It’s a core emotion meaning it tells us something important about how our environment is affecting us. We benefit greatly when we learn to listen to core emotions, as opposed avoiding them as we are taught to do in our society. It’s one of the first emotions to have evolved probably to facilitate survival by immediately expelling something that could make us sick, like a poisonous berry or rotted meat.
Disgust often comes up in response to poisonous or toxic people, where deep trust and love has been betrayed. We naturally feel disgust in response to someone who has abused us. Validating disgust can decrease anxiety and shame from trauma. We can sense disgust physically as: revulsion, nausea, the impulse to get something out of you, like an abuser who has been internalized. Disgust has impulses that can be brought into awareness. When disgust is processed, the nervous system will reset to a calmer more regulated state.
Want to experiment with disgust? Imagine smelling rotted meat. Notice the feeling of disgust in your body. Describe the sensations of disgust or choose from the list below that most closely describe the sensations of disgust you feel.
Queasy, Pit in stomach, Gagging Tense, Tight, Nauseated Dizzy, A hole inside, Off center Acidy, Raw, Jittery, Numb, Stomach ache, Jelly belly
Now, so you’re not left with the feeling of disgust, imagine smelling something wonderful like fresh baked cookies or your favorite flower.
Boundaries: Both the disorganized and the ambivalent can find it difficult to set boundaries. The disorganized often find it difficult to sense their own boundaries, the boundaries of others because they have had their crossed. They may have difficulty labeling them because they are desociated. Sometimes they can sense their boundaries but they are in doubt whether their boundaries are okay. They have to practise finding out about where their boundaries are , feel and respect their own (and other people's) boundaries, and believe that their boundaries are okay.
The ambiivalent can often sense their boundaries if they take the time to feel them. But they often forget their own boundaries. They can give up their own boundaries and needs. Forget about them because they often lose themselves in relationships and are over in the other Person and They often compromise too much in relationships. They have to practice to pause and feel and find out wether or not compromising drains them.
Question: I have been with an amazing woman for 3 and 1/2 years. She does not come from my country, but I have met her here. She is an amazing person who has an incredible number of positive values and qualities. I am 45 and have never before experienced greater love and greater emotions. I ALWAYS want to be with her. But. So she has escaped from a chaotic life. She has never known her father. And her mother was not the one who gave her a good childhood. My girlfriend had to, from very young age, take care of the house and cook dinner ect. And if things didn't work out when mom came home, there were sometimes blow ups and punishment as well. I think she is dismissive avoidant and she has opend up more to me than anyone else. But it is, as if when she gets too open then she withdraws. Then she can be completely dismissive of me. I have heard her say "It is best to be yourself and alone because you will not be disappointed". I have no doubt she loves me. But she is hard to understand. Although I understand that she has the dismissive attachment style problems.
I have a question. You write that people should be open to the fact that the anxiety that is there even if they do not feel it. That it is good to know that it is the reason why they retire. But even though it has been difficult during her childhood, she simply does not trust the psychological aspects of this. The same about daring to ask others for help. It's not an option for her. As she says, her pride forbids her. Currently, she has one of those periods. She asks for distance. So even though I have noticed that every time we are together and talking, it does both of us good, she does not want to write nor do I want to. She thinks it's best to end the relationship. I try to give her the peace s and distance she needs so she can see that I am NOT like the other people in her life who disappointed her and gave up or did not show her the love and respect. But do I respect her then? Or should I do what she would do if I had been to her as she is to me? "Then I just wanted to say goodbye". She says. But it also fits the pattern. That it is easy to say goodbye.
Answer: What if your girlfriend is disorganized-dismissive? This means that it is the disorganized dynamic that is at play, but which expresses itself primarily as the dismissive avoidant pattern. That's pretty common.
It means to you, to not only to give her space but the most important thing is boundaries (both ways), clarity and predictability. You can read about the "Val Method".
