Attachment, abandonment & loss…
“An infant is wholly dependent on their caregivers for protection, and while safety is paramount to an infant, basic cleanliness, nutrition and a kind face to greet them (mirror) affects neurological processes and activity in the mind/brain system. Without proper nurturing, a confused sequence of feelings repeat in an infant’s mind, that if put into words goes something like this:
Why am I alone? Why do I feel rejected? Why do I exist if I am alone. Why do I exist if I am rejected? Why do I exist? I want to die.
When a child has a loving adult supporting them, then they don’t feel the mental anguish of loss, absolute abandonment and helplessness that an unsupported child does. The mind of a supported infant will express a sequence like this:
My caregiver is trying to help me, my caregiver cares about me, my caregiver is kind to me, my caregiver wants me to feel good, I belong in this world, I belong to someone that is kind to me, I have someone that will try and keep me safe and does not harm me, I am supported.
When basic needs are not met, a secure attachment is at risk, which is an invisible link from a child’s developing mind/brain system to their primary caregiver which determines what functions will develop in the mind/brain system of the child. A secure attachment does not seem to be about love, or hope or even kindness. It appears to be a life-line; a developmental milestone that must be reached prior to the third developmental stage (age 5-8) in childhood, or it will never be reached. A secure attachment to a primary caregiver brings with it a “sense of self” that cannot be found in any other way. It’s a tether to a supporting adult that gives a child strength to explore and enrich their life, and it’s essential to good mental health. Of course you can attach to other people later in life, but that does not fix the damage caused during early childhood.”