Friday, May 23, 2014. I barely have a few moments before my 22-month-old extremely busy grandson shows up for my day’s care of him to write a few words here this morning. I am thinking about what Dr. Daniel Siegel says about his “new” thinking about attachment as he says he could entirely define it in terms of three processes — differentiation, linking up and then integration. As I continue to experience my life so complicated by the permanent consequences IN MY BODY as its physiological development was altered on so many critical levels by severe, chronic abusive traumatic stress for the first 18 years of my life I wonder about one stage of this process I would absolutely add into Siegel’s attachment concepts — COMPROMISE.
If you do an online search for the terms “stop the storm siegel attachment” and “stop the storm siegel attachment integration” you will find lots of background information related to my words here this morning.
In my thinking this search would also need to add — “stop the storm trauma altered development” — to round out the background of my current thoughts on this topic.
It has literally been years now that I have been considering what the new breakthroughs in how traumatic attachment patterns change the way our physiology development happens explain what we most need to know about how and why our ADULT lives are so often extremely difficult for us on a moment-to-moment basis. During my early searching which began in earnest in 2005 I formed a concept that foremost and central it was/is our IMMUNE SYSTEM that is both changed in its own development and that then changes (spearheads and directs) all the other kinds and levels of Trauma Altered Development that we experienced.
OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM HAS BEEN COMPROMISED — and in its response to the horrendous trauma and its distress during our earliest years it directed our physiology to adapt to continued survival in a world that could not be survived. We had to survive in spite of this most profound and difficult paradox. We — including our BODY — “went on being” when such action was impossible.
COMPROMISE. Following Siegel’s thinking — and there are MANY important YouTube videos of Dr. Daniel Siegel speaking on his thoughts — EVERYONE must have to compromise some part of themselves after the differentiation process happens (as ongoing as all of this is, of course).
Everything about a person cannot be “linked up” with other people. We are individuals. Differentiated separate people. What does this COMPROMISING process FEEL like? What does it involve? How do we negotiate THIS stage of our attachment processes?
Who helps us understand and orchestrate all of these processes?
There has never before been a time in my adulthood when my processes of differentiation, COMPROMISE, linkages and integration with my very difficult and strange-to-me life up here in this foreign land has required such taxing — and vital — examination of all that I know about myself. The long 18 year road of severe abuse I suffered at the start of my life is very much straightened out. It took me YEARS of hard work that took a profound desire to understand myself on as many levels as possible so that I could find ANY way to improve my inner well-being so that resulting positive changes could better inform my moment-to-moment life.
EVERYTHING about being alive in my first 18 years compromised who I became because of what I was forced to endure and survive.
I can say that no, my innermost essential self was never touched by the horrors that happened to me. This is true with a HUGE BUT! I live in this material world in a body and everything about my essential self’s experience of being alive in the world here had to change in combination with trauma that forced continual and profound COMPROMISING into the mix of HOW I AM the person that I am in this lifetime.
It seems to me that only people who did not suffer profound early traumas in their earliest attachment environments can get by without considering the process of COMPROMISING to get along in this world. If a person is not challenged by trauma-compromising needs then they do not have to become conscious of what this process is. I doubt that Dr. Siegel experienced the kind of early trauma that would have forced him to ever think about what I am writing here today. His lack of examination of this stage in our ongoing living processes does not negate or erase its essential nature.
Yet again this seems to be an area I have to think my way through on my own.
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