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Author Topic: Anxious + BPD = Anxiety and self-blame  (Read 1914 times)
fromheeltoheal
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« on: May 24, 2014, 03:13:10 PM »

I've been learning about attachment styles, an area of study and concept that has been profound for me, and explains a hell of a lot.  Of the three attachment styles, secure, anxious and avoidant, I have most certainly and anxious attachment style, and I've learned that the worst relationship someone with an anxious style can be in is with someone with an avoidant style, and although BPD is a personality disorder and not an attachment style, my ex was very much avoidant for her own reasons, and this passage (slightly paraphrased) from the book "Attached" speaks volumes for me:

Excerpt
There’s another reason you might be attracted to an avoidant partner if you are anxious. An avoidant's subtle indicators of uncertainty and unavailability make an anxious attacher feel insecure. This is often what happens, even very early in the relationship, if you are anxious and dating an avoidant. Quite soon into the relationship you start to get mixed signals . He (or she) calls, but takes his time about it; he’s interested in you, but lets you understand that he’s still playing the field. You are left guessing. Every time you get mixed messages, your attachment system is activated and you become preoccupied with the relationship. But then he compliments you or makes a romantic gesture that gets your heart racing, and you tell yourself he’s interested after all; you’re elated. Unfortunately, the bliss is very short-lived. Quickly the positive messages become mixed once again with ambiguous ones and again you find yourself plunging down that roller coaster. You now live in suspense, anticipating that next small remark or gesture that will reassure you. After living like this for a while, you start to do something interesting. You start to equate the anxiety , the preoccupation , the obsession, and those ever-so-short bursts of joy with love. What you’re really doing is equating an activated attachment system with passion. If you’ve been at it for a while, you become programmed to get attracted to those very individuals who are least likely to make you happy. Having a perpetually activated attachment system is the opposite of what nature had in mind for us in terms of gratifying love. As we’ve seen, one of Bowlby and Ainsworth’s most important insights is that in order to thrive and grow as human beings, we need a secure base from which to derive strength and comfort. For that to happen, our attachment system must be calm and secure. Remember, an activated attachment system is not passionate love. Next time you date someone and find yourself feeling anxious, insecure, and obsessive— only to feel elated every once in a while— tell yourself this is most likely an activated attachment system and not love! True love, in the evolutionary sense, means peace of mind. “Still waters run deep” is a good way of characterizing it.

Attachment style theory only has a little overlap with a relationship with a borderline, in that once a borderline flops to devaluation they become "avoidant", but I now see a pattern for me in several of my past relationships: the ones that were the most painful and anxiety producing were with women with avoidant attachment styles.  Also, avoidants end up in more, shorter relationships than average, because they're avoidant, so the percentage of people with avoidant attachment styles is higher in the single dating pool than in the general population.  Also, the dynamic that shows up in a relationship between someone with an anxious attachment style and an avoidant one reinforces each person's beliefs about themselves and the relationship, so the familiar disempowering script is played out over and over.

So the answer moving forward?  Having learned about attachment styles, develop relationships with people with secure attachment styles (50% of the population) first, or anxious attachment styles (20%) second, and avoid the avoidants (25%) like the plague.  Now that I'm looking at the world through that lens, I know several people with avoidant attachment styles, some in a romantic relationship sense and some as just friends and acquaintances, and it's all becoming clear.  Bottom line: someone like me with an anxious attachment style will spin out and blame myself when intimacy and closeness isn't happening in a relationship, and it's very good news that it never will with someone with an avoidant attachment style, and it's not my fault!

It's a brand new world.

Spark any thoughts for anyone?
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2014, 04:43:07 PM »

Very thought provoking fromheeltoheal

I too think I am in the 20% group... anxious attachment style... . and my ex definately in the avoidant group... . I can relate to having some of those early on feelings where I became confused as to what was real love or just my anxiety over someone really seeming to care for me as a person... . idealizing me... . stroking my ego...