You must also tell, her that you are not her, and you are not her mother or anyone else who may have failed on her. That you intend to stand up for her and you -and your love. So she doesn't have to repeat her story about not being able to trust others. And especially because love is a gift to be cherished. That it doesn't necessarily just go smoothly, but you are willing to do whatever it takes to make it succeed with her.
Desorganised attatchmentstyle compared to avoidant attatchment style:
People that are dealing with avoidant attachment shut down their attachment system due to neglect or active rejection if it's related to parenting styles... This can also occur if they've only been related to when learning a task so that they become overdeveloped in the left brain.--with less access to emotional availability or responsiveness. They also dissociate into parallel attention or activities that don't involve other people as a defense against their stress related to connection. In this case, the therapist needs to help the client learn to identify their needs and reach out and find comfort and soothing in regulation with another person for co-regulation and to enjoy the emotional connection.
In disorganized, the attachment style is mixed with the threat response due to a parent being afraid of their own children or afraid from their own unresolved trauma or doing scary things to a child as they're raising them. There is a lot more fear involved and of course also dissociation related to unresolved relational trauma. The attachment system and the survival defensive responses can be over coupled and causing somatic, emotional and physiological confusion when a person is trying to connect more intimately in a relationship.
In therapy working with disorganized the therapist need s to help calm the threat response by helping a client enhance their sense of safety in their own body as well as in the relational field and the relationship. The social engagement work is very helpful here. Also, it's helpful to separate the client's attention to an ally oasis where they have safe people that they feel they can rely on in a safe way and then defend against any abusive or scary inner actions that they experienced early with parents (if that happened) and deal with that in a separate location.
The disorganised Vs the ambivalent attatchmentstyle:
As a person with some desorganised attatchment style are often locked in "Come Here - And Go Away!" patterns. You reach out for love -> you get frightened, you feel panic, you are in your threat responce -> you pull away or attack -> then you will be calm again, when there is a distance -> you reach out, etc. Looks like the ambivalent pattern, but there are actually two different mechanisms. The disorganized form of connetcion is not about the accessibility of the other, as for the ambivalent / nervous attatched, but that you are overwhelmed at an instinctive level of contact. The close contact brings the old history into the system - and thus the old state of tension in the nervous system: Alarm! The ambivalent loses interest if the other is available. The disorganized runs scared back or attacks aggressively.
Then it is not recommended to sit with the angst or jealousy (the paradoxical change method). Depending on how strong the feeling is of course.
According to a SE attatchment therapist this can be a sign that some trauma energy has been activated. Then it is better to use pendulation (a SE technique) Otherwise there is a change that the anxiety/angst and jealousy can create more dysregulation in your nerveussystem and you have to go all the way through the trauma whirlwind.
Just thought I would post, as it mimicks Anne12's original information under SE noting Peter Levine. Just watched Liberty Cairde here, and her review on Peter Levine's book and how it has helped her in her journey:
Being a partner to an adult child of an alcoholic can be challenging because there is so much you do not understand - even if you really want to understand and help out.
For example it is difficult to understand:
How disappointments from childhood still sits in the body and quickly can be reactivated Why the emotions sometimes fluctuate Why it is so difficult to set boundaries and express needs Why it seems that one's care and love gets rejected
For my own part, it has meant everything that my partner has been there for me again and again and again, loving me, despite the fact that many times I could hardly be in myself, not being able to articulate what was wrong and could not recieve all his support and love
That my boyfriend understands that he should not lie to me as I can sense lies and things that are unsaid miles away. Even little white lies that are kind of innocent, he knows that it is important to me that he is telling me the trouth.
An adult child of an alcoholic married with a secure guy.
The elements of repair and somatic inquiry in this article! Noticing what yes and no feels like in the body, and the deeply engained fawning response that splits us from acting on our no.
"....Etymologically, the word “trauma” originates from the Greek word for “wound,” and that is typically how we use it today, to describe both physical and psychological wounds. I have often wished for a different word, one that implies profound, often inhibitive, change, but precludes the violence inherent in “trauma.” Sometimes I use the word “event,” whose etymology suggests consequences rather than wounds. As I’ve observed the more longitudinal effects of my past experiences — the recurrent dreams and tendency to detach from uncomfortable situations — I’ve become less interested in classifying what it was than in observing what it did to my psyche.
