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  • Writer's pictureLauren Walsh

My Love Life Unfiltered, Part 1:

I promised to get more personal on here, so here we go!

Some of you might have been wondering why I've been posting about all this relationship and attachment stuff lately. As I'm learning more about being a business owner and marketing, all I keep hearing is how important picking the one area that you're most passionate about is and niching the business down.

I've been in this field for awhile and working in a mental health agency gives you exposure to just about everything. So although I'm qualified to treat a lot of different issues, there is one area in particular that is hands down my absolute favorite.

That is helping women heal all the sh*t in their life that is caused by dating & relationship issues. To put it more clinically & professionally...heal past trauma, rid the stress/anxiety/depression associated with romantic partners and ultimately feel secure and in love with themselves and their life :)

Why am I so passionate about this you might wonder? Because for most of my life, when it came to dating, relationships + love, I was a HOT. F*CKING. MESS.

When it came to men, I've always had a project not a partner. Always someone with a f*cked up past, trauma, baggage, bullsh*t going on that has chosen to never get help and bottle things up forever. Never stable. Every single man was emotionally unavailable and had an avoidant attachment style (I'll explain what this is later) Red flags galore. Red was my favorite color!

A healed woman with a secure attachment (again, more on this later) would RUN from these men. Wouldn't give them the time of day and would find their traits unattractive. But not me! I welcomed them with open arms like I was rehabilitation center. I let them turn my world completely upside down. I'd live to meet their needs and anything I could do to keep them satisfied and happy I would do. I put their wants and needs before mine every time.

Let's get into some facts about Attachment Styles so my hot mess of a love life can make some sense...

Like I said before, every man I became involved with had an Avoidant Attachment Style. That means, for the most part they are emotionally detached. It's common for them to crave intimacy but at the same time they also fear it and find it uncomfortable. They like a lot of personal space, downplay emotions and struggle with being vulnerable. They don't like to open up to others and prefer to bottle emotions up and deal with stressors alone. They really try to avoid deep connection.

Now, because there is a part of them that does want intimacy even though they fear it and find it uncomfortable, what often happens is they become attracted to people that have an Anxious Attachment Style because humans that are anxiously attached LOVEEEEE intimacy and closeness. We radiate that and they sense it.

For most of my life, I had an Anxious Attachment Style. Those that are anxiously attached have a tremendous desire for closeness. We NEED it. We need frequent validation and reassurance from our partner to soothe our own anxiety. We need routine and when the routine is deviated from, our anxiety is triggered. My favorite way to describe this is using the good morning text example because I've experienced this sooo many times.

You're used to getting a good morning text from your person every day. You've gotten one every day of the week thus far. It's now Thursday and no text was received. Someone that's anxiously attached is now spiraling. Wondering why their partner didn't text them today. Are they losing interest? Are they getting sick of me? Did I say something wrong on the phone last night? Maybe they want me to text first? Did I do or say something to make them mad or turn them off? We will remain in an anxious state until we hear from them. When the next text is received and we know they aren't rejecting us, we're immediately soothed and the anxiety goes away.

People with anxious attachments are incredibly fearful of being rejected and abandoned by their partner. They have difficulty setting boundaries and communicating their own needs out of fear it will make the person leave. Maintaining the relationship is the primary focus.

Both of these attachment styles are INSECURE and they are both HIGHLY attracted to each other. The relationships are full of hot and cold behavior. When I say hot, I mean HOT. When I say cold, I mean COLD. It's fireworks and rollercoasters when these 2 attachment styles are together. It's so infamous, there's even a name for it...

Therapists call it the Anxious-Avoidant Trap.

There's a ton of push/pull behavior happening between these two. The avoidant craves the intimacy and the anxious is lit up and filled with glee because they love nothing more than to give and receive affection, attention and intimacy. The avoidant becomes fearful and uncomfortable after getting too much intimacy, so they need to create distance and get personal space so they push the anxious away. The anxious is now distraught, spiraling out of control wondering what they did to cause this. Thinking of ways to work harder at keeping them happy and desperately needing the avoidant to come back so they can get reassurance that they still matter and are not being abandoned. After getting some space, the avoidant typically comes back when they're ready to feel closeness again. Now the anxious gets a massive dopamine hit, their anxiety and abandonment wounds are soothed and they believe they're growing closer to the avoidant.

This cycle between them continues and the anxious never gets their needs met. It actually worsens over time because the pain they feel when the avoidant is taking their space is so unbearable they will do anything to try to not feel that again. So they'll suppress their own needs because it might make the avoidant leave for good.

The anxious believes that they can fix the avoidant with their love. If they just stick around, be by their side through and through and love them harder, the avoidant will eventually have some revelation and change. Womp womp, that's not how things work. Change is absolutely possible, you do not have to be stuck with an insecure attachment for life. YOU just have to have the awareness that something is not right and be willing to do the work to repair it.

If you've experienced this type of relationship, you know how emotional distressing it is. It's extremely draining both mentally and physically. THIS WAS MY LIFE!!! FOR YEARS!!!

Then I finally got to a point where I couldn't take it anymore. I was so sick and tired of recovering from people that I made it my mission in life to figure out how I developed this anxious attachment style and to heal it.

This derives from your childhood. It took me some time to uncover the reason because I didn't have any glaring, clear cut examples. My parents did not abandon me. They loved me very much and provided for me. I was not abused or neglected. But I knew there was a reason somewhere that caused me to develop this way.

So, I went to therapy and I dusted off a couple text books from grad school. Soon enough, I FINALLY figured it out and it clicked! Therapists call this the A-HA moment.

Turns out, although I still had a great childhood and a loving family, I had repressed some things. There was some stuff that I didn't understand because I was a child that caused anxiety to start building inside of me.

I'm a therapist that had it very much together in other areas of life and it was driving me insane wondering what the f*ck was wrong with me. Once this all came to the surface, it made so much sense. Just having the awareness of it felt like a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. Then I started doing the inner healing work that was needed and I repaired the wounds that caused my anxious attachment to develop.

Since then, I feel so much happier and secure in life. I don't put the value of myself in other people's hands. If someone does not see my worth, it may feel sucky but I don't question myself or make it about me anymore. I can see people for who they are and what they show me. The fantasizing and romanticizing people has gone away. Reassurance will always feel really good to me, but I don't need it constantly to feel ok. I can communicate my needs, thoughts and feelings to people a lot easier now too. Healing has also given me time back in my life. Because I'm no longer obsessing over someone's actions or why we didn't work out. I'm able to use all of that time being obsessed with my own life and bettering me.

I went through a break up a few months ago that really crushed me. It wasn't a perfect relationship, but in a lot of ways things were going really well and I thought this person was going to be part of my future. They told me repeatedly that they were going to be. Then out of nowhere, from one day to the next, the rug was ripped out from underneath me. It was over. Naturally, I felt devastated, confused and sad. I had to grieve the loss, I had to shed the tears but the break up didn't take me out. Because I had already gotten really far in my healing journey, I was able to handle this loss. Hell, I did better than handle it, I didn't miss a beat in life quite honestly even though I was sad. Now here I am a few months later with my own business that I can see growing little by little each week.

Prior to doing that inner healing work, I would NEVER have been able to be as laser focused as you need to be to start a business. My mind would have been too distractible and tired.

Because I've lived all of this, came out the other side and know how good this f*cking feels, I want to be able to help as many women as I possibly can get to this exact place.

My story happens to be the anxious-avoidant disaster but there are many other toxic cycles and relationship issues that people are dealing with. Whatever the issue is, I want to be the go to therapist for broken hearted girls because I know what's possible for their future.

The end for now. Until part 2.

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