As little ones we are designed to have a cry that PULLS our caregivers to us!
It is called the “attachment cry” and was identified by researcher Jaak Panksepp as linked to the affective system of panic. The first time I heard this, I was fascinated, panic is actually the cry and reaching for someone!!
As little ones, when our caregivers reliably and lovingly respond, over time we internalize – I’m not alone, someone will be there for me, I am worthy of love and care and protection.
But when our attachment cry is met with anger, non-responsiveness, or unpredictable patterns of sometimes care, sometimes anger, and sometimes nothing – our nervous system cannot feel secure.
We conclude – I am alone, I am unsafe in the world, and I have no one I can rely on because something is intrinsically wrong with me.
For, out of a need to survive, we as little ones figure out some way to adapt – to make it more likely that our basic needs will be met. We have no power to change our caregivers – our only power is to conclude we are the problem that needs to be changed – and learn to cry less, cry louder, act out, be pleasing – whatever it takes!!
The work with the little self through Attachment Repair is my favorite – and perhaps the most profound – part of the EMDR Readiness Course!
Thank you so much to Ashley Vincent Wildlife Photography for permission to share this amazing photo!!