Viral post shows why early attachment is so important.

A few weeks ago, a Facebook post written by a new mother, Dayna Mager, went viral. I’m reposting it not only because I found it so touching, but also because the message it conveys is so important.

A baby will NOT become spoiled if you what this mother did. In fact, quite the opposite. A child who is mirrored this way will grow up self-confident and able to empathize with others without losing themselves in the process. Infants abandoned in orphanages and never interacted with (even though all their physical needs are met) will develop severe attachment disorders which could lead to complex PTSD or worse, personality disorders like Narcissistic or Antisocial Personality Disorder. It’s why so many of the children adopted from places like Russia, Africa, and Eastern Europe have had so many problems adjusting to their new families or developing healthy attachments to anyone else. It may be too late for some of them, because the “critical period” during infancy when they should have been closely bonded with their mothers or other caregivers was missed.

The part I have bolded in the post shattered me as I read it.

Here is Dayna’s post and the accompanying photo.

dayna_mager_photo

This was from several weeks back, yes, I climbed in the crib in hopes to soothe my screaming, teething, blushed faced, and tear soaked little girl. My husband came home to this, and I am re-posting because this captures the essence of my heart, and my “why…” There I was in the heat of this exhausting, beautiful thing we call parenthood, and I remembered a promise I made to her.

One of the first times Matt and I left Luella, was to a worship concert. At that conference, a missionary shared his story, and it shook me to the core. A moment that would forever be burned in my fragile, hormone raging, new mommy heart that had already become 100xs more fragile after meeting her.

That missionary was in an orphanage in Uganda, and he has been in many before, but this one was different. He walked into a nursery with over 100 filled cribs with babes. He listened in amazement and wonder as the only sound he could hear was silence. A sound that is beyond rare in ANY nursery, let alone a nursery where over 100 new babes laid. He turned to his host and asked her why the nursery was silent. Then , her response to him is something I will never, ever forget. EVER. This was my “why” moment.

She looked at him and said, “After about a week of them being here, and crying out for countless hours, they eventually stop when they realize no one is coming for them…”

…They stop crying when they realize no one is coming for them. Not in 10 minutes, not in 4 hours, and maybe, perhaps, not ever…

Broke.

I broke. I literally could have picked up pieces of my heart scattered about the auditorium floor. But instead, it stirred in me a longing, a hunger.. A promise in my spirit.

We came home, and that night as Luella rested her tiny little 10lb body against mine and we rocked, I made a promise to her. A promise that I would always come to her.

Always.

At 2:00am when pitiful desperate squeals come through a baby monitor, I will come to her.

Her first hurt, her first heartbreak, we will come to her. We will be there to hold her, to let her feel, to make decisions on her own, and we will be there. We will show her through our tears and frustrations at times, that it is okay to cry, and it’s ok to feel. That we will always be a safe place, and we will always come to her.

Related to this, here is a post I wrote a few months ago about a very interesting experiment, The Still Face Experiment, which graphically shows the devastating effect lack of mirroring can have on young children.
https://luckyottershaven.com/2015/11/23/the-still-face-experiment/

I’d guess that most of us who suffer from C-PTSD, BPD or other trauma/attachment based disorders had mothers who believed it was best to let a baby “cry it out.” Back in the 1950s and 1960s, letting a baby cry it out in their own room was the fashion.

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About luckyotter

Recovering from BPD and C-PTSD due to narcissistic abuse from childhood. Married to a sociopath for 20 years. Proud INFJ, Enneagram type 4w5. Animal lover, music lover, cat mom, unapologetic geek, fan of the absurd, progressive Catholic, mom to 2, mental illness stigma activist, anti-Trumper. #RESISTANCE
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23 Responses to Viral post shows why early attachment is so important.

  1. I wish I had a dollar for every time friends, relatives, and even my doctor advised me to let my babies cry it out. It just never felt right to me. I can’t imagine that it feels right to any mother, but many of them end up doing it anyway because they have been told so many times that that was the best way to handle the situation — which I suppose is true if your only goal is to get the baby to stop crying, and you don’t care how you accomplish it, or how much damage it causes in the long run.

    Liked by 2 people

    • luckyotter says:

      My son was a huge cryer as a baby. After almost going crazy with frustration, I found what worked best for him was a battery operated baby swing. He always went right to sleep, the trick was to get him to bed without waking him up! Some parents say putting the baby in the car and driving will settle them down. They like the motion or noise of the car engine.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. This is an amazing article. So many mother’s have been told that it’s not good to hold your baby everytime he or she cries. It’s just the opposite. What a myth. When a baby cries you pick the baby up and nuture the baby till it falls asleep.

