The Answer to the Question Most People Ask

06. July 2017 Uncategorized 9
The Answer to the Question Most People Ask

I get a lot of emails, which I enjoy reading because I enjoy connecting with you guys.

I’m never sure how to feel, though, when people tell me they relate to so much of what I’ve written. I’m horribly sorry that there are people out there who have experienced the pain I’ve talked about on this blog. But if it’s helpful for them to know they’re not alone, then I’m grateful for that.

One question has come up a lot, so I thought I’d try to answer it here where hopefully more people will see it. I get emails from a lot of people who can relate to the attachment issues and attachment pain I’ve written about. The big question everyone asks is something along the lines of:

What do I do if I don’t have/can’t find an attachment figure to help relieve this pain/ loneliness/ disconnectedness?

This is important. It’s an important question, and the answer is an important answer.

The thing is, once you’ve left childhood with deep unmet attachment needs, the extent to which another human being can actually resolve those issues for you becomes limited. I do believe some healing is possible within a relationship with a safe and healthy person – but I don’t believe all healing stems from that. I don’t believe it can.

What I’ve found, and heard, and read, and experienced for myself (finally, after years) is the concept that you must develop attachment on the inside, in order to more fully relieve that pain of unmet attachment needs carried over from childhood. If you’re a multiple, it typically involves some reconciliation and reconnection between estranged insiders. If you don’t necessarily identify as a multiple, but are still familiar with this sort of attachment pain, it may look or sound more like a deeper level of self-acceptance or self-love.

You need connection on the inside.

I probably heard this for at least a few years, and blew it off. I didn’t know what it meant, for one thing. I was also absolutely convinced that if I could just find the right person – outside myself – that with enough love and attention and nurturing, they could heal me. I’m not saying safe relationships aren’t hugely healing. They can be. But I’m saying they won’t take you as far as you think or hope they will. The rest has to come from you. It’s a gift, from yourself, to yourself.

Last year sometime, when I was in a pretty hard place, I scribbled in my journal: If I’m going to have shitty friends, I suppose I’m just going to have to learn to be a better friend to myself.

*Disclaimer: I do not have shitty friends. But I was in a season where my own distress wasn’t obvious, and a lot of my friends were either experiencing their own crises (and feeling isolated and alone as well), or were ultra busy at the time, and neither wanted to be nor enjoyed being so.

Anyway, if you need a mother, the best and shortest route to healing that need is to become your own mother. There is a way in which you can fulfill this need in yourself that no external mother ever can or will. And the good news is, no one is stopping you. And you’re not waiting on anyone else to figure out how to love you. You can start right now, and give yourself exactly what you need. It’s actually a really cool thing. So there you go.



9 thoughts on “The Answer to the Question Most People Ask”

  • 1
    beautifuldreamer on July 6, 2017 Reply

    This is exactly what I’m dealing with. This couldn’t have come at a better time. Thanks so much for sharing what you’ve experienced with your attachment issues. It’s hard learning to love (mother) myself. I’ve barely begun. I’d better hop to it, I’m not getting any younger…

  • 2
    Anonymous on July 8, 2017 Reply

    Jade, you are so right. I have been learned how to appreciate & love all parts of myself. I daily welcome all my parts to spend time with me & I tell them how much I appreciate them & how they have done such a good job helping me function & survive. I call them my heroes. The ones that did things I couldn’t do because it was so traumatic for me I realize they had very good reasons for doing things that were against my values & conscience. Last week I connected with a part of my soul that felt evil, ashamed & guilty. I thanked her for doing things that weren’t possible for me to do & stay sane. After telling her she is my hero & how much I love her for doing for me what was impossible for me to do as a 3 year old, I experienced so much peace & wholeness. It is so vital for us to learn how to love ourselves in a healthy way. My friends & family cannot reach me to this level even though I appreciate them & their love for me.

    Thank you, Jade, for addressing this subject.


  • 3
    Anonymous on July 22, 2017 Reply

    But…how?? How do you create that inside yourself when you don’t have the external template for it? How can anything you do inside make up for not having a safe caring person there to physically comfort you and stop the aloneness?

    • 4
      Jade on July 25, 2017 Reply

      I’m glad you asked, because I’m going to write a post on this. But start with the basics. Pretend you are a little baby and think about what you would need. Most people – even those who did not have good parents – innately know how to care for young ones. You need to feel safe. You need to be physically taken care of – fed, kept clean, put to bed when you are tired, given a chance to have fun and learn new things. You need to be emotionally validated when you are scared/hurt/sad, etc.

      It sounds a lot harder than it is.

      • 5
        Anonymous on July 27, 2017 Reply

        Thank you so much, I just saw your new post and really appreciate it. Definitely easier said than done, but it gives me a good place to start!

        If you don’t mind, can I also ask your opinion about the role that others can/should play in the healing process? I know I’m overly attached to the idea (pun not intended!) that I need someone else to help provide what was missing in my childhood, that I can’t do it all on my own….whether that’s a significant other, a close friend, etc….but I end up becoming overly dependent and burning people out. I feel like a bottomless pit of neediness. I know being able to meet some of those needs for myself would help with that, but is there any place for others to help too, and if so how do I navigate that without just re-enacting abandonment?

        • 6
          Jade on August 1, 2017

          Also a good question. I can only speak from my experience, because that’s all I have. So take anything and everything I say (here and everywhere) with a grain of salt. In my experience, there definitely IS a place for others to be a friend to you. And even a mother figure, if appropriate, etc (which is hard for me to generically outline when it would be appropriate and when it wouldn’t because everyone’s situation is different). BUT. Here is the thing. With attachment wounds, it’s VERY tricky. The majority of the population of human beings have a tendency toward co-dependency (hey look, I rhymed). And most of them don’t even know that. Most don’t even understand what co-dependency really is, and if they’ve even heard of the term they don’t think THEY have any struggles with it… until they do. 😉 So IF (it’s a really big “if”) you can find one or two people who are very healthy and who know their own boundaries and who are self-aware enough to not let things get enmeshed and they are able to communicate clearly and lovingly…then sure. By all means, love the heck out of those people and let them love you too. But the honest truth is that no matter how loving someone is to you, they really can’t fill every deep need that you have. Obviously I don’t know you, but the question sounds like you still may be reluctant to let go of that expectation (which I understand). I do know that 99% of the time, going into any type of relationship with the expectation that the other person is going to fix/heal/fulfill you is a recipe for disaster in the future.

          If you use the search bar at the top, and find the blog post called “Accidental Breakthrough,” I think it may help a little bit more.

  • 7
    Anonymous on August 1, 2017 Reply

    I don’t know if it is appropriate for me to respond to the last question. Jade, I don’t really know how blogs work and whether I can respond. So I won’t unless I have your permission.


    • 8
      Jade on August 1, 2017 Reply

      I don’t mind people having conversations in the comment section, so feel free. I’m not online every day, and my wordpress account is messed up so it doesn’t notify me of new comments anymore (it’s been like that for a year) – so I don’t always see them in a timely manner.

  • 9
    Anonymous on August 7, 2017 Reply

    I have a husband, daughter & friends that love me unconditionally but are very limited in being able to address DID issues. Parenting myself & learning how to love, respect & appreciate my little ones has been much more effective in helping me heal, even though I appreciate the love I get from my people. My friends & family don’t want to interact with little ones, even though they do sometimes without knowing it. I have some inner healing facilitors who really know how to facilitate my healing also. I learned how to parent myself from them.

    I have been in counseling off & on for 4 decades & it was 3 years ago I stared learning how to parent & love myself. That has really speed up my healing tremendously.


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