From Me. the Anxious-Avoidant.:
Attachment theory is brutal. Taking a step back and looking at my life is hard work. Admitting that I was never able to count on my parents, that I avoided counting on anyone, trying to make myself count on people, and then putting myself out there to potentially be rejected, if only through the failure of someone to do what I’m counting on them to do. It’s just rough.
But to be clear, I do not accept avoidance over intimacy as an acceptable behavior. And it will not continue.
And that something for me is to get past these wounds. People can let you down. Understanding that when we’re let down, it isn’t a rejection is new for me. If I ask someone to just listen to something and they can’t actually let me get through that, then that’s not them rejecting me, it’s them not giving me what I need. If I ask someone to help with a project and they can’t make it, that isn’t a rejection of me, they just had other priorities (some legitimate).
Getting past all of this requires putting myself out there and taking baby steps. Can you listen? Can you help with a small thing? Can you bring me something? Not really manufacturing a need, but also not jumping in fully. And each time, it’s a win-win. I either get the support or I get to unpack another abrasion and find that each is not about me and that I’m capable of just continuing my journey. Continuing to become more open and resolute. Slashing away those roots that have been constricting my ability to have meaningful interactions.
I’m not broken because I have particular needs from a relationship, but I do need to pay attention to the patterns that are attractive to me so that I can avoid unhealthy relationships in favor of healthier ones.
Yes, having an anxious attachment style does make me more vulnerable to unhealthy, toxic relationships, especially with avoidant partners.
A relationship between an anxious partner and an avoidant partner looks like a push-and-pull contest, like a perpetual chase that ends in emotional stress and heartbreak.
As the anxious partner pushes to have their needs for emotional connection and intimacy met, the avoidant partner, accustomed to denying their own emotional needs, pulls away.
By withdrawing, the avoidant partner creates an incentive for the anxious to try harder — and so they reinforce one another’s patterns.
Part of accepting my anxious attachment style is working on myself to change certain behaviors which have led me towards relationships like that in the past.