It did keep me going round and round!

Question though... . about us "anxious" ones... . that we are attracted to those of which cannot make us happy?... .

I can only make me happy... . someone can fill me with feelings of happiness ... . in the things they may say or do ... . But it's not someone else's job to make ME happy. I find this interesting because that is just what my ex would say to me endlessly... . you just can't make me happy... .

Isn't that something that may come from a person that is somewhat dis ordered... . just a thought

Another question... . how does one determine if the person they are starting a r/s with has a secure attachment style... . I mean... . Obviously there are early warning signs... . but in the case of the BPD... . they wear that mask well... . and if we are of the "anxious" type... . and our confusion about being idealized is confuddled(not sure that's a word)... . How do we NOT get caught up in the "merry go round"?
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2014, 05:42:27 PM »

Hey Cimbaruns, thanks for joining the conversation!

Excerpt
Question though... . about us "anxious" ones... . that we are attracted to those of which cannot make us happy?... .

I can only make me happy... . someone can fill me with feelings of happiness ... . in the things they may say or do ... . But it's not someone else's job to make ME happy. I find this interesting because that is just what my ex would say to me endlessly... . you just can't make me happy... .

Isn't that something that may come from a person that is somewhat dis ordered... . just a thought

The stance that attachment theory takes is that the belief that people should be emotionally self-sufficient is erroneous.  Yes, it is true that no one can make us happy, but when we develop a secure, intimate, emotional safe base to return to, a healthy relationship with someone, then we can go out into the world as autonomous, independent individuals and yes, make ourselves happy, but all of that is made possible by knowing that we have a secure base, a supportive person, someone we're emotionally enmeshed with in a healthy way, to return to.  :)ependency is not a bad thing, in fact humans are wired to thrive on it.  I like those viewpoints a great deal.

Excerpt
Another question... . how does one determine if the person they are starting a r/s with has a secure attachment style... . I mean... . Obviously there are early warning signs... . but in the case of the BPD... . they wear that mask well... . and if we are of the "anxious" type... . and our confusion about being idealized is confuddled(not sure that's a word)... . How do we NOT get caught up in the "merry go round"?

BPD is a personality disorder, a mental illness, and only affects an estimated 2% of the population, so to me those people don't count, and at this point my red flag radar is finely tuned and turned up full blast, don't see myself falling for that crap again.

To me it's not so much meeting people with secure attachment styles, although that feels good to us, but avoiding the avoidants, which just create havoc for the anxious styles.  There are clues going in that someone has an avoidant attachment style, like they send mixed signals, they overvalue their independence, they devalue you, even if joking, which is a way to keep you at a distance, they use other distancing strategies like not making clear plans together or they like to take vacations alone, for example, they emphasize boundaries, they have an unrealistic ideal for a relationship that a real human couldn't meet, or they are mistrustful and fear being taken advantage of.  

I'm a newbie to all this but it makes total sense, I know people who I now see as clearly avoidant, and the bottom line so far is does this person seek intimacy and closeness?  And of course we need to be careful that the 'closeness' they are seeking isn't the unhealthy-fusing-of-two-psyches-borderline-attachment kind of psycho closeness, but the healthy kind, where it's emotionally safe, and our gut is still one of the most reliable tools.
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2014, 10:16:05 AM »

fromheeltoheal,

Although I didn't know what it was called, I know the avoidant style with my ex all too well... . ugh. He placed every buffer in the book to have real intimacy with me but could bait and activate that need in me whenever he felt like it. I lived through a lot of pain and confusion for years because of this.

Yes, I love the idea of having a secure base with a person. This is clearly a basic human need; definitely mine. That said, I need to do some work, some alone, to be ready for this as even a possibility (learning me).

Two thoughts come to mind:

1) Do people with secure attachment styles not have insecurities? or is it just in how they respond to an insecurity that makes it different?... . I guess I am unclear on what would be a secure attachment style.

