I believe it's possible you're FA, yes. Being FA is constant, but whether you're triggered mostly anxious or avoidant can easily shift depending on your partner. Being involved with a more avoidant person will swing you anxious and being involved with someone either more secure or more anxious will swing you avoidant. So it's very easy to, for example, be an FA who only chases DAs or more avoidant partners or abusive partners (ie NPD or abusive) and believe you're AP because you don't notice when you shut down as you never really stick around to date less avoidant people because it doesn't feel passionate enough. But if you actually did, and are FA not AP, it would swing you avoidant.
AP feel "bored" by other AP or secures but that comes out as feeling ambivalent and indecisive without deactivating and losing feelings. The feelings of attraction were never truly accessible to begin with because they confuse longing with love, they weren't coming and going and flip-flopping.
"...and my dad and his depression and rage, and my therapist said "This is where the disorganized attachment and the complex PTSD and shame started"... + domistic violence case with your ex + a lot of stress + a child with Aspergers/speciel needs that you have to attend to
= this points at some desorganised attatchment style ect. Also shok trauma and stress can push you , bad relationships can push you more into another attatchment style/can make you act desorganised. Why shouldent a child not be affreaid of a parent with rage, mental ilness, depression, npd, stressed out parents, parents with their own unresolved trauma, alcoholic parents and more... You are already working with a cemptent protector in therapy, right !?
You can have situational desorganised attatchment style. Properly also AP. AP can be a camuflaged desorganised attatchment style and the same thing goes for DA.
We often have got a mix of different attatchment styles. Isent it confusing that one therapist tells you one thing and the other tells you something else ? Have you told them ?
To me you sometimes sound like you are in your threat responce. It's understandable that you want to make sure that he is a good man after all that you have been through. Give yourself time.
Attatched dosent say much about desorganised attatchment style as far as I can remember.
Slow down, dont have sex until you know him better.
I would prefer dating before marrige and not the other way around.
If you don't like that he is biting your lips when kissing, tell him. See how he responds.
There's a change that his got too much sympathetic energy. Maybe you are leaning more parasympathetic. Sometimes our differencies can become too much for our nerveussystem to handle.
Ugh. I read the link for disorganized attachment that Annie posted. It's like I finally understand my life. Crushing.
There's lots of people on this board who thought they were AP but later discovered they were actually FA (and they've written about it, in part uncovering it through being on this forum). It shouldn't be crushing though -- it's a good thing! There are paths to improving security for each style, AP, DA, FA, and they're all somewhat different. So if FA is resonating with the challenges you face, it's another step forward in figuring out what you need to do to heal and grow.
My long-term FA ex insisted he was AP... he is textbook FA and didn't actually act like me at all (when I was textbook AP). Trying so hard to figure out what was going on between us is why I understand FA so well. I feel bad for him that he stays stuck because he lacks awareness, but it's also his choice to staunchly not want to look further into helping himself and I moved on. This is why I don't think your epiphany is crushing. I think you're doing really well trying to do the work, ask the right questions, and improve your relationships. It may not feel like it, but these are huge steps in the right direction and you should feel proud of your progress so far. There's just still more work to be done, but you're on the right track.
I am reading this in the disorganized thread - can anyone explain? Raja was actually one of my teachers in my training
Always remember in relationsship - all attatchmentstyles (Raja Selvam): Raja Selvam has a significant point about relationships. "If your partner does not remain in resonance, when you need to land your system - you will feel abandoned. You will get a feeling, that you have to manage yourself. It feels very lonely"
seeking, you're dealing with a lot, and it's totally okay to not be ready for a relationship quite yet while you sort out your overwhelm at your new awareness and focus on connecting to yourself. However, I do think there's valid concerns mixed with a lot of distancing defense mechanisms to break connection with your current guy. So while there may turn out to be nothing wrong with him but you need time alone to do some hard work before you get further involved with someone, I agree with your instinct to slow things way down and attempt to instead stay present instead of running into the past or future. Take it one day at a time. But to do that will also require telling him it's not about him or your lack of interest / investment, but you need to go at a slower speed so you can deal with personal issues. And if you don't go together at that slower speed while getting to know each other, you're likely to get overwhelmed and shut down.
That is honest and direct and doesn't tank the relationship. Then you'll also see if he's able to respect your boundaries and needs or if he pushes you past what you're capable of dealing with. Or, if he says that's not going to work for him as he's looking for something with a faster connection, in which case you're simply not right for each other at this time and that's no one's fault.