In a brain scan of a patient experiencing dissociation — referred to in extreme cases as “depersonalization” — the brain’s usual areas of activity look like empty fields, marred only by pixelated blemishes here and there. There is significantly decreased emotional affect. It is often described as an out-of-body feeling, the sense of a consciousness detached from the corporeal self, perhaps watching it as one would a figure in a diorama. Which is exactly why it is so effective as a survival mechanism. The frozen self doesn’t feel the affect of that self, though it is recorded in the body....."
My client Simon. Simon is 30 years old and has a 8 years university degree. Simon came to me because he was feeling really bad and hoped I might be able to help him. He was full of unrest. The emotional discomfort he was in was so overwhelming that it was hard to be with. And Simon was actually genuinely worried about whether he could keep up with it. Or whether it could mean that he would not continue to be able to take care of his job. The job is in some ways demanding, but he is also really happy about it.
Simon's love story Simon told at the first interview that three months before, he had met a lovely girl whom he really liked. But his feelings told him he should run far away! He also told that he had gradually discovered that this was his pattern! Every time a relationship became more serious, he got so much restlessness and anxiety in his body. And he got a stomach ache. And he did not feel that he could be in it anymore. In the past, he had always concluded that since he felt so uncomfortable. Yes, then it had to be because it was not the right relationship for him.
Simon had become aware of his pattern As mentioned, however, Simon had gradually experienced the same thing many times that it had become clear to him that there was a pattern. And at the same time, this girl was something very special to Simon. Thus, it was difficult for Simon to do what he used to do. Namely, to run away. "Maria" was something very special. And it was simply hard for Simon to find fault with her. So in that way, it became extra clear to Simon that he had to do something if he ever wanted a girlfriend. Because if it could not be with Maria, well, then it could not be with anyone, he thought. And Simon had always had a longing to get into a relationship. Although he had always run away again when a relationship had gone in that direction .. He had fled because of the emotional discomfort and anxiety that was so overwhelming and uncomfortable. And he had concluded that if it has be so uncomfortable to be in a relationship, then it is better to be alone.
Simon could recognize himself in part in the insecurely ambivalent pattern (regarding his upbringing). But also in the insecurely dismissive pattern of attachment. His own behavior in relationships, he could recognize the dismissive pattern He recognized it by pulling away from the relationship when it got too close. However, we had not talked for a long time before we agreed that he probably belonged in the disorganized attachment pattern instead. In contrast to the dismissive pattern Simon feel his feelings to a great extent. And it is precisely the strong emotional discomfort - the anxiety and pain in his stomach that has so far caused him to withdraw from a potential partner every time.
The disorganized attachment pattern Throughout his life and as an adult, he has a feeling of having to be a mother to his mother. There has thus been a question of “role exchange”, which is also often seen in connection with the disorganized attachment pattern. The disorganized attachment pattern can be said to be a combination of the insecurely ambivalent attachment pattern and the insecurely evasive attachment pattern. And the disorganized pattern differs from the other two attachment patterns in that there is more “trauma substance” in stock. So one is, unlike the dismissive love partner, in contact with more intense and overwhelming emotions. And unlike the ambivalent love partner, one tends to pull out of the relationship when it gets serious. (However, the ambivalent can also do this when they are with a secure partner because of an experience of getting bored”.)
Growing up with a mentally vulnerable mother Simon talks about a upbringing that he has so far considered to be fairly ok. However, he is aware that there have been several traumatic experiences while growing up. Simon's mother had a mental and physical vulnerability. And Simon has thus felt a great responsibility for his mother, with whom he has been alone since his parents divorced when he was quite young. Simon's mother was hospitalized when Simon was 8 years old. Simon remembers that during this period he experienced great insecurity and, among other things, had great difficulty sleeping. It is this time that Simon experiences “coming back to” when I ask him to think about what the emotional discomfort reminds him of from his upbringing.
