What if your mother was a Tyrannosaurus Rex? You desperately need your mom to keep you safe. You turn to her when you are afraid, you rely on her touch to comfort you. Human babies need mommies (or daddies- a safe, loving caregiver) for survival. What if the one person who could keep you safe was a scary, loud, rough Tyrannosaurus Rex, with a terrifying roar and sharp pointy teeth?
What happens when you come face to face with a velicoraptor? What do you want to do? Where do you want to run? You run to the person who keeps you safe- your mom! So, what if your mom is a Tyrannosaurus Rex? Then what do you do?
Humans are blessed with an attachment system that serves many purposes. The attachment system lays the building blocks for mental health, relationship skills, and self-regulation. The attachment system is also a biological system that ensures our survival. It is through the attachment system that little babies keep their parents close. When babies are distressed, they behave in ways that brings a parent toward them. As babies get older, they move toward their parents- with their legs or with their eyes- seeking out closeness and safety. This system works because parents aren’t supposed to be scary. When a small child is feeling anxious, nervous, uncomfortable, scared, or terrified their attachment system becomes activated and draws them closer to their attachment figure.
When the attachment figure is the source of the anxious, nervous, uncomfortable, scared or terrifying feelings children are left with an unsolvable dilemma. When your fight/flight/freeze system is activated by the same person who activates your attachment system, you’ve got a big problem. It is this unsolvable dilemma that […]