AMBIVALENCE child turns into a preoccupied adult
“…a fourteen-month-old boy who wants to climb onto a table with a lamp on it. One possible parental response would be…for the parent to yell “No!” and reprimand the boy, hug him out of guilt, then distance herself from him because he has disappointed her. (siegel/tdm/282)”
all one para
“In the third approach, parental facial expressions of continued disapproval, eye gaze aversion, and body language of disconnection or anger are all perceived by the child.
The child’s high-arousal states may be attuned to sometimes, but if they are not, disconnection and shame may be associated with humiliation and may thus become toxic, especially if disconnection is prolonged or associated with parental anger.
The child’s range of tolerable emotional arousal may (siegel/tdm/283) be broad, but uncontrollable swings beyond the window of tolerance may occur.
Inconsistent attunements and repair may lead to excessive arousal, so that the sympathetic system may often be unchecked because of a diminished parasympathetic system response.
Alternatively, prolonged despair may result if the parasympathetic system is excessively activated.
Anticipatory anxiety and fear of separation may be evident. Separation in the ambivalently attached child means having to rely on the self for ineffective emotion regulation.
Repeated experiences of going beyond tolerable levels with excessive arousal or despair teaches these children that they themselves are unreliable affect modulators; this is the reason for their paradoxical excessive reliance on the inconsistent attachment figures.
Such experiences may produce an apparent increase in a child’s sensitivity, especially in relationship to interactions with others and to situations of loss and separation.
Overall, there is a maximizing of the expression of attachment-related emotions, which some authors suggest may serve to attempt to enhance the chances that the inconsistent parent will pay attention to the child. (siegel/tdm/284)”
“In a dynamical sense, an ambivalent attachment can be seen as a system that cannot dyadically regulate itself in a way allowing for a healthy resonance between two individuals. The state of the child is intruded upon by that of the parent. There is often an inability to sense and respect the child’s oscillating need for internal versus external connection. [Would this include extensive periods of time when the child is neglected and left alone – as a abuse toward internal constraints in a very negative way?] In this way, maximal complexity cannot be achieved by the two as a dyadic system. Instead, a lesser degree of complexity must be settled for, because the parent rigidly defines the nature of the interaction. [This would mean that grandma did this to mom, as well] There is no true collaborative communication. The dance of attunement is severely constrained by the parent’s entangled preoccupations with the past and inability to align states with the child [or with herself]. (siegel/tdm/295)”
AMBIVALENT INSECURE ATTACHMENT
“Fears of annihilation and of abandonment are the origins of the desperate withdrawal and anxious approach common in ambivalently attached individuals. The excessive parcellation of the parasympathetic “brakes,” proposed to be one adaptation to inconsistent and intrusive parenting, may make these states especially vulnerable to dysregulation. An adaptive, public self may emerge at these times to avoid the dreaded state [of shame and humiliation] by meeting the needs of others. The adaptive defenses of such a public self vary greatly and can include primitive modes, such as denial and the projection of the sense of disconnection onto other people or life events. In contrast, some individuals may utilize more mature approaches, such as seeking emotional connection with others or sublimating their painful experiences into efforts to help others through professional work…. (siegel/tdm/291)”
“From primitive, “nonproductive” defenses to mature, “socially helpful” ones, an ambivalently attached (preoccupied) individual may experience any of a wide range of adaptive modes within differing emotional and social contexts. The relative distance of a work setting may permit sublimation to flourish; the close quarters of a romantic relationship or a parent-child relationship may periodically activate an intense sense of intrusion or other forms of misattunement, and yield a sudden emergence of the dreaded states of shame and humiliation. In an effort to avoid these painful states, activation of more primitive modes of defense filled with fear, anger, and associated distortions of perceptions and misinterpretations of other’s behavior may occur. These are moments of intense vulnerability and risk for dyadic dysregulation. (siegel/tdm/292)”
[My mother, if she fit the preoccupied category, certainly suffered from “activation of more primitive modes of defense filled with fear, anger, and associated distortions of perceptions and misinterpretations of other’s behavior”]
