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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Da Valle, M.A.

Note to Self: I'm Here for Me - You're Here for You

I have to keep reminding myself of this detail, which is really at the crux of my existence. Having been socialized as a "girl" in the 1950's, 1960's, I was raised to "be nice," "be polite," "take care of others," etc. I have taken this socialization to the extreme - I am now recovering from the stress of taking care of others, and loving some people who have unhealthy living habits.

In the study of Psychology, the theory of "attachment" is a primary teaching. Babies either attach successfully to their mother, or they don't (in varying degrees), and according to theory, the nature of the attachment predicts certain personality traits or struggles in life.

I did not attach to my mother. I have suffered the primary betrayal, then other family betrayals, and have trust issues (naturally). When you love someone, you attach to them - a natural process, but not always healthy, especially if the person you attach to is unhealthy or unable to have a mutually respectful, reciprocal relationship with you.

If you love someone who is emotionally unavailable due to their own issues, then you are subject to pain surrounding the person's actions or inactions.

Survival is hard-wired into all lifeforms - as a baby, you must survive at all costs, regardless of the circumstances you were born into. You learn to cope and adapt, in the attempt to survive.

If your temperament is sensitive, then your challenges are much greater because you have what is known as "thin skin." You will feel everything 100 times greater than most people.

So when you attach to someone with unhealthy habits - when you love someone with unhealthy habits, then you will likely suffer and will need to remind yourself that you are "here for you" and they are here for themselves. If you fail to acknowledge this truth, you might go down the tubes with them, and that's no fun.

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