Have you ever experienced a BAND-AID sticking to your skin?
When you try to remove it, your skin and the bandage act like they’re pulling in two completely different directions. It feels like the bandaid has become part of you.
The pulling of the hair and skin hurts. A red mark or residue can be seen from where the bandaid used to be. It’s tender to the touch and may even sting a little.
Attachment trauma is like this in a way. Being attached to something and then removed is never an easy process. The truth is, it hurts.
Can you experience trauma from attachments? Let’s find out!
What is Attachment and Attachment Trauma?
An attachment is a relationship formed between a child and their primary caregiver. Attachment theory believes that the relationship that’s formed between a child and their primary caregiver can directly impact how they grow up and who they are as an adult.
Attachment trauma is a form of trauma that someone experiences in their developmental years based on the relationship they have or held. When a child doesn’t feel safe, loved, or supported, attachment trauma can form.
Types of Attachment Styles
There are four different attachment styles:
A secure attachment is a healthy relationship that involves support, trust, safety, and love.
The other three attachment styles fall under an insecure attachment style. This happens when the child’s needs aren’t being met, and they don’t feel supported or cared for.
Avoidant attachment happens when a child can’t count on their primary caregiver to meet their needs. This can lead them to detaching or avoiding getting too close to others in their adulthood.
An anxious attachment style develops when a primary caregiver is inconsistent with their care. This can bring on feelings of anxiety due to not knowing the next time their needs will be met.
With disorganized attachment, the care and the environment can be inconsistent and unpredictable.
The Cause of Attachment Trauma
Attachment trauma is real and can happen due to many negative events or experiences in the developmental years.
These are some of the most common causes of attachment trauma:
- Death of a loved one
- Emotional abuse
- History of family mental illness
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Substance use and abuse
The Signs and Symptoms of Attachment Trauma
If you’re not quite sure if you have experienced attachment trauma, let’s look at what attachment trauma may look like.
These are some of the most common signs and symptoms of attachment trauma:
- Anger issues
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Dissociative Identity Disorder
- Emotional dysregulation
- Little to no trust in others
- Low self-esteem or self-image
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Relationship problems
- Uncomfortable giving or receiving affection
- Unhealthy coping mechanisms
How to Cope with Attachment Trauma
Yes, you can, in fact, experience trauma from your attachments. Attachment trauma is a real type of trauma.
If you’re struggling with attachment trauma, there are things you can do to move forward in your life again. Here are a few ways you can start the process:
- Educate yourself
- Find a partner who has a secure attachment style
- Be open and honest with your communication
Despite what your attachment trauma may be trying to convince you, you’re not alone. You don’t have to try to deal with this alone, either. Help is available to you. If you feel like you need a little extra support on the path toward healing, we’re here for you.
Don’t delay in getting the help you need and deserve. Reach out to us today to learn more about therapy options for attachment trauma.