Posted 8/2/22 (Also know, to a number goober like me, as 8=2*2*2)
From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. -Ephesians 4:16
Hi all! Sorry to have been gone so long. It has been a busy couple of weeks, with clinical trials and moving my daughter into her first apartment. Given the workload once I leave for a couple of days and that I have a TV interview later this morning, I need to hop right in. 🙂 But…welcome.
Today I want to discuss something a little weird, a dash Freudian, but still meaningful if you want to understand my mom. The following comes from this article from Psychology Today*:
1. “Secure Attachment Style (Stable Love)
Individuals with a strong, secure attachment style manifest at least a number of the following traits on a regular basis:
- Capable of sending and receiving healthy expressions of intimacy.
- Capable of drawing healthy, appropriate, and reasonable boundaries when required.
- Feel secure being alone as well as with a companion.
- Tend to have a favorable perception of relationships and personal interactions.
- More likely to handle interpersonal difficulties in stride.
2. Anxious-Preoccupied Attachment Style (Unstable Love)
Individuals with a strong anxious-preoccupied attachment style tend to manifest at least several of the following traits on a regular basis:
- Inclined to feel more nervous and less secure about relationships.
- Inclined to have many stressors in relationships, such as neediness, possessiveness, jealousy, control, mood swings, obsessiveness, etc.
- Requires constant stroking of love and validation to feel secure and accepted.
- Dislike being without company, and struggle being by oneself.
- History of emotionally turbulent relationships.
3. Dismissive-Avoidant Attachment Style (Absence of Love, or Highly Reserved, Distant Love)
Individuals with a strong dismissive-avoidant attachment style tend to manifest at least several of the following traits on a regular basis:
- Highly self-directed and self-sufficient. Independent behaviorally and emotionally.
- Avoid true intimacy, which makes one vulnerable and may subject the dismissive-avoidant to emotional obligations.
- Desire freedom physically and emotionally.
- Other priorities in life often supersede interpersonal relationship.
- May have commitment issues.
4. Fearful-Avoidant Attachment Style (Fearful and/or Painful Love)
Individuals with a strong fearful-avoidant attachment style tend to manifest at least several of the following traits on a regular basis:
- Often associated with highly challenging life experiences, such as grief, abandonment, and/or abuse.
- Desire, but simultaneously resist, intimacy. Much inner conflict.
- Struggle with having confidence in and relying on others.
- Fear annihilation, physically and/or emotionally, in loving, intimate situations.
- Analogous to the anxious-preoccupied style; inclined to feel more nervous and less secure about relationships.
- Analogous to the dismissive-avoidant style; may have commitment issues.
Most people have various degrees of the four attachment styles, which may evolve over time.
Similar to imprinting, we may internalize from a young age the dominant form of parental attachment style in our lives. This psychological and social conditioning can then become our subconscious blueprint for mate attraction and selection.
Imprinting and attachment theory may explain, at least in part, why some people tend to attract (and often marry) partners who possess certain attributes of one or both of their parents. Since no parent is perfect, one’s imprinting and formative attachment style are often a combination of desirable as well as challenging traits.
Can negative and challenging imprinting and attachment be transformed, so that one begins to attract and enable healthier relationships? It is definitely possible. Self-awareness, a strong willingness to learn and grow, and the courage to seek professional help when needed are some of the most important keys to success. For those who are able to break the chain of negative imprinting and attachment, a healthy, secure, and truly loving relationship can become a lasting possibility. “
Disclaimer: I don’t always buy into all that the field of Psychology says, but they do get truthy often, even if their worldview is different than mine. Same could be said with many things…
So, do we marry someone like our parents? I would say that we “eat the meat and spit out the bones” in this mate selection theory, more often than not. I mean, we side toward the things we liked about our parents and, perhaps, repel from what we didn’t. I don’t see anything as pre-determined in this aspect of life. Some rebel and hate good parents and try to be exactly the opposite, but they mellow as time goes on. Others are a carbon copy and seek out carbon copies. Yet others are somewhere in between. Isn’t this a perfect start for an election day? I covered all bases. 🙂
Why do I bring this up? Yesterday I moved child 2 into her own apartment. She graduated a couple of months ago and has a really cool job at the Wonders of Wildlife Museum and, I am sure, if she puts her mind to it, she could be the boss of the place in a few years. She is that bright. She has a great roommate lined up to defray expenses and for friendship. She has a plan and will kill it, I have zero doubt. But yesterday was moving day.
What does moving day have to do with the above topic or dementia? 2 Things, the second of which is the focus of today’s piece.
- More of a sad side note: I will forever be haunted by the many Moving Day memories of folks dropping their loved one with dementia off at the nursing home. Often they think (or are given the pretext) that their loved ones will be back later that day or the next day when, in reality, they may never see them again before they are gone. This leaves a bottomless pit in my stomach. I understand, friends I do…but it is tragic.
- The second and main point here, probably for my own heart, is Tetris. For those with no video game background, here is the game Tetris, although there are much more new/modern versions. This game is simple enough. It involved rotating shapes as they fall until they best fit in their little stacks on the bottom of the page. If you flub up, you end up with gaps. These gaps will eventually stack up as the blocks fall faster and faster, and you lose if they reach the top. It gets very stressful, not unlike this video classic from Lucy:
OK, technically my mom very likely has never set eyes on Tetris, but me and my bride moved…changed addresses…. at least a dozen times, typically with a U-Haul or a fleet of pickups, even before we had kids. The grass, apparently, was always greener somewhere. Nearly every single time my mom would be there lifting boxes and, more importantly. stacking boxes correctly. I was sloppy, but mom was not. If I could express to mom right now just how sorry I was about getting cranky every time she moved a box I just carried down 26 flights of stairs barefooted and in the winter (OK, I added that last part for affect), I would apologize 100 times…but that ship has sailed. Every ship’s chance to apologize has sailed.
Enter my wife, some 34ish years ago. She has many of the characteristics I love about mom. She is an uber-Tetris master, video game, moving boxes, and even life wise. God knew me, being my Creator and Designer, and directed my and Suz’ paths such that things are where they are today….and I am eternally thankful.
So yesterday I felt like a Tetris piece or two was turned wrong and the blocks were stacking up during the move (figuratively and emotionally), but I remembered that my uber-block-rotator was right by my side even when my original one wasn’t able to be. There were times that I was sad, though… Quite an emotional day, moving my youngest girl out to an apartment. 🙂 We all need someone who can stack the blocks with and for us when we need it.
My stepdad celebrated his birthday since our last visit and mom celebrates her 78th next week. Mom is still holding her own. Her Oxygen issue seems to temporarily not be a problem, which brings me great joy. She is more and more slowly these days, but is still eating. I pray that something else takes her other than stopping eating, but I acknowledge that that could be how this Tetris game ends. I pray the cord just unplugs instead…but until that day we keep hanging out, holding hands, listening to Alan Jackson sing the old hymns and enjoy the time. Every day is a gift.
I am doing an interview today with the Springfield News Leader regarding nutrition, processed foods, and dementia. I will share the details when it is published. 🙂
Have a great day, friends!