Simon's therapy so far: At the first conversation, we talked about the attachment pattern. And Simon became wiser about his own pattern - the disorganized attachment pattern. At the first interview, we also talked about Simon's upbringing. We made a list of the things Simon could do to get the nervous system to land again when the emotional discomfort was strong. I also introduced Simon to the idea of "exposure".
Anxiety treatment through exposure So we talked about that if you are anxious to ride a bus, for example, then you should not stay home and avoid riding a bus. If you want to get out of your anxiety and expand your comfort zone, then it is important to challenge your anxiety. And you do this best by exposing yourself to what you are afraid of. But at a pace so that you "can join in" and not get too overwhelmed. So small steps. "Slow is fast" In this case, it was when a dating relationship became more serious that Simons' anxiety and emotional discomfort became vague. And the body began to shout: "FLEE!" We talked about that the task here, for Simon, was to stay in the relationship and land the nervous system again every time it was activated. Using the tools I gave him for this. And by reaching out to me per. mail when he felt too overwhelmed. Simon has continued with the conversations with me. And he is now 5 months in the relationship. He says he feels much better. And that the anxiety now takes up far less space and is far less intense when it is there. He is still very fond of Maria. He says he has never been so far into a relationship before. He has begun to experience feelings of love for Maria for the first time. And he has made plans with Maria in the future, which is completely new to him. He has also dared to tell Maria that he loves her ,,,,♥️
My boyfriend and I were sitting talking quietly on the couch, while cuddeling. I should be able to like this. Who dosent want to cuddle right ? But suddenly I wanted to push him away and go hide in the other room. I felt rage.
Thoughts dident help me. So I moved into the imaginary of tender moments with him. My body softend a little. Then I did some wiggeling with my toes and feet and some strechthing. Emotions were too difficult to handle, so I moved into sensations and got cuerious about, what his body and my body were doing and how it felt on my skin. All this made me able to stay in the precent moment with my boyfried and not fight/flee.
Are little white lies and secrets okay in couple relationships?
Little white lies are bad in relationships. If you have to tell little white lies, then you do not respect your partner..
IT is expecially tricky for someone with some desorganised attatchmentstyle with little White Lies. They need things to be clear and they can get triggered by unsertenty.
On the other hand a relationship requires security for both parties. Not being made wronged or being mistaken, if you tell your partner something, that the other can have a hard time hearing.
(Telling your partner - when asked - that she does not look fat in her new pants can be loving though)
"My boyfriend suddenly stops in the middle of a sentence. He was about to tell where he has been with his friends. I think that's weird. And now I can't stop think ing about what he is holding back. I'm afraid he's done something that I do not like to hear. I try to say to myself that what you do not know about is non of your business. Should I ask? I have a trigger with my dad who sometimes didn't come home on time when we were about to have dinner together.
Answer: It doesn't help you that you try to tell yourself that it doesn't matter. Everything that is not being said in the relationship takes up space in the relationship.
You know there's something wrong. It is better to clarify what it is that the other is holding back. Maybe IT is nothing special. All things that is unsaid in the relationship, is like poison to the relationship.
Persecutor-victim dynamics, topdog-underdog, one beeing in power and the other one feeling powerless
belongs to the desorganised pattern: predator = fight-energy, prey = flight or freeze-energy.
If you experience this, it's important to set boundaries, speak up, chance the dynamic. The dynamic can also change so that the underdog sometimes becomes the topdog. If you can't chance this dynamic IT is better to leave theese relationships and interactions. No one is happy. IT is not healthy and it can damage your selfworth if you are the underdog and you dont speak up. It's about feeling/beeing equal in your relationships. If you are the underdog, you must know that every time that you do not speak up, it will damage your selfworth.
Underdog/topdog dynamics in relationships:
Examples: You each live by your self. Every time you have to meet, it has to be at your partners house. You actually also want visits in your own home, but you give in.
