One of my favourite books (recently) is Getting the love you want, from Harville Hendrix.
Hendrix is well known for his relationship and marriage counselling practice.
In this book he write about how childhood experiences are played out it relationships.
A real gem for those who wish to understand how our upbringing impact our adult relating. Childhood, especially the first 7 years are the most formative years in our lives. Every little impulse play a key role, has a significant impact on our self-image, the way we view ourselves. Our self-belief, self-worth, deservingness, confidence, the level of trust, feeling safe in live / in our bodies, the capacity of giving and receiving love…all based upon those years.
Here is a little piece of his book, related to safety.
Feeling safety is ESSENTIAL in expressing yourself, standing for yourself, enjoying being alive, enjoying being in this body, in relating. The foundation of trust.
“We all started out life whole and vital, eager for life’s adventures, but we all had a perilous pilgrimage through childhood.
In fact, some wounding took place in the first few months of our lives. Think for a moment about the ceaseless demands of an infant. When an infant wakes up in the morning, it cries to be fed. Then its diapers are wet, and it cries to be changed. The baby wants to be held, a physical craving as powerful as its need for food. Then the baby is hungry again and once more cries to be fed. The baby cries out in anguish.
It signals distress the only way it knows how – with an undifferentiated cry. If its caretakers are perceptive enough, the infant is fed, changed, held or rocked, and experiences momentary satisfaction. But if the caretakers can’t figure out what is wrong, or if they withhold their attentions for fear of spoiling the baby, the child experiences a primitive anxiety: the world is not a safe place since it has no way of taking care of itself and no sense of delayed gratification, it believes that getting the outside world to respond instantly to its needs is truly a matter of life and death.
Although you and I have no recollection of these first few months of life, part of our brain is still trapped in an infantile perspective.
When our partners are hostile or merely unhelpful, a silent alarm is triggered deep in our brains that fills us with the fear of death this automatic alarm system plays a key role in marriage.” – Harville Hendrix