    It is so sad when a baby is neglected and left without the nuturing needed for emotionally development.

    Another myth: I overheard a bunch of women where I work in the Cosmetics department talking about a co-worker. They said she looked so beautiful that she is definitely having a boy, because girls drain the mother’s beauty hormones. I cut into there conversations and debates them to tell them that this is silly and ridiculous myth. Sadly, I was trying to convince a college educated executives that they are pulling their knowledge out of a hat.

    I have to say to conclude my co-worker have birth to a baby beautiful girl….and of course I said, “I told you’ll your full of malarkey.” Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The part that is hard for me to take is that the baby gives up, loses hope, and therefore stops crying. It kind of lets us know what happened to us and makes a statement of, “So, that explains it.” I knew of a mother who needed so much attention herself that she would want to harm the baby if the father showed it any attention. That poor baby. That baby was me. I was told this story much later in life, except that it was told in reverse, that if she showed the baby any attention that would cause the father to do the harming. I don’t think so. That was projection. I never had kids, and wasn’t ready to until completing 25 years of therapy but by that time I was too old. I have a cat, she is my baby, and I do my best to shower her with attention. I want to make a difference even if it’s in an animals life.

    For some reason I couldn’t leave a comment under the video Still Face Experiment. I want to say, If it hasn’t, a copy of that video needs to go out to all new mothers maybe upon discharge from the hospital. It could change the world in a generations time.

    Liked by 2 people

    • luckyotter says:

      Your mother sounds like she was one step away from Munchausen’s by proxy. You were lucky.
      I understand feeling like your cat is your baby. My cats are my babies too. Pets are like children–without all the heartaches and work though.

      WHile I can’t say I’m one of those people who regrets having children, I can certainly understand why some people want to remain child free. And I don’t think everyone is cut out to be a parent either (I’m not referring to you here, and I’m sorry you never had kids of your own–if you have any regrets over it). I think people who are ill equipped for parenting or have them for selfish reasons (someone to take care of me in my old age, someone who looks like me, I want a doll I can play dress up with, etc.) is being a lot more selfish than someone who just has other priorities in their lives. Better to not have kids than to wind up neglecting or abusing them because you never really wanted them. Sometimes I almost think there should be a test you have to pass, but of course that wouldn’t work because it would interfere with our human rights.
      I agree with you, I think that video should be shown to all new parents.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Munchausens by Proxy did happen unfortunately and continued on and I’m thinking in other members of my family’s life as well. But, I think it’s very interesting that you picked up on that as a very real possibility. You saw the connection.

    It’s ok that I didn’t have kids but what I see in me now is a wanting to, a yearning to be nurturing to others and I have nowhere to put it.

    I was told once by someone that my remaining childless was being selfish of me, but, it wasn’t. It was probably more self-less. Thanks:)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Leslie says:

    *sigh* so sad

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have to admit, as a parent this is something I struggle with, especially at night. During the day, I will unquestioningly go to E if she is crying and try to soothe her. If it becomes clear that she needs to be left alone, I will do that.

    But at night, I am so bone tired that when I hear her over the monitor (especially true if I’m up more than once in the night) I sometimes have no more to give. Just pulling myself out of bed is an insurmountable task and I find I just cannot do it. And I feel so guilty about that, because part of me want to go to my baby but I know I have nothing left to give her.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Lucky. I left a message in your Facebook inbox. It has another song youtube in it.

    This song is about our Homeless Veteran Women who live on the streets with PTSD.

    I wrote it reflecting a female Vietnam veteran who served in the Medics in the Navy. She told me she lived on the streets in LA, and that she was raped and violently beaten.

    She told me the statistics for homeless in Tent City African American women are homeless at a higher rate and I learned at my National Organization for Women PAC meeting that South Jersey social services neglects African American women and most often picks up white homeless women when they have shelter available. I also was told that at Tent City in LA the police sweep away the few personal belongings of these women and the often brutally take them off and incarcerate them often late at night.

    These are the stories I heard.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. sunkist123 says:

    Lauren: I’d really like to reblog this, but I don’t know how… does reblogging only work on WordPress sites? mine is on Weebly…

    Liked by 1 person

    • luckyotter says:

      There wouldn’t be a reblog button to use like there would be on WordPress, but you can still reblog it by quoting from the post (or even including the first few paragraphs into a post on yours) and then providing a link to the rest of the article on this blog. Thank you for your interest! I hope that helps.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. sunkist123 says:

    Thanks Lauren!!

    Like

  10. sunkist123 says:

    Unfortunately, by the time I got to this, the FB post had vanished; so I hope you don’t mind me including link to your post here:
    http://mycommentary.weebly.com/younger-generation-doin-it-right.html

    Liked by 1 person

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