top of page
  • Writer's pictureMaddelynn Hatter


Updated: Jan 4

"How do you think not having your dad in your life has affected you?" Asked my therapist.

"Hmmm, I'm not sure," I said.

I had never thought about that question. "I have never felt safe, protected, or supported. I crave the attention of men that lead me into abusive situations. I have no idea what real love looks like." I said, "But I'm not sure it would have been any different if my dad had been around and stayed in my life. He didn't make me feel safe when he was there."

"How would your life have been like if you had a healthy, supportive, loving father who protected you?"

"I wouldn't be here," I said. "I'm not sure what good it will do to look at hypotheticals and things that aren't going to happen. I know I got daddy issues."

"How many abusers have you had, Maddelynn?"

I started to count in my head.

My dad, five different boys, my stepfather, my ex-husbands, many lovers, strangers...

"By the time I was a teen, I had eight abusers and several bullies. Then many in adulthood."

"Men have not protected you and have hurt you. I'm so sorry you went through this." My therapist paused to say.

"I pick bad abusive, emotionally unavailable men who like to use me sexually," I replied and shrugged my shoulders.

"When was the last time you've been with someone like that?"

"Well, I've been single for 7 years but have been dating and having casual sex off and on."

"So, you've been casually dating since you left your ex-boyfriend?"

"It's been an up and down, in and out experience for me."

"Have you ever heard of attachment theory?"

"A little bit," I answered.

"Attachment theory is how we relate to people in our relationships based on our childhood upbringing and connection to caregivers and family."

She continued. "Securely attached people most likely grew up in a home that was very loving, warm, safe, and open in affection and communication. They tend to grow up, have healthy relationships, or at least feel secure in finding a partner."

"People with insecure attachment styles generally lacked consistency, reliability, support, and safety during childhood and with family. They usually end up with anxiety and insecurity in relationships. These people can be preoccupied with worries, clingy, and need validation and reassurance. They tend to attach to familiar patterns of inconsistent, unsafe, and emotionally unreliable relationships. Insecure attachment people tend to struggle with codependent patterns and behaviors. These people end up chasing after what I refer to, as the bad boys. "

"Hmmm, I can relate to that one. I definitely chase the bad boys." I laughed.

My therapist continued, "The bad boys are more likely to be avoidant attachment style. When they were young, they may have had strict and emotionally distant parents, or emotional expression was not tolerated. Another scenario is if one of the parents were emotionally overwhelmed and the child's needs or emotions were not a priority. They may have been raised to be independent and self-reliant. These people don't tolerate emotional or physical intimacy well and may be unable to build healthy relationships. They can be seen as the lone wolf."

"Wow, that also kind of sounds like me," I replied.

"Then there is disorganized attachment style." My therapist stated. "Which combines the two anxious and avoidant styles. People with a disorganized attachment style have a strong desire for intimate connections but also put up walls to protect themselves from getting hurt in relationships. Those with disorganized attachment can be unpredictable and volatile in relationships, be full of fear, mistrust, and inner conflict."

"The disorganized, attached person usually has an abusive and traumatic childhood and past. Abuse or trauma can come from being physically, emotionally, verbally, or sexually abused by a caregiver. Or even from witnessing a caregiver harm others, like another parent or older sibling. It's unfortunate to grow up afraid of the same person you seek love and care from. " She added.

"After time, the child learns that someone who loves them can also deeply hurt or ignore their needs. It creates this inner turmoil that will begin to affect and manifest that same view into their close relationships as adults."

I began to feel my stomach turn inside out, and I stared at my therapist for a few seconds.

"Well damn," I said.

"Which one do you think you are?" She asked.

"I'm pretty sure I'm disorganized," I stated. "Wait until I tell you about my mom."

"We will have to address the mother's wound in our next session." My therapist said, ending the session.

Good Reading Resources:

9 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page