Complex PTSD typically includes an attachment disorder, which arises from the childhood experience of not having at least one caretaker safe enough to go to for comfort or help.When the developing child lacks a supportive parental refuge, she never learns that interrelating can soothe and metabolize confusions, conflicts and hurts. She also never learns that real intimacy grows out of sharing all of one’s experience – the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the loving and the mad. To the degree we are vulnerable and authentic in relationship, to that degree do we experience the incomparable healing power of intimacy.
However, to the degree that our caretakers attack, shame or abandon us for showing vulnerability, to that degree do we later avoid the authentic self-expression fundamental to intimacy. Inclinations to verbalize feelings, ask for help or reveal one’s struggles are short-circuited by subliminal memories of being scorned or attacked for daring to seek our parents’ support. Even worse, retaliation fantasies can plague us for hours and days on the occasions we do show our vulnerabilities.
— pete walker, “shrinking the outer critic in complex ptsd”