2) I think there is personal growth as a result of a relationship. To me, part of the process to get to a "peace of mind" relationship is to work through the issues between 2 different people. So if I meet an avoidant attachment style person but because of the tools they use to avoid (i.e. their job), I wonder if it is still possible to build a loving relationship with self-awareness, communication, etc...

Thanks for the insights.

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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2014, 11:56:41 AM »

Hey DN2, thanks for weighing in!

Excerpt
1) Do people with secure attachment styles not have insecurities? or is it just in how they respond to an insecurity that makes it different?... . I guess I am unclear on what would be a secure attachment style.

My understanding so far is folks with secure attachment styles move towards intimacy easily and naturally, expect the best for themselves and others, communicate emotions openly and freely, and have an innate ability to stay tuned in to someone emotionally to give them what they need when they need it, instead of getting defensive (anxious style) or pulling away (avoidant style) when things get sticky.

Excerpt
2) I think there is personal growth as a result of a relationship. To me, part of the process to get to a "peace of mind" relationship is to work through the issues between 2 different people. So if I meet an avoidant attachment style person but because of the tools they use to avoid (i.e. their job), I wonder if it is still possible to build a loving relationship with self-awareness, communication, etc...

Turns out, and I find this cool, that when an anxious style gets with a secure style, the anxious person actually gets more secure, because the solid, consistent base a secure person lives in alleviates the anxious person's fears.  It can backfire too though: if the anxious person has their attachment style activated for whatever reason, becoming jealous, suspicious and defensive, a secure person can actually do too much to try and help, and could put up with a lot of crap instead of leaving.  It works both ways as far as influence, and is dependent on the individual dynamics.

As I see it the problem with an anxious/avoidant pairing is their attachment styles feed off each other in a disempowering way: the anxious gets clingy, insecure and jealous, the avoidant pulls away to deal with it, the anxious gets clingier, on and on.  

Hey, every human has one of the styles, and relationships are challenging and take work no matter who you are.  I just want to be with someone who wants to be with me, all the way.  Of course depending what style we are, "all the way" has a different meaning.

Secure - comfortable with intimacy and moves easily towards it.

Anxious - wants intimacy, but considers it precarious and hard to get, and feels they want to be closer than their partner.

Avoidant - moves away from intimacy

I just had a funny visual of me getting together with someone with an anxious attachment style also.  We'd spend all our time alleviating each other's fears and jealousies, thinking we each want to be closer and more intimate than the other, driving each other crazy with assurances.  Somehow that doesn't seem so bad... .
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2014, 07:58:02 AM »

Hi fromheeltoheal,

Funny thought on 2 anxious attachment styles getting together Smiling (click to insert in post)

I don't run in circles where 50% of the population: "move towards intimacy easily and naturally, expect the best for themselves and others, communicate emotions openly and freely, and have an innate ability to stay tuned in to someone emotionally to give them what they need when they need it, instead of getting defensive (anxious style) or pulling away (avoidant style) when things get sticky."

Maybe some day, I'll be in those circles.

Thank you for responding. It helps raise me above my current spot at least temporarily.

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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2014, 10:19:15 AM »

I don't run in circles where 50% of the population: "move towards intimacy easily and naturally, expect the best for themselves and others, communicate emotions openly and freely, and have an innate ability to stay tuned in to someone emotionally to give them what they need when they need it, instead of getting defensive (anxious style) or pulling away (avoidant style) when things get sticky."

Yeah, it does seem like an ideal, that it would be ideal, and I don't think it's as discrete as the literature suggests, more a continuum.  But I do know people like that, and of course the way I'm wired I'm not 'good enough' for them to want in their lives, but lately I leaning heavily on fck it, I can't be who I'm not, too much work and it doesn't work anyway, better to be who I am all the way, the difference now being notice what I'm getting from other people in response and act on it, no sense tolerating any more bullsht, life's too short.
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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2014, 10:29:42 AM »

The research that I am familiar with talks about we learn our attachment by are parents and there is a 4th style called disorganized attachment (combination of anxious and avoidant) I thought this style was more aligned (push/pull) with BPD attachments.

