[Best Seller] Creating the Capacity for Attachment: Treating Addictions and the Alienated Self New
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Kohn, Alfie. Levine, Madeline. Maxym, C. McKinnon, John. Meyerson, M. Mogel, Wendy. Nelson, J. Patterson K. Pollack, William. Pope, Laren. Price, Jerome. Very early on, children are generally taught not to disclose to others when feeling "weak" or scared, "needy" or alone. Many of the emotions we felt in childhood - what people call the "negative" emotions - we were taught not to share.
So, we sought comfort from blankets, pacifiers, and teddy bears, and we learned not to seek comfort from our mothers, our fathers, our family.
As we got too old for blankets and teddy bears, we turned instead to other comforts - food, alcohol, money, etc. As adults, we struggle with holding our emotions within because we fear that by sharing our inner souls with others, we will - as in childhood - be discounted, dismissed, or denied. In your book, you discuss the importance of "immersive" moments. When do these moments occur and why are they important?
What is Prodependence?
There are special moments that occur as part of the deepening of intimacy, which I have termed "moments of oneness" - moments when a person feels totally connected and understood by an other. The immersive moment is an intensely spiritual, holy one that occurs when two people can let down their barriers to intimacy and truly experience their inner feelings. This kind of feeling is a transcendent one - meaning that it moves someone, or shifts someone, to feeling more connected to another person. The immersive moment occurs in feeling a sense of security in being held and comforted by an other - be that a spouse, friend, therapist, nature, or God.
This kind of moment is first felt in baby-hood, when mother we hope picks up her child when he cries and holds him. She transcends his sense of pain and loneliness by holding and comforting him - something a pacifier just cannot do. It's similar to the feeling we get when we know that we can totally disintegrate into the arms of another person - just totally fall apart.
Our baby falls apart in our arms, and we hold him, comfort him, quiet him. He knows that we are there, and that we - mothers, fathers, etc. We will find some way to reach into his being and contain what is distressing him so. We will take care of him. But if mothers and fathers do not pick up their crying baby, or hold their sleeping baby, then the experience is quite different. The child learns that he will not be comforted if and when he falls apart, and so he learns to hold in, dismiss, and cut-off from his fears and anxieties.
If as children we do not get practice in "falling apart" into the arms of an other, then as adults we will also have difficulty achieving this level of intimacy. It seems when babies fall apart in our arms, they have no concern whatsoever that we figure out what's wrong with them. They trust that we're going to comfort them.
But as adults, we are insecure about why we fall apart. It is our cultural belief that we should be so self-reliant and so self-assured that we shouldn't need anybody else. It seems to me that one of the goals of Western parenting has been to raise children to need no one - to be totally self-sufficient.
That is not, in my eyes, the point of parenting or of having children. In fact, I disagree with the widely-held notion that we are born alone, and we die alone, so therefore teach your kids to be alone. None of us are born alone - after all, our mothers are there! And nobody should have to die alone, either, because ideally there are loved ones surrounding us as we leave this world. What happens when the parent reassigns a different motive to the child's cry and decides not to be responsive? A child cries for a reason - not to manipulate his mother, not to be mean, or nasty, or to be a "pain in the neck.
A baby is like someone who is quadriplegic. He can't do very much for himself - but that doesn't mean that he isn't thinking and feeling.
Addiction and the Brain: Development, Not Disease | SpringerLink
When the baby cries and his mother responds, the child learns to have trust in the world around him and to have trust in himself. When the baby cries and his mother listens, the two join together in a moment of oneness that transcends the separateness, the aloneness, which the baby knows all too well.
If the child has not been responded to, if he has not been attuned to or empathized with, he begins to feel more and more powerless, alienated, and detached.