Happy Wednesday my fellow Fledglings.
Do any of you know the best place to find cloth masks? It seems that in two days the county I live in will require anyone that is out of their homes to wear face masks. When I checked on Amazon, those skull cloth ones aren’t available for delivery until June. Maybe they’ll be deemed “essential” in the near future.
I was listening to some podcasts on The Mission Daily last week about Fantasy Bonds. Chad Grills talks about the book, The Fantasy Bond: Structure of Psychological Defenses. He put this book down two years ago, then picked it back recently. After listening to this podcast, I’m adding this to my other long list of books I’d like to eventually read.
Chad Grills explains that basically everyone born into the world grows up with some sort of trauma. Trauma defined from a therapeutic perspective is anything less than nurturing. In order to cope with this trauma, many people end up creating fantasy bonds.
“These fantasy bonds are idealized relationships or fantasies that we slip into and place onto our relationships, especially with parental figures, to mask the reality of how they might feel about us.” Chad illustrates.
Many of us use similar words, however the meaning behind these words may not always align. Take the word “love” for instance.
Chad points out that we put on an illusion of armor that is almost impossible to escape. “It’s often this veil that goes over reality, where we over idealize everyone outside of ourselves and kind of censor ourselves in the process….[this is] based off of an emotional hunger where it’s almost impossible to have our emotional needs met by someone who has been traumatized themselves.”
Instead of connection, what we’re left with is isolation and a retreat into ourselves. We get into a feedback loop of constant projection onto everyone and everything “to protect ourselves from the horror, that as children, we might not have been accepted. We might have been rejected. We might have been forced to hide ourselves from the world to keep ourselves alive.”
Eventually, the reality of a fantasy bond becomes shattered and we’re forced to face the reality.
Yesterday, via Zoom (love that we now do these), my therapist sent me an assignment to work on about identifying my attachment style. This will help bring awareness as to why I choose the relationships I do, the attachment styles of people I’m attracted to, and to better understand my love addiction and avoidant patterns.
In other words, as more than one therapist ended up telling me when I was going through divorce, “Phoenix, you’re living in a fantasy. This is not what she wants, this is an illusion you are creating.”
What’s really awesome is I don’t feel the bodily, physical sensations that used to overwhelm me when I heard that truth.
To continue to Rise from the Ashes, it’s important that I dissect where my fantasy bonds originate, how I attach to another and how I use fantasy to stay attached. My hope is that I can shatter my fantasies, open my eyes to living in the present, and eventually one day have a healthy relationship with another.
My goal is to answer, what does a secure attachment pattern look like?
The Mission for Today (Chad Grills):
Take out a piece of paper and fold it in half. On the left side, write down the fantasy bond. On the right side, write down the reality.
The next challenge is to pick one of those relationships. On the left side, list the characteristics of this relationship you think are there and on the right side, put some open-ended questions or challenges to this fantasy.
Then talk to someone else who’s outside of the relationship and discuss this with them. Get an outside perspective to see the things you may still be missing.
Fantasy Bond Links
The Fantasy Bond Defined
with Dr. Robert Firestone and Tamsen Firestone
- The Fantasy Bond: Structure of Psychological Defenses, by Robert Firestone
- Identifying Your Fantasy Bonds
- The Psychology of Realness
- A Guide to the Fantasy Bond
- Daring to Love
- True Love or Fantasy Bond
Attachment Theory Links
Attachment Theory: How Childhood Affects Life
Attachment Theory – How Your Childhood Affects Your Love Style
I like how this video uses movie examples to explain attachment theory. It’s not only referring to attachment in love/romatic relationships, but in all relationships.
“The anxious type is projecting an idealized image onto the object of their affection. Their low self image can blind them to the flaws others, making them willing to change anything just to be close to that person. Unfortunately the anxious type makes them suspect that the perfect object of their desire could never really want to be with them. Not for long anyway. So even though they may be in a relationship with that person, they tend to cling tightly. Eventually, all that clinging turns to suspicion and they drive people away confirming what they’ve suspected all along. ”
(I think I’ll find out that this is me when I take the test – link below)
- How Your Attachment Style Impacts Your Relationship (Ok, this was cool and weird all at once. What you learn on Google. This article was written by Lisa Firestone, who explains that securely attached couples don’t engage in what her “father” describes as a fantasy bond. The first link I wrote down was Robert Firestone’s book, followed by this link being the second link I added to this blog (the first link on attachment theory). Father talks about fantasy bonds and daughter is talking about attachment theory. See. Weird and cool!)
- Attachment Theory – an interesting different look at attachment theory (However I agree with the critics on how these experiments were performed. They were a bit too cruel.)
- Can Attachment Theory Explain All Our Relationships?
- Attachment Theory by Mark Manson
Attachment Style Tests
- Attachment Style Quiz – Science of the People
- Relationship Attachment Style Test – Psychology Today (very detailed, however you’ll need to purchase the full results)
- Attachment Styles Test – Dr. Dianne Poole Heller (I liked this one the best)