From the research I am familiar with, it was the parenting that determined the attachment style 70% of the time.  Using a child for their own self serving emotional needs, invalidating environment, etc

As this relates to detachment fromH2H, we can look at our own patterns to see what we are attracted to and why.  Changing our own attachment style means healing the childhood stuff and having a more realistic approach to relationships - not looking for someone to save or save us really.

Good stuff here.

Peace,

SB
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fromheeltoheal
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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2014, 11:22:37 AM »

The research that I am familiar with talks about we learn our attachment by are parents and there is a 4th style called disorganized attachment (combination of anxious and avoidant) I thought this style was more aligned (push/pull) with BPD attachments.

Yeah, that's the last 5% SB, thanks for mentioning it.  To me a personality disorder is so over the top, certainly was in my case, that it trumps an attachment style, and I'm not thinking about her as I learn this stuff.  I absolutely have an anxious attachment style, and it's about learning about that, how to determine what someone else's style is, and which styles I'm compatible and incompatible with and why.

Excerpt
As this relates to detachment fromH2H, we can look at our own patterns to see what we are attracted to and why.  Changing our own attachment style means healing the childhood stuff and having a more realistic approach to relationships - not looking for someone to save or save us really.

I consider myself detached SB, it's not about changing my attachment style, which can't be done anyway, and it's not about saving or being saved.  It's about developing relationships with people who have attachment styles compatible with mine, meaning avoiding avoidants, and being myself all the way, because I'm exactly who I'm supposed to be right now, and nothing needs healing.  Dammit.  I'm really done with the presupposition that something is broken, time to start living.  There's a difference between being saved or saving and becoming emotionally involved with someone we can depend upon to consistently be there emotionally, and we are hardwired to thrive on the latter.  The mistake I made with 'her' was to not pay attention to what I was getting and forging ahead anyway, asleep; my naivety needed to die with that relationship, and it did, now it's time to start living all the way, wiser and smarter.
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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2014, 12:57:16 PM »

SB

I agree that healing or for me anyway... . just beginning to realize the childhood stuff is paramount !

I'm not sure I can change my attachment style (anxious) but I can certainly be more mindful and try and avoid the "save me" ... . "save someone " scenario ...

Fromheeltoheal

I can relate to the naivety and forging ahead... . my needs were totally put in the back seat if you will... . I carried them around but saving her became the all important thing

My recognition going forward is in the forefront as I heal... .

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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2014, 01:49:37 PM »

Great topic fromheeltoheal, thanks for posting.

That line about the anxiety being confused with love really resonated.  I had seen that before in Anderson's book about Abandonment and kept going back to it.  I feel I have definitely equated fear of abandonment with attraction and passion. As a result, do you think that a secure, mature, and peaceful attachment might feel very strange, and perhaps missing something at first?

I recognize the avoidant type and have experienced confusion and pain in those kinds of relationships.  Nowadays, I feel quite unattracted to behavior that excited (read: produced anxiety) me before, so maybe some progress is being made.  Hard to say, since attraction has lots of biology to push us off the track again    but I'm hopeful.

I haven't read the book, but there is a review up, and after reading your post, I think I'll look into buying a copy.

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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2014, 03:19:51 PM »

Hey H&W-

Excerpt
That line about the anxiety being confused with love really resonated.  I had seen that before in Anderson's book about Abandonment and kept going back to it.  I feel I have definitely equated fear of abandonment with attraction and passion. As a result, do you think that a secure, mature, and peaceful attachment might feel very strange, and perhaps missing something at first?

