November 27, 2018
One difficult you may have experienced is that certain feelings — your longing for your ex in particular — can unexpectedly overwhelm you. It is easier to come to terms with these cases if we come to a better understanding why we feel overwhelmed.
Your longing for your ex is linked to the longing you felt as a small child for your mother. Both are governed by the same biological processes in your body and in your brain.
Feeling this longing as a grown up can bring you back to this visceral, childhood feeling. Not only that, but you may experience this feeling as the child would have.
Young children are known to have a very limited concept of time and are routinely overwhelmed by their emotions.
You too may become overwhelmed by your longing for your ex-partner and, in that moment, may lose any concept of time you may have had.
Howard Halpern from “How to break your addiction to a person” calls this longing “Attachment Hunger” and the childhood emotional state “Infant Time.” Here’s an excerpt from his book:
Since attachment hunger is an early childhood memory, when it is dominant it places you, in effect, on Infant Time, and Infant Time is a very different dimension from adult time.
These distortions in time can make you more aware of the early childhood origins of Attachment Hunger than almost any other experience.
But the paradox is that once Attachment Hunger has taken hold, you do not know that you are distorting! You need to get at least one foot on solid ground outside the Attachment Hunger state to see time in more mature perspective, and to recognize how you are misshaping it.
Like Halpern suggests, we need one foot on solid ground to see what’s going on. This is where awareness and mindfulness can help us out.