By: Megan Richardson, AMFT
We all probably have at least a few memories of getting skinned knees as a kid: playing in the street with neighborhood friends, falling off of the monkey bars, climbing trees, or flipping over the handlebars (yikes)…anyone with me? But we also most likely have some deeper, sometimes hidden wounds from our childhood. These ones don’t leave visible scars but they continue to bleed into our adult lives from time to time.
Do you find that you and your partner have the same fight over and over again? When you’re honest, do you ever overreact to something that the other says because you are just positive that they meant to devastate you by it? Or could it be that there are older pains, scars from childhood or adolescence, that squeeze their way into our fights and our relationships? The truth is, we all have some raw spots stemming from past wounds. The masks we sometimes wear around others or post on social media may make everyone believe otherwise, but we really do hurt each other.
I’m talking about attachment...and the gist of it is that our early childhood experiences, especially with our primary caregivers (often mom and dad), significantly shape our “attachment style,” and our personal attachment style significantly informs how we operate in just about all of our future close relationships.
We all have some version of wounding, or past baggage if you prefer that language. Even our partners can cause us some attachment injuries. However, the beautiful hope is that similar to our skinned knees from childhood, these wounds can also be healed through healthy and attentive relationships. We can be healers and the primary empowerers for each other. When we are available, responsive, and engaged with each other, we become the safest space and the safest people. Those raw spots from our past and our present relationships get exposed, but then can start to mend, even when it might feel painful or slow. It is worth it and it matters. The therapists at SDICF want to help you and your partner along on that journey. Please reach out. #WeKnowHowToHelp.