TBRI and attachment style introspection

Apparently my personality style thrives on efficiency. It’s true. When a friend made the observation about my Myers Briggs I had an aha moment. 

When we decided to adopt, I thought I would efficiently bounce between experiences and double down on sharing or applying my knowledge. Much like walking, one foot in front of another, I would gain more balance, letting my two daughters take turns in being challenging and rewarding. 

Little did I know… both girls need plenty of undivided attention. And as the earth revolves around the sun a full rotation, I concluded that it is my joy and privilege to get close and know both my daughters with reverence and patience. 

Hidden below this layer of beauty lyes a world of emotions, courage, resilience, unaltered joy. These girls are silly and hopeful and beautiful beyond compare. 

It has been a hard year. I have been more dismissive than I wish to admit. Though I have earned secure attachment my default is dismissive. My lack of natural abundant empathy made me feel wrong, incomplete. My happy place is distant, pensive. How strange that for half a decade I have practiced my best face. I had seldom been short or frowning at work. I had made an image and preserved it. My true self resurfaced as a mom. Tender yet irritable. Brave beyond measure but selfish too. 

What if I practiced my attractive happy self with my kids? …Make an effort and do not what comes natural but what is pleasant and good. 

For a few days I chose joy and availability and tenderness and warmth. I want my children to be securely attached. I want them to blossom into secure young women, who trust that when they call, their parent, their friend, their God will answer. Surely He will be be there. 

This season of parenting is the most challenging for my attachment style. Kids test us. But not as you might think. They call us and we ought to answer. For a few days, after a meaningful conversation, my four year old keeps repeating with joy, that we love her all the time, no matter what. I felt the need to affirm this truth because when I’m not chipper or apparently warm, I want her to still trust I love her. See, when people around me are angry or distressed, my low levels of empathy, or my dismissive style, act as a protective layer. I don’t take it personal. My sense of security is not threatened. Maybe I can too easily appear intimidating. I have made a conscious effort all my life to put people at ease. I don’t take pleasure in making others uncomfortable. With my daughters, I have to find this Middle-ground: Assure them of my love, act warmly and yet make room for my serious self, without fear I might send the wrong message. 

God is good. I think my attachment style has been greatly influenced by my social contexts outside my immediate family. Then my husband complements my attachment style with his steady committed playful self. While I bring order, security, responsibility to the mix. 

I strive to be a good enough parent and extending grace to my driven self, I sometimes see the light and know we’ll be ok. By God’s Grace.

if you want to see what your attachment style is, use this link https://dianepooleheller.com/attachment-test/