I recognize the avoidant type and have experienced confusion and pain in those kinds of relationships.  Nowadays, I feel quite unattracted to behavior that excited (read: produced anxiety) me before, so maybe some progress is being made.  Hard to say, since attraction has lots of biology to push us off the track again    but I'm hopeful.

Yes, and I'm relying on thoughts lately, not feelings, since the 'feelings' have lead me astray, with my borderline ex and others.  Weird though, seems there's a gut feel and feelings generated by thoughts, distinct for me; my gut feel is steady and calm, and only ever tells me one thing at a time and it's always right, while my feelings generated by thoughts, really the same thought every time, that I'm not 'good enough', will send me into a panic when I'm in a relationship.  That's the core of my anxious attachment style; it's the feeling of invalidation, or validation that I'm not 'got enough' to be in a relationship with whomever, not a feeling of abandonment.

So yes, a secure attachment feels strange, so I've been relying on my thoughts that this is how a secure, 'real' attachment feels, it's a calm, slow thing that feels effortless and comfortable.  I've also been practicing communication, blurting out to people that I am anxious when it comes to relationships and I could use some help with that.  Asking someone to help me feel good about myself is real and honest, and it serves double duty; the folks who want to engage with me like that stick around and we take it to the next level, and the ones who don't want to deal with it, for whatever reason, go away, and that's fine.  I'm just talking people in general, not necessarily romantic relationships; my entire world has changed since I went through the borderline spin cycle, and I'm trying out new skills, invigorating and scary at the same time.

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« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2014, 10:52:01 AM »

Hey folks, I have done a good amount of search into attachment styles and the relationship with BPD. Adult attachment theory is quite fascinating!

A 2007 study (you can find the complete study free online; no paywall) suggests the majority of individuals with borderline personality disorder have a fearful-avoidant attachment style and secondarily, a preoccupied-anxious attachment style. So indeed, both an anxious and avoidant style are prominent, leading to the "disorganized style" SB mentioned earlier.  This leads to the ambivalence or the push pull one may see in a pwBPD.

Interestingly enough, the fearful avoidant style is closely associated with victims of child sexual abuse.  Many believe CSA to be a large factor in the development of BPD.  And around the circle we go... .
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« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2014, 12:37:30 PM »

Hello All,

This topic is very interesting, and I hope it's life continues. 

Part of my interest is the strong suspicion that no pwBPD has a secure attachment style.  Did the 2007 study find any that were secure? 

This leads to the thought that the offspring of any BPD parent is at risk of also not developing secure attachment. 

BPD is a personality disorder, a mental illness, and only affects an estimated 2% of the population

So while the 2% or so number is small, the "ripple effect" of their offspring with insecure attachment is probably much larger.  Adding the other "fleas" that the offspring may have picked up and I can see how many (or most) offspring are probably severely challenged by their insecure attachment styles. 

I wonder how much of the estimated 40-50% adults with insecure attachment are due to the ripple effects of BPD on offspring and their offspring over time. 

Kind of a bummer for children of BPDs (like me).

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« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2014, 02:42:21 PM »

So while the 2% or so number is small, the "ripple effect" of their offspring with insecure attachment is probably much larger.  Adding the other "fleas" that the offspring may have picked up and I can see how many (or most) offspring are probably severely challenged by their insecure attachment styles. 

I wonder how much of the estimated 40-50% adults with insecure attachment are due to the ripple effects of BPD on offspring and their offspring over time. 

Kind of a bummer for children of BPDs (like me).

I agree to an extent AsianSon; there's lots of literature about folks being raised by a borderline, and in my case her daughter showed plenty of borderline traits herself, now that I know what they are, and her son surely has an anxious attachment style.

Although the learning I've been doing on attachment styles in general, not necessarily BPD-related, is that parental influence is only one component of the determination of a person's attachment style, general temperament and life experiences as children and young adults being others.  Also, interestingly, someone can change attachment styles, go from secure to anxious for example, if they have some traumatic first romantic relationships; scarred for life I think the saying goes.  I can relate to that, although it's also true that if someone with an anxious attachment style gets together with someone with a secure style, they become more secure, mostly because both styles want intimacy and resolution to issues and are willing to sit down and talk about things until they're resolved, unlike avoidants.