THE DEVELOPMENTAL NEUROBIOLOGY OF INSECURE-RESISTANT ATTACHMENTS
++ mother persistently engages infant even when the infant is looking away from her
++ mother “successfully serves as a source of high-intensity affective stimulation, enabling the characteristic high-arousal affects of the early practicing period. However, during these high-arousal states this type of intrusive caregiver does not sensitively and appropriately reduce her stimulation, and thereby interferes (Schore/ad/28) with the infant’s attempt to disengage and gaze avert in order to modulate ergotropic arousal and high-intensity affect. (Schore/ad/29)”
“Field (1985) noted that if the mother does not respond to the infant’s dyadic affective cues of hyperarousal by diminishing her stimulation, especially during periods of infant gaze aversion, the child’s aversion threshold will be exceeded and he/she will experience a distress state (Bowlby’s protest). She thus does not alter the tempo or content of her stimulation in response to a monitoring of the infant’s affective state; instead, she overloads him and interferes with his ability to assimilate new experiences. It is well known that the capacity of an organism to learn effective patterns of responses is negatively affected by heightened levels of arousal. (Schore/ad/29)”
“This type of mother inconsistently permits access to the infant who seeks proximity at reunion. She may engage in positive affect amplifying transactions, but be inefficient in limit setting, regulating shame induction, and aggression socialization in the late practicing period. Due to her lability and to the unpredictable nature of her emotional availability, even when she is present the infant is uncertain as to what to expect with regard to her being responsive to his/her signals and communication. ….The insecure-resistant infant thus intermixes proximity, contact seeking behaviors with angry, rejecting behaviors toward the mother at reunion; it is thus ambivalent. (Schore/ad/29)”
“Additionally, during preseparation episodes the child is often so preoccupied with the mother and with monitoring the mother’s face that he can not [sic] play independently, since the mother does not function as a reliable, secure base for refueling that enables exploration. This infant shows high separation distress and is notoriously difficult to comfort at reunion, and thus presents with “difficult temperament,” the central attributes of which are tendencies to intense expressiveness and negative mood responses, slow adaptability to change, and irregularity of biological functions. (Schore/ad/29)”
“Most importantly, this type of caregiver does not provide an environment that is conducive to the expansion of lateral tegmental catecholaminergic system in the late practicing period. The autonomic balance of this affect regulating system is thus biased toward a predominance of the sympathetic, excitatory dopaminergic ventral tegmental, over the parasympathetic, inhibitory noradrenergic lateral tegmental limbic circuit. Insecure-resistant attachments are associated with undercontrolled and impulsive personality organizations, biochemically manifest by elevated mesolimbic dopamine activity during stress (King, 1985), which are biased toward ergotropic high-arousal states and avoid trophotropic low-arousal affects. The heightened display of emotionality and inefficient capacity to regulate the high levels of anger and distress which characterizes these infants reflects a sypatheticontonically biased affective core which displays a pattern of heightened emotion expression, one that poorly maintains positive mood in the face of stress. They are, therefore, susceptible to underregulation disturbances and to undercontrolled, externalizing developmental psychopathology. (Schore/ad/29)”
[sypatheticontonically biased affective core : This sounds like what I first was reading in Allen about the inability to control emotions, which would be much more of a problem in cases where the individual HAS lots of strong and easily triggered emotions than it would be in the avoidant case.
Inactive vs reactive – depressive vs expressive – too calm vs too “anxious”]
- *Attachment Simplified – Our Infant Attachment Systems Organize our Brain-Body-Mind-Self
- *Attachment Simplified – Secure Attachment (Organized)
- *Attachment Simplified – Organized Insecure Attachment – Avoidant-Dismissive
- *Attachment Simplified – Disorganized Insecure Attachment – Disorganized-Disoriented
- *Attachment Simplified – Organized Secure Attachment – Earned Secure
- *Attachment Simplified – Disorganized Insecure Attachment – Cannot Classify
- *Attachment Simplified – Attachments in Therapy
- *Attachment Simplified – The More Complicated Yet CRITICAL Information
- *Attachment Simplified – Still More Complicated Information Including ‘Feeling Felt’ and ‘Healing in Solitude’