chore chart maybe?

See the difference here? Doesn't that feel just so much more vulnerable, loving and supportive then the first example?

No one can actually make us feel anyway. We feel how we feel based on past experiences in our life so when we can have a beautiful two way conversation where we don't blame the other person both parties will remain open to the repairing. Kinda amazing right?

If you loved this blog and want to learn more about this kind of thing please comment and let me know so I can provide you with the information and teachings you want to learn about the most!

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