Also, that 2% of the population are the folks who could be clinically diagnosed, but there are many more folks that exhibit traits, sometimes strongly, but wouldn't get a diagnosis if they put themselves in the hands of the psych world.  But yes, I think that has ripple effects throughout offspring lives, along with a host of other parenting "issues", and as with most things, it's not what happens, it's what we do with it.
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« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2014, 08:56:54 PM »

Although the learning I've been doing on attachment styles in general, not necessarily BPD-related, is that parental influence is only one component of the determination of a person's attachment style, general temperament and life experiences as children and young adults being others.  Also, interestingly, someone can change attachment styles, go from secure to anxious for example, if they have some traumatic first romantic relationships; scarred for life I think the saying goes.  I can relate to that, although it's also true that if someone with an anxious attachment style gets together with someone with a secure style, they become more secure, mostly because both styles want intimacy and resolution to issues and are willing to sit down and talk about things until they're resolved, unlike avoidants.

I'm totally with you on the other influences leading to insecure attachment.  There are many other PDs and mental disorders. 

I guess another way to look at it is that the estimated 50-60% adults with secure attachment might be a relative stable range and so as you correctly put it, "it's what we do with it." 

At a personal level, it has been eye-opening to learn about my own insecure attachment and the effects it has had on my wife, children, and me. 

I've seen some explanations of the 4 attachment types represented on a 2 by 2 coordinate system with positive/negative thoughts of self being one set of 2 and positive/negative thoughts of others being the second set of 2.  Secure attachment is positive in both sets. 

It occurs to me that BPD parents might push children towards being negative in thoughts of self or thoughts of others or both.  As a simple example, splitting negative towards a child would be consistent with the child having negative self-esteem.  And splitting negative towards others (such as the case with a "hermit" BPDm) would be consistent with the child having negative socialization with other people. 

Given that insecure attachment may be improvable, this might mean that the kids can benefit from therapy that reduces the negativity.  Somewhat ironic in that while many pwBPD resist therapy and help, the BPD's offspring wind up needing the help. 
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« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2014, 12:08:07 AM »

I've seen some explanations of the 4 attachment types represented on a 2 by 2 coordinate system with positive/negative thoughts of self being one set of 2 and positive/negative thoughts of others being the second set of 2.  Secure attachment is positive in both sets.  

I've seen the same graphical representation, but with different axes; the horizontal axis is low anxiety to high anxiety, and the vertical axis is low avoidance to high avoidance.  Secure and anxious folks are both low avoidance, but secures are less anxious than anxious ones, obviously.  The good news for us anxious folks is we can more easily form relationships, and most importantly resolve issues, with secure folks because we both want the same thing; intimacy and closeness, lack of avoidance.  My borderline ex was always avoidant, in the beginning because she felt if I knew the real her I'd leave, so she had to create a facade and keep the real her from me, and in the end because she'd flopped to devaluation and I was the scumbag, per that pathology.

I think the biggest influence in our lives, and on who we end up as, is our parents; I don't think I'm the first to come up with that one.  In any case, there's what they thought, what they did as a result, and how we interpreted it, what we made in mean, all distinctly different.  Some folks have gone through hellacious crap but end up fine, mostly because of what they made it mean.  Then again, some folks have had what seems like good upbringings and end up junkies or whatever, to the eternal chagrin of their loving parents.  In any case, therapy can help anyone, as long as it's the right therapist and the patient is motivated.  Thanks for weighing in!
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« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2014, 02:49:34 PM »

This is a very interesting topic. I have invested a lot of energy in attachment theory the past 18 months in my life as a mom of BPD adult D age 28 and my granddaughter, age 9. The gd lives with us, DD lives out of our home now. As a parent it is not possible for me to sever the relationship and move on. Detachment while staying connected with boundaries is what I am working for.