Your partner talks bad about you or complains Infront of his friends while having dinner. You don't speak up..
More: The under dog: "The more I try to get your attention, get your love and closeness, the more you try to avoid me."
The caption is: I feel disappointed, let down, neglected, jealous, rejected and as the loser of our relationship.
The top dog: "You demand too much from me!" Or "I think I need a good long break from you to find out for myself and what I really want."
The subtitle is: I feel guilty when you let me have so much power over your feelings and life - and I'm sorry that I obviously don't love you with the same intensity.
It is stressful to feel responsible for someone else's mood ect.
What's happening? The typical love dream is to live with an equal partner in a safe, warm, productive, fun-loving and uplifting family, where both have the desire and courage to develop and become themselves.
But dreams and expectations are often not matched by reality. And when each party in the relationship has their own dream pictures of reality, they quickly lose contact if they do not take a "reality check" with each other and instead complain to friends and other people.
Top Dogs and underdogs
Even though the couple basically wants to meet at eye level and stand straight, they have established themselves in a balance of power that is odd: an Under- and Over-dog position. The underdog thinks he loves the most and feels that he is just adjusting.
As he experiences a greater and greater loss and loss of control, his desperation increases. He thinks the partner is loved the most and is the one who decides everything and sets the agenda in the relationship. He feels that the more he turns to her; the more he wants, the more distant, cooler, dismissive and unloving she becomes.
Woody Allen's movie "Me and Annie" is a school example of this imbalance in the scene where Alvie and Annie are each in therapy. Alvie complains that he and Annie almost never make love: "A maximum of 3 times a week," he says. With her therapist, Annie complains that he constantly wants her to go to bed with him. She sighs: "We do this at least 3 times a week!"
What's the problem? The fish in the sea probably is the last to realize how important the water is to its existence. Similarly, we often find it difficult for people to interpret our own behavior in the context of others and to see our reaction to that behavior.
We do not see the larger patterns and consequences of the power plays we are involved in. We only see what happens and is concerned with whose fault it is. Instead of looking at the relationship from above, we look inward ("my fault") or outward ("your fault").
But the world seen through the dog's optics is completely different from the way the dog sees reality.
The problem is not that one "loves the most." It is quite common for the small imbalance to exist. But in a strong and healthy relationship, it changes regularly.
The problem is also that the under dog feels less worthy than the top dog. Certainly it is just as painful and humiliating to be a top dog - it is just some other emotions and mechanisms that drive the top dog.
The problem is not that one of Them "loves the most." It is quite common for the small imbalance to exist. But in a strong and healthy relationship, it changes regularly.
The problem is also that the under dog feels less worthy than the top dog. Certainly it is just as painful and humiliating to be an over dog - it is just some other emotions and mechanisms that drive the over dog (more on that later). The problem is that it is just as difficult for an topdog and an underdog to talk about want, desires and longings in a way that is not perceived as criticism by the other party. what you don't say can be more important than what you say The under dog: "The more I try to get your attention, get your love and closeness, the more you try to avoid me."
The caption is: I feel disappointed, let down, neglected, jealous, rejected and as the loser of our relationship.
The top dog: "You demand too much from me!" Or "I think I need a good long break from you to find out for myself and what I really want."
The subtitle is: I feel guilty when you let me have so much power over your feelings and lives - and I'm sorry that I obviously don't love you with the same intensity.
It is stressful to feel responsible for someone else's mood, and typically there are high demands hidden behind the dog's seemingly loving and caring demands for closeness. And whatever you think you are feeling too much and getting too little in return, or you are constantly chasing and wanting and therefore becoming more dismissive than you like, you are the one party to an unbalanced relationship.
When the parties choose to communicate with their screen textsplay, what is said affects the other party in a way that reinforces the polarization and imbalance of the relationship.
If, on the other hand, the parties chose to communicate what they really think (the subtitles), they would of course expose their vulnerability - but achieve that the soft would not sound like accusations, attacks, criticism or attempts to blame them.