The Realities Of Living With Fearful Avoidant Attachment

The Realities Of Living With Fearful Avoidant Attachment

It's like a constant battle in your brain between craving love and affection while simultaneously repelling it.

Kyle Broad

Most of you are probably familiar with attachment styles from psychology class.

As a refresher, there are 4 main attachment styles: secure, anxious preoccupied, dismissive avoidant and fearful avoidant.

Your attachment style is largely dependent on your upbringing, specifically how your caregivers provided for you emotionally.

If you come from a family that provided you with emotional availability consistently, you are more likely to have a secure attachment in adulthood and attract people of the same nature.

To continue, if your emotional needs were met inconsistently in childhood, you are more likely to have an anxious attachment in adulthood as you use romantic relationships to compensate for the love and affection you lacked in childhood.

Contrastly, if your emotional needs were neglected completely in childhood, you are more likely to have an avoidant attachment as you learned that the only way to protect yourself emotionally is to distance yourself from people.

However, the fearful avoidant attachment style isn't talked about as much as the other 3 styles as this style is less common than the others.

Roughly 5% of the population has fearful avoidant attachment, but it's just as important to talk about as the other styles.

Unlike the other attachment styles, fearful avoidant attachment is not known to stem from childhood.

Rather, it is a style that people usually develop in response to a very negative/abusive relationship they experienced in adulthood.

After learning about this attachment style, as much as I hate to admit it, I now realize this is my attachment style.

I would say my attachment style used to be secure, but I've experienced abusive relationships since college that might be responsible for my attachment shift.

Fearful avoidant attachment style is a blend of anxious preoccupied attachment and dismissive avoidant attachment.

Fearful avoidants are aware that they become attached very easily in relationships like those with anxious attachment. However, unlike anxiously attached individuals who are terrified of being alone, fearful avoidants stay away from relationships altogether.

Individuals with this attachment style believe they are unworthy of love and affection, but they also believe others aren't worthy of receiving love and affection from them.

This attachment is very "hot and cold". On one hand, we run away from affection, but we also crave it. We avoid loving relationships with people that will meet our emotional needs, but we also depend on others for approval.

There's no easy explanation for this.

I would say I began exhibiting signs of fearful avoidant attachment around this time last year. I definitely had anxious attachment before, but I detached myself from people when I got abused by someone I cared about more than life itself.

Looking back on a lot of my experiences with people last year, I recognize my attachment style in almost all my relationships, whether they were platonic, romantic, etc.

I very rarely made efforts to see the people I loved because I didn't want to get close. However, I felt like I was dying if I wasn't around people.

I would crave emotional availability from those around me and would become very angry and needy if I didn't receive it, but I would also back away either slightly or completely as soon as I received it without reciprocating.

I was fully convinced everyone in my life hated me with no evidence to prove this claim, so I backed off completely. I tried to convince myself it's better to be by myself, but I was unbelievably lonely.

I wanted people in my life, but I was too scared of the possibility of rejection. Therefore, I isolated myself for a year.

I have made progress regarding my friendships, but I still struggle with opening up romantically.

The idea of dating still scares me to death, but it's gonna get better one day.

To everyone who stuck by me this year even though I probably was very hard to deal with: thank you.

You make me want to improve.

I have enrolled myself back in therapy, I've been setting boundaries for myself and others, and I am becoming happier everyday.

I put the "progress" in "work in progress".

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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