Here is the info on a book that has been helpful for me in my adult relationships - dh, co-workers, friends, neighbors - with my own issues from childhood and the chronic traumatic stress from living with my BPDDD for so long. I really connected with the neuroscience woven into the psychology of attachment.  Hope this is a helpful resource for you all too.

8 Keys to Building Your Best Relationships (8 Keys to Mental Health)

Daniel A. Hughes (Author), Babette Rothschild (Foreword)

Book Description

Publication Date: October 14, 2013 | ISBN-10: 0393708209 | ISBN-13: 978-0393708202 | Edition: 1

Bringing attachment theory essentials to everyday life.

A revolution is under way in how we understand the nature of relationships, how we develop in those relationships, and how our brains function synergistically in connection with others. This field is known as attachment theory, and until now most of the cutting-edge insights have been written in “researcher-speak” and reserved for neurologists, psychologists, and others in the healing professions.

Here veteran therapist and specialist in attachment disorders Daniel A. Hughes demystifies the research for lay people. By summarizing in short, easy-to-read “keys” the theory and brain science that underpin our ability to form relationships, he skillfully reveals how we can become better friends, spouses, siblings, and children. For anyone interested in how to develop meaningful new relationships or how to deepen and enrich their current ones, this book makes sense of it all.



qcr
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« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2014, 07:02:15 PM »

Thanks qcarolr; I bought the book on Kindle and just finished the intro; looking forward to digging in!
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« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2014, 04:59:15 PM »

Anxious attachment style is in childhood... and explains a lot... you might look at Schizoid and Schizoid PD... they may fit much closer. Dig in by researching them a bit, if you just read the DSM criteria... it is easy to shrug them off, and few believe the criteria is good.

Inside... SPD... is being anxious/avoidant... living a rich internal fantasy life, keeping people at a bit of a distance, protecting yourself by holding in your real opinions, real emotions and working at fitting in... at the cost of living publicly with a toned down acceptable false self. Some argue that is just being introverted and is not a PD... but like NPD or BPD... it is pervasive and dominates how you experience your life.

I was looking for things that would "help fix" anxious/avoidant attachment and best I could find was Laurel Mellin's "The PathWay" and "Wired for Joy"... which are written from an attachment theory basis, and have good tools in them for boundaries and getting from a bad stressed state to a better one. However I haven't been able to find anything that really fixes the damage done from poor parenting. Noticed that abused animals... while they get better... stay skittish to some degree from then on, and suspect to some degree same is the case with people.
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« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2014, 07:58:07 PM »

Thanks charred.  The thing I like about attachment styles is that everybody has one, 100% of the population, unlike that subset of humanity that could be diagnosed with a personality disorder or some other mental illness, and the massive infrastructure available to label and categorize them, and if not help certainly make money trying.  I've known my ex for over 25 years, almost all of it not in a relationship with her, and I've always known something was 'off' with her, and I know why I got in a relationship with her again, 25 years later, I know what situation I was in personally at the time, socially isolated, lonely, feeling out of control of my life, a perfect mark for her.  But the relationship was relatively short, long enough to do damage, but short, and now that I've fled the asylum, my feet are back on planet earth, and attachment styles are speaking to me in a big way.

Both of my parents loved me very much, although the way they were raised and their own personal development was such that they had poor 'emotional communication' skills, not rare I've found, and my anxious tendencies came out of that partially, but also due to some somewhat traumatic first adult romantic relationships.  But that doesn't matter to me anymore.  Attachment theory, among other things, some of it motivated by my ex, has shifted my focus to the fact that an attachment with an avoidant is bad news for someone with an anxious attachment style, and an attachment to someone with a secure style can actually make an anxious one more secure.  We are not alone in this world with our styles; there's been an epidemic of narcissism in our culture for decades now, where it's all me me me, when really humans are social animals, and the biggest influence in our lives is our relationships with other people.  My ex meets all of the criteria for BPD, but I don't care anymore, she's a very messed up girl who is nothing but bad news for me, that's all I need to know, and now that she's gone, from my heart and soul too, it's time to get on living and loving.

