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Healing Attachment Wounds

By Dr. Margaret Paul
August 31, 2015

Inner Bonding is a powerful process for healing attachment issues and attachment wounds.

Healing attachment woundedDid you have a secure, reliable loving bond with at least one parent or caregiver? Was one of your parents or caregivers consistently emotionally available and responsive to your needs? If not, then you likely have attachment wounds. Sadly, few people had parents or caregivers who were emotionally healthy enough to be loving parents with their children.

Bonnie asked me the following question:

"My mother used to leave me alone as a baby and then my parents divorced when I was only two. When my husband moved out several years ago, I felt immobilized and terribly afraid and alone and vulnerable.... How can I heal permanently from this early attachment wound so I can be strong and be in a healthy loving relationship?"

Fortunately, with enough Inner Bonding work, these attachment wounds can be healed.

If I were working with Bonnie, I would ask her "How are you treating yourself in the ways your parents or caregivers treated you? How do you leave your inner baby alone? Do you stay in your head, ignoring your feelings? Do you judge yourself as a way of covering over your feelings? Do you numb out your feelings with addictions? Did you give your inner child away to your husband to love and care for? The fact that you feel afraid, alone and vulnerable indicates that there is no inner adult to love and care for your inner child, which is what creates the immobilization. Healing the attachment wound means that you need to learn to be the loving parent to your inner child – the loving parent that you never had when you were a child.

You might need to do this work with a therapist or facilitator. Developing a caring relationship with a reliable and supportive person is often key in healing attachment wounds. We generally can't do this ourselves.

You perpetuate the woundedness by how you treat yourself, so developing your loving adult is essential to healing attachment wounds. The more you learn to see and value your beautiful essence and lovingly manage the very painful feelings from childhood, the more these attachment wounds heal. The patterns you developed in childhood to manage the early abandonment are deeply programmed, and it takes much practice in being a loving adult to rewire the brain with loving behavior toward yourself.   

Trish asked:  

"How would you suggest I address the message I received from my mother that I shouldn't exist? The depth of the pain is horrific. Loving myself, thinking of myself evokes no emotion in me."

Trish needs to develop a personal connection with a spiritual source of love and compassion. She has been deeply programmed to reject herself and the wounded self cannot feel any love toward her essence. Love and compassion are not feelings we generate within ourselves – they are feelings we open to and invite in to our hearts. Trish needs to develop her spiritual connection in order to feel the kindness toward herself that her inner child needs from her to heal. As long as she is rejecting herself, the pain will continue to be horrific.

Vivienne asked;

"Are certain attachments necessary to have? Like a child wants love and care from the parents? I am learning to give love to myself and developing connections with my guides, but I often feel sad that my parents neglected my feelings when I was young and my attachment to get approval from others is always there. Any suggestions? Many thanks."

Yes, Vivienne, we all needed love and care from our parents, and we continue to need love and care from others. But now that you are an adult, you need to accept that others generally won't give to you what you missed out on as a child, so it's your responsibility to give your little inner child the love, attention, care and approval that she needs. Again, therapy or facilitation may be necessary to support you in this. While someone cannot heal these wounds for you, they can certainly support you in the healing process. A loving relationship with a very caring, reliable and supportive partner can also be extremely helpful with healing attachment wounded.

Healing occurs when we learn to see and value our essence and to treat ourselves the way we would treat a cherished child. Healing is supported when we receive help from someone who sees and values our essence.

As I stated above, a loving relationship is extremely helpful in healing attachment wounds, but since we attract at our common level of self-abandonment or self-love, some personal healing may need to occur before you are able to attract a loving partner.

Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."

Join IBVillage to connect with others and receive compassionate help and support for learning to love yourself.

Photo by Dennis Church


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