But I recommend staying present and not jumping ahead as you decide what you want because getting ahead of yourself sounds like it's making you overwhelmed. And as AP, I had a tough time being present and connected because I was instead in the future, steeling myself in anticipation of every possible scenario and scanning for threats, or stuck in the past. Not seeing what was in front of me, as it was uncomfortable if I wasn't happy in myself or my life in the present moment.
seeking, it's hard for me to tell what's most important to you as relationship must-haves because I know you are shifting your narrative, but it seems like you may not have the same values around what you consider to be the most important things in life (aspects about your work that you are passionate about in general and how it shapes how you want to live your life that he doesn't sound very engaged with). If this is a lack of shared interests, I think that's fine and a relationship doesn't require that. But is it a lack of shared values?
Everything else I feel like is deactivating back and forth, and I don't want to be too crass in calling this out but... you have a lot of repeated concern about how others will perceive you being in an interracial relationship. So you don't need to share more about that here, but you do need to decide your own ability to accept that aspect. I'm concerned you projected that your daughter might be scared of this older, darker strange man. That's...a whole other topic and you need to be honest with yourself if that's going to forever be an uncomfortable point for you or if it's part of your search for excuses to stay ambivalent. Because if that's really how you're seeing him relative to your daughter, that's not fair to him.
Aside from all that, when I say you're overwhelmed, I actually mean with your new attachment awareness. Yes, you have an insecure attachment style of some sort (btw, FA and disorganized are the same thing, but some countries use one term and some the other). That means you'll keep repeating no matter if you have a different partner or not, yes. So don't end things with this one solely because you're imagining a perfect new person is out there. But the difference is, this time around versus the last 10 years, you understand your role in this and some of the work you can do to improve it. That does mean carving out time to focus on yourself and that healing, though. So things can change, but whether or not you're able to realistically devote that attention to yourself while starting up a serious relationship is the question. Not as an excuse to end this, like don't end it to do the work then avoid doing the work. But as a legitimate question of, if you want to fix this and improve your life and start on this process, does the timing work to start on this relationship right now? Is he the right partner while you're also doing that? It's hard when the relationship is constantly triggering you, though it sounds like most of it is you triggering yourself (totally normal for an insecure attacher, don't feel badly about that observation) versus him doing anything to trigger you.
This sounds great, seeking! It seems each time you overcome the avoidance and actually talk to him about issues, he is present, listens, and tries to problem-solve with you. That is really, really good! Both that you're speaking up and that he's responding well. It is very normal that someone responds to distancing with anxiety... even if they're usually secure, it's very normal for that to be the response to that dynamic, unfortunately. A lot of avoidance can push a secure person more anxious or trigger an anxious person, in the same way a lot of AP can push a secure person more avoidant or trigger an avoidant person. So be mindful that it's how any partner might respond and don't look at him in a negative light over that when you're in excuse-seeking mode (not that you're doing that right now).
I have long conversations with my boyfriend all the time, but we just like each other's company and it doesn't seem weird to either of us. He said it's weird for him in general, as an introvert, but time flies with me before he notices it has passed! So, it's not a bad thing to have a lot to talk about. There's got to be some overlapping interests there if you can have lots of conversation
seeking, you can delete or edit any of your posts within the thread using the little gears button and no one's quoted your past posts. But maybe you can get rid of identifying info in the thread and keep some posts up to help others struggling and looking to the process of others for help and understanding?
seeking the "delete post" option should be under "report post" in the gear menu. You can't delete the whole thread at once -- if you want to erase it you have to delete one post at a time, and you can only delete your own posts, not the ones that others have added to the thread. You should be able to do it without help from admin. I agree with alexandra that it would be nice to keep up some posts that might help others (minus identifying info) but I understand if that doesn't feel safe.
seeking, I'm sorry, but it also sounds like you made the right call. Back to the needing to find someone with higher EQ. Someone with anger issues is no joke, and it's better not to get involved in that case. Especially if you've got a child, better safe than sorry!!! And it sounds like you've learned a ton from this experience, too.
I’m sorry it didn’t work out I agree that you made the right decision though. Anger issues are a dealbreaker for me too and with your past history that just seems unworkable. It’s great that you’re protecting yourself.
Self awareness is one of the most important things I look for in potential partners now. It’s not easy to find but I think it’s key. In the past I’ve dated people who could fake introspection well enough but it was superficial. A willingness to go to therapy (or already seeing a therapist) can be a pretty good gauge, I think.