So lately I've been practicing, working very hard at it.  It's become fun to blurt out, I call it blurt mode, my true self to people I just met, to see what happens.  I know, in developing strong boundaries it's recommended we share-check-share with people, disclose a little and look for reciprocation and support, and disclose a little more, but fck that, lately I'm just blurting out my truth, and if someone judges me negatively, is unsupportive or just plain doesn't like me, I'm out, on to the next, no waiting.  People have always called me 'weird' or 'special', in a good way, they aren't being insulting, and I like that about myself, time to let that fly, and folks who take the time to get to know me like me a lot.  I know people with all three attachment styles, and the secure and anxious ones are just more comfortable for me to be around, so that's where I'm headed, now I have a framework for it that makes sense to me.  The devaluation of a borderline is very avoidant, put in that context; no wonder it hurt so much!

Anyway.  I feel all the way alive suddenly.  I was living a stunted, unhappy life half asleep before my ex showed up, and the pain of going through the BPD spin cycle and recovering from it woke me up in a big way, time to start living, which in part means leaving the personality disordered to their mental health community, and being myself all the way, because I'm exactly who I'm supposed to be and that's more than enough.
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« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2014, 09:22:23 PM »

Thanks charred. 

You are welcome... and thank you... this may be what I am needing to do exactly;

So lately I've been practicing, working very hard at it.  It's become fun to blurt out, I call it blurt mode, my true self to people I just met, to see what happens.  I know, in developing strong boundaries it's recommended we share-check-share with people, disclose a little and look for reciprocation and support, and disclose a little more, but fck that, lately I'm just blurting out my truth, and if someone judges me negatively, is unsupportive or just plain doesn't like me, I'm out, on to the next, no waiting.  People have always called me 'weird' or 'special', in a good way, they aren't being insulting, and I like that about myself, time to let that fly, and folks who take the time to get to know me like me a lot.  I know people with all three attachment styles, and the secure and anxious ones are just more comfortable for me to be around, so that's where I'm headed, now I have a framework for it that makes sense to me.  The devaluation of a borderline is very avoidant, put in that context; no wonder it hurt so much!

Anyway.  I feel all the way alive suddenly.  I was living a stunted, unhappy life half asleep before my ex showed up, and the pain of going through the BPD spin cycle and recovering from it woke me up in a big way, time to start living, which in part means leaving the personality disordered to their mental health community, and being myself all the way, because I'm exactly who I'm supposed to be and that's more than enough.

I really think that you are on to something... its simple (like the solutions to most giant stupid puzzles... like what do I do now... to be myself).  Anyway... I think mindfulness is 1/2 of what I am missing... need to practice,practice, practice... so that I just meet and connect and talk my mind, rather than analyzing... and censoring my real self... .as that is what I constantly do. Makes me a stick in the mud because I seem to end up trying to avoid fun.
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« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2014, 09:52:10 PM »

so that I just meet and connect and talk my mind, rather than analyzing  Yes charred!  And also notice what you're getting, something I didn't do much of in the past.  If I can't fly free with who I am around people, what's the point?  The most important and strongest influence in our lives is other people, and who we are in relationship with them influences us and our lives a great deal.  Life's too short to not be around loving, supportive people, and I spent too long assuming something was wrong with me, or it was something I was or wasn't doing, that made some people treat me the way they did.  No!  Notice what we're getting, keep the good ones, and focus on what we can do to enrich their lives, being EXACTLY who we are.  It's a beautiful life... .
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« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2018, 08:22:31 AM »

This is a good read... .
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