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Do I Have to Be Alone? #relationship #relationshipadvice #attachmenttheory #Andsoitgoes

Yesterday, I was moved to tears several times at a movie, And So It Goes, directed by Rob Reiner—not just a couple tears, I gushed. The movie highlighted the life of a ten-year-old girl played by the talented Sterling Jerins, left by her father at her grandfather’s doorstep before the father had to go to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. This sudden move would change the perfect last steps of retirement for the grandfather, Michael Douglas. While trying to find a way to wriggle out of his temporary situation, he pawned his granddaughter off on his compassionate and grief-stricken, widow neighbor, Diane Keaton. The young girl is frightened, feels abandoned, and probably is angry at her addict mother, who she never knew and a situation she couldn’t control. But, through it all, her innocence at trying to find a secure attachment in this broken scenario is what fractured my heart more than once. At one point, the young girl says to the neighbor, just after she had been tucked into bed, “Do I Have to be Alone?”

How many times in our own lives have we felt alone and abandoned by life or by God? I know I’m not by myself here, because the entire theater was in tears. Clearly, the feeling is probably within pandemic proportions. Why is it that our hearts need attachment and security? Have you ever thought about it?

Many psychologists and therapists have looked at this phenomenon in the human psyche for many years, coming up with the latest craze in Pop-Psychology, Attachment Theory. I know I refer a great deal to this theory, but today, I want to focus in on one specific aspect: Our Human Need for Secure Attachment and what lengths we’ll sometimes go to get it.

In the most logical sense, our brains are immediately wired to be cared for when we come into this world, helpless and crying as a baby. An infant left unattended will simply die. She needs secure attention. However, what the infant often gets is a form of attachment, but not secure attachment. The child may get some of his/her needs met by a mother with Postpartum Depression, or a busy caretaker at a hospital, because of a premature birth, or because of an adoption procedure gone back, may miss the important first attachment process to his/her mother’s nurturing paps.

So many issues can happen at the very beginning stages of life that cause the child to feel abandoned. Interestingly, the infant, having very little capacity to make sense of the problem, begins to adapt to the situation. In the deepest part of the child’s subconscious, he or she learns to distrust relationship. These are usually the basic building blocks of anxious or avoidant attachment.

But, you may be saying, I had a loving parent. Why do I feel so alone? The answer to this question is that attachment issues can happen with trauma in life, as well. You can have a horribly abusive parent, first marriage, go through child molestation, or be tossed back and forth from divorced parents, feeling as if you are a tool in a relationship gone bad. All of these situations can cause a person to develop insecure attachment issues at a later time in life.

How do we rectify this primal need to be secure and attached? The answer is a solemn, “We can’t completely change it. The wiring may always exist.” This would be like trying to change the mainframe of a computer that needs certain wiring to run properly. However, we can add programs to this computer to help our situational adversity. We can do this with hypnotherapy, traditional therapy, and actual Attachment therapy, which usually uses a method of retraining the mind called, Parts Therapy.

In all of theses cases, we have triggers in the human mind that are toggled in certain situations that cause our behavior to change. A therapist tries with these individual therapies to find what the trigger is; define a new, positive trigger; and then the client must consistently watch the signs of the old behavior and use the new, positive affirmations to intercept the old negative pattern.

Trust me, this kind of therapy can be tedious and lead to a life-long search for answers in the chaos of our human mind. But, all the time and effort is worth it, when you finally awake, one day, and realize that you are perfectly okay and even happy being alone. Usually, this is when the universe decides: Ah, you learned your life’s hard lesson. Now, you don’t have to be alone anymore. Let’s find you a secure mate!

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