“Your psych professor talking about forging a bond with parents at the deepest level, as early as possible, reminds me as a kid watching our town blacksmith firing up his forge with hot coal. One time he formed a hitch for my dad. As it got red hot, he hammered it into the shape Dad wanted,” Sarah’s Dad shared.
Sarah was back home for Christmas break and telling her parents about her childhood development class: Deflate Abandonment Instinct – A Child’s Most Scary Fear.
Their eyes met and twinkled. “Dad, now I know what a forge is. Just love your childhood experiences.”
“Here’s what else I learned. The prof said a kid’s most unconscious, scary fear from birth is abandonment. They don’t know it, but it feels like possible death. Upsetting differences with parents are the hottest, scariest times for a child. The big problem is feeling split. The child feels split from parents and inside they feel like they are split between a lot of ‘I’m bad’ and very little ‘I’m good.’
“Then he told us about a new way to forge everything together that deflates abandonment fear. Best time for forging is during the scariest times. The bonding starts by parentings welding the splits and then making a strong bond permanent. Mom, I couldn’t wait to ask you about how welding works, since you did some welding as a teenager.”
Sarah’s Mom chimed in. “I’m so excited about what you’re learning. Maybe you can present this to the suicide prevention group I head up. Anyway, my Dad helped me to be a welder on our Kansas farm. It’s called stick welding. You have two pieces of metal you want to join. In one hand you have a torch and in the other a special stick. The tip of the stick melts between the metal pieces made hot by the torch. I guess in your example the parents are responsible for the welding and the bonding.”
“You’ve got it Mom. I’ll get to that in just a minute. First a little 101 on inside and outside parts,” Sarah continued. “The prof said there are two major parts of us. The down deep affective or feeling part starting with body sensations coupled with our four basic emotions, the biggest ones being fear and love. He said most people in Western society don’t pay attention to them. Eastern religions have known this for over 4000 years. And then there’s the more surface cognitive, thinking and behavior part which is more obvious.
“Then here’s the really cool new information. Abandonment fear usually gets worse when parents weld and forge at the surface level—you know, lectures, consequences and that stuff. Things usually split open again because it’s welded on the surface. And there usually is not bonding, just anger and feeling scared.
Mom said, “This stuff is exciting. It fits with what one of our consultants said: that at a deepest level we all crave being the same. No one wants to be alone or split apart. If only your Dad liked jazz. He also said maybe this abandonment death fear is trauma from the umbilical cord being cut. Anyway, how do you weld and forge during scary differences?”
Sarah explained, “Well, it’s actually easy, but not natural and takes only three weeks of practice. Here are the pieces. During a conflict there is plenty of heat for welding. You shut off anger and validate the child’s body sensation and the emotions that are at the deepest part of a child. This causes a child to feel safe when things are horrible because the parents confirmed it and prove it through their calm validating words and actions that there is nothing to worry about. The biggest part is the child feels deep down good with no bad feelings.
“Oh, by the way, the new theory establishes body sensations and emotions as the cause of thoughts and resulting surface behavior. The welding stick is the parents calmly validating the deepest part of a child, first their body sensations and then their emotions. Like saying it’s alright to feel shocking sensations and scared, it’s normal, and no matter what, we are always here for you. You can always feel good in the roughest times. And here’s another part—apparently everyone has a special Dad and Mom emotion validation receptacle at a child’s most core being. If everything gets plugged in just right, safety and good is assured during good and rough times.
“Plug in the parents’ validation enough times, or every time, and soon abandonment fear is permanently deflated. No more splitting. The inside and outside bonding is permanently forged.
“And mom, your consultant was right about sameness. The craving for sameness he mentioned, it’s established permanently during the scary situation. Mom, Dad, and child feel the same emotions, all is safe, and everyone feels they are good. After enough repetition, the child feels the permanent presence of a validating parent. Feeling I’m good and safe is welded into place. The prof said it’s called object permanency. I guess a lot of books have been written on the subject.
“Oh, and here’s the big win. All this stuff ends with a child’s most critical human identity being established—I’m lovable. And the big bonus, the child wants to love others as they were loved in this new way.”
Dad shakes his head. “Holy cow, that explains a lot of why I spent two years in therapy. I didn’t really know anything about emotions until I met your mom.” Mom joins hands with Dad. “I think the therapist filled the mom and dad receptacle, and your mom really helped a lot, too. I didn’t realize it but I hardly ever feel down deep alone fear, the death type you mentioned.”
She goes for a group hug with tears of joy sparkling on everyone’s checks and says, “Did you guys publish this theory?”
Love Infusing Fear – Therapy (LIFT) has changed the lives of thousands of children. (Started 2019)
Copyright © 2019 Child and Adolescent Clinic- PC - All Rights Reserved.
Trademark 2018: Love Infusing Fear - Therapy (LIFT). All Rights Reserved