No one had a perfect childhood and we all have, to one degree or another, “wounds” in the form of our thinking and feeling that happened due to our early experiences. These “wounds” become thought patterns that then become core beliefs. Childhood neglect, or even abuse, can damage the way you see the world. One of the most important aspects of how successful our adult relationships are has to do with how safe we felt growing up.
If you experienced a predictable and trusting world as a child, you created beliefs and developed behavior that is healthy and spontaneous. You learned to experience intimacy. But, if you didn’t feel safe or couldn’t trust your caregivers or your environment when you were growing up, you may have developed beliefs that are now generating compulsive or addictive behaviors, and preventing intimate connections.
If you look around you and see others who seem to be naturally or effortlessly experiencing healthy intimate relationships and you are not, you can safely assume they had the basis for it in a safe and predictable childhood, or they have worked through their issues as adults. You too can experience desired intimacy by changing any inhibiting beliefs, the “conditioned chemistry,” that was created as a part of your childhood.
I rarely meet an individual who is not capable of making the changes they desire. It is a matter of having the understanding and the tools, and then engaging in the process. Most of us can benefit from professional guidance and support during a significant change process, but on your own or with help, intimacy in relationships is attainable.