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BRENDA: thank you SO much! Your advice is exactly what I need to do. I am amazed how much you “get” me after only exchanging a few messages!… Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’ve helped me more than a year of therapy sessions! – Megan on space2live
Megan
During one of the harder times in my life I found Brenda’s website
and reached out to her. To say the least it has been one of the best
decisions I have made. Being an extrovert I never quite understood
what it meant to romantically involved with an introvert. Brenda does
an incredible job listening, giving in the moment feedback, and helped
me understand the how an introvert functions. She helped explain to me
that I am introspective extrovert, and this gave something to identify
with and allowed me t…
Evan H.
Brenda has truly opened up a space for introverted types on the ‘net, and her self-revelations are always inspiring. Her voice is one I always look forward to. She is one of the writers that actually played a part in my return to writing.  — S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
That courage and dedication you so generously share with the world, has inspired me to push myself a little harder, persevere at each task a little longer, dig a little bit deeper to where the answers just “feel” right to both my humanity AND my spirit. Your insights have reinforced my direction and given me additional tools that help me clear my path. I’m wired into my creativity as never before and the new music is pouring out of me faster than I can record and produce it; this is the Un…
Gary
For the first time in my life I could truly explain, through your words the way in which I experience life and myself. Brenda… It all fell into place. I had found myself and had such a moment of clarity. It felt like such a big weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Finally I felt like it was ok to be me. I was not the only one. I had found people and a little space where I fit in. … I was at work and crying on the inside. Emotions ran wild inside me. I was ecstatic, sad, confused, motivated, i…
Niko
your depth of understanding, and talent at sharing it amaze me. Speechless… and for your sharing of it.. Thank you… deeply. *sigh, its like coming back into my body through acceptance….. Sherrie on space2live
Sherrie
Because of your blog, I know that it is possible for me to have the love that I want one day and that I don’t have to be alone.  — Indepthwoman  on space2live
Indepthwoman
Your site has saved my sanity and my life. Maybe even my marriage. I work part time and have two young boys at home, my husband is supportive of me but until recently I thought I was going crazy. … Reading your writing not only inspires me to pick up the pen again, but gives me nourishment in the deepest places. I will fight for balance. Everything you write is spot on… And wellness is so incredibly multifaceted.  I was ready to give up hope, but understanding myself through your words is bring…
J.K.
You’re so honest in your writing. It’s bold. It’s frank. It’s wonderful. I could definitely see the work you are doing here as a useful book. It could save/make a lot of relationships! — Jimmi Langemo
Jimmi Langemo
THANK YOU….. you just summed up my swirling thoughts into something i can read with out everything else in my head meshing with it. I finally feel like i can explain what happens within without getting distracted. I’m an Introvert with ADD and it makes it so hard to explain quite what im feeling sometimes. — M.G. on space2live
M.G.

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How We Move from Insecure to Secure Relationships: 3 Stages

child alone on dock

Photo by Katherine Chase on Unsplash

For those of us with attachment trauma or insecurity in our pasts, there is often a pattern we follow on our way to finding satisfying and secure relationships. If you don’t remember what attachment trauma or an insecure relationship are, here are definitions. Secure attachment with a caregiver or partner provides a sense of being seen, soothed, safe and secure. Insecure or traumatic attachments (avoidant, anxious, ambivalent) lack those attributes. A child or adult with insecure attachment feels alone, empty, uncared for and as if their emotions don’t matter.

My therapist recently pointed out the progress I have made regarding intimate relationships. Over many years of work, trial and error, I have moved from creating insecure attachments with intimate partners to ones that provide more soothing and safety. How did this happen? What is the pattern?

There are three stages my therapist has seen in her clients who have grown more secure:

3 Stages to Secure Relationships

  1. At first, a person with a past of traumatic attachment chooses someone as a partner who reinforces their negative beliefs about themselves. 

I did this with my husband. Since childhood, I’d had a feeling I was inferior to my more extroverted and aggressive sister. I did not feel I was particularly talented at anything because the things I was skilled in — empathy, emotional support, building deep relationships — were not valued as highly as being competitive, popular and being outspoken.

I also believed I had to keep my emotions under tight control. Any sign of vulnerability or tears, was blood in the water to my sister and went largely unaddressed by my parents. I often felt I had to handle the hard emotions by myself.

My ex-husband specialized in competitiveness and speaking with conviction. He also kept his emotions under tight control. It felt like the right way to be, albeit inauthentic to me.

     2. If an insecurely attached person leaves the first relationship, they often move on to another person similar to the first, but this time the insecurely attached individual has changed or grown. They have a better understanding of themselves and do not have to stay if the relationship is not secure or does not make them feel safe. 

I did this with another long-term relationship I had post-divorce. I knew what I needed to feel seen, soothed, safe and secure. I knew my empathy and relationship building skills were valuable and that I could make others feel calm. I realized I did not have to put up with someone making me feel small or uncomfortable. I didn’t have to keep suppressing my emotions. It was OK to need someone to care about how I felt on the inside.

I had experienced healing in the relationships I had with my sister and father. We had all spoken openly about what did and did not happen during our childhood. There was a sense of being known finally and accepted.

     3. Lastly, the insecurely attached person chooses a different kind of partner. One they don’t surrender to or fight against. One they can be themselves with and feel loved. 

My current relationship feels like this. I used to tell my ex-husband I wanted to feel cherished. I think what I meant was I wanted to feel known and loved for who I am on the inside. I now maintain my integrity but also share and connect with my partner. I feel cherished. I work to make sure he feels deeply loved too.

Once in a reassuring and secure relationship, it was easier to give and be responsive to my guy. I had more energy. Holding down my emotions and feeling like I was not right, took up a lot of energy. So did forcing myself to be aggressive.

My therapist told me to celebrate my progress. It feels great and I am so grateful.

hug from behind

Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash

Do you see yourself in one of these stages? If so, what stage are you in? If not, are you in a secure relationship? What makes you feel secure? 

 

If you are working through the stages and want help progressing, please contact me for relationship coaching. I can help you build self-awareness and secure relationship. 

I also write about moving along the maturity continuum in my book The Quiet Rise of Introverts. Check it out to learn how to move from dependence to interdependence. 

Quiet Rise retailers

 

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