- I had my stepdad from the age of 2. I remember thinking how wonderful he was and how he treat my mum. As I grew up and my relationship dwindled with my biological father I grew frightened that my step dad would leave us behind too. I did everything possible to push him away from me, I caused problems and was an awkward child especially from the age of 13 when I saw my biological father for the last time. I wanted him to leave there and then so that I didn't hurt when he eventually did as I though all dads did this. At 16 I changed my family name to match my step dads name. I then began to call him dad. I felt ashamed to ask another man if I could call them dad. He said it was fine if it's what I was comfortable with. It took some getting used to but now it's an automatic word when I think of him or speak to him. After been diagnosed with a mental health issue I realised that instead of pushing him away I needed to keep him closer to avoid him leaving our family and worried that my previous actions would actually cause it because I wanted it to happen for so long so me, my mum and my brother would have time to recover. I panicked about my little brother as I never wanted him to feel even an ounce of how my biological father made me feel. Holding him closer caused a new attachment to the man whom deserved the title I now have him DAD. I still worry that he will leave but he thought of a solution... He bought me a necklace to wear all of the time so every time I became scared I could touch it and remind myself he is never going away. I need to be around him a lot ! I protect him as if he was the rarest treasure in the world- looking at some parents actions he is one of a kind. Sometimes I just need him to cuddle me and tell me that I cannot let my brain rule my body and he is not leaving. Sometimes I just need to sleep with his t shirt against my nose to feel safe. No one can say a bad word against him or else I react pretty harshly.
- my husband also now has to deal with my attachment to him. I need skin to skin contact. I needs to hear vocally that he loves me. I need his arm around me to make me feel safe. I have never loved anyone in the way I love him. He is like a drug, my love comes from the very pit of my stomach. He is an excellent and supportive husband and an outstanding father to my step son. I smother him and after a while he has to tell me to take a step back. He encourages me to stand on my own two feet. It is all for my own good that he helps me maintain my own identity and be Aimee as well as a wife. I also follow him around the house. Thankfully he can make a joke about it and this in turn makes me realise that he is going nowhere. He doesn't care if I randomly pat his hand from the other sofa just for a second of skin contact so I am not smothering him.
- my brother and stepson alike are also part of my attachment. I love them both dearly. God help anyone who hurts them. I try and protect them from ever feeling the things I have. I understand that I can't do this forever as they need to grow and develop into lovely young men. For my stepson I work hard on providing a secure family unit for him to be part of. He knows he is loved and wanted at all times. Just the same as my brother, he is my friend, my allie and a very supportive and sensible young man. We have been best friends from the day he was born. He is the reason I pushed my dad away as stated above as I never want that for my brother. He deserves better but I have realised .... He has better ! Our dad is wonderful and is never going away. My marriage is solid so my son has a secure family unit and I am a mum that he can always trust and fall back on.
You may ask ... What about your mum? Well she has never walked away from me through any of it. She never was detached from me. From conception to now she has been there for me. She has always loved me. Just didn't like me sometimes! We have a very special and unbreakable friendship and bond x
So if you have a child or know of someone struggling with a diagnosis of attachment disorder or if it is suspected. Help them as early as you can. It could save self destructive behaviour and further mental health problems from occurring. Children are not resilient... Get therapy for them before it affects the rest of their life.