I meant to write something all day. I am having a hard time writing at all—both on here and privately, just in my journal. Writing in my journal actually feels even worse. The shame shower is intense. I feel almost instantly suicidal. Seeing myself is all it is.
I read something about attachment sensitivities in adopted children. It really said something to me. It matched what I am seeing in C and in other kids in my classes. The sensitivity mentioned was breaks in attunement, and it gave the example of a kid asked to pick up her napkin who doesn’t really want to (as kids don’t). And she pouts and maybe stomps her feet or something—showing sensitivity to the break in attunement. And I thought of C. I thought of C having attachment sensitivities and then displaying them at home in front of her parents, and how that sensitivity to the break in attachment would not get soothed. She would get scolded or beaten. I thought about myself, and what would have happened to me—that I would have been spanked or given a lecture about my attitude or something even worse. And what if our parents had the same sensitivities to breaks in attunement and then we didn’t want to do what we were told, and we needed to be soothed through the experience of being sensitive to it. What if our sensitivities sparked insanity in our mothers. It made a lot of stuff make sense, that those feelings would get shut down instead of integrated into the person.
And it also said something about the normal socializing effect of shame and what would happen if the child was not able to do that due to lack of secure attachments. Yes, I think it could feel like it does to me: like shame is all you are.
The last thing I thought (in this chain of thoughts the brief article sparked) was how my caregiver likely didn’t see me as the same child over time and didn’t respond to me as the same child, and I think that’s where the sense of being a discontinuous person comes from. The child experiences feelings as total, as the whole self, but most caregivers experience the child as the same child in the grips of different emotional states. Because of that, the child also learns to see herself as the same child in different emotional states. In my case, my mother had the same problem with attachment and trust that I do, and she did not, and I did not. Feelings were shut down, creating these jagged emotional states, and I was responded to as though my feelings were me. I can see how I did not develop a sense of self-constancy.