Rules that need to be broken would be the title I would call this list. Judy shared Bradshaw's list of dysfunctional families. When I married and raised my children, I functioned as a multiple with 3 main parts and 2 back ground parts. The structure was how I functioned from about 12-15 years old. I didn't know the fancy names. In spite of my Dad having his Masters in Education Psychology, all things psychological such as counseling were frowned upon. When I finally did get counseling, I was asked how I chose to raise our family, "Anything my mother did, I did the opposite." I suspect my children would do well to follow the same rule. Please read Judy's post for her perspective. I am sharing my thoughts on each of the topics.
Original reference shared by roots2blossom.....I love a community of bloggers that share information in the hopes of learning more and helping each other. Go team.
Control - I needed to control things but I relinquished all control as much as possible because I was terrified of control. Yea, it made about this much sense. I watched as a child the way an adult would manipulate or even torture another person to control their actions. I didn't just have a dysfunctional family but a warped and twisted neighborhood. Control was paramount, and yes they would be willing to kill you to maintain it. My mother's controlling ways seemed well with in the norm compared to what had I seen. It wasn't until I was an adult that I understood how she used emotions to manipulate others and situations. I had to learn that I could safely control things like allowing myself to go to the bathroom when I needed to go or eat when I felt hungry. I think one of the powerful things I am learning in karate is how much control I can have over my own body. I know that much of life is not under my control but I can control myself most of the time....Insomnia is still a battle to overcome. Gives me an ongoing goal.
Perfectionism - My counselor was astounded at the extreme distress I would experience from the slightest error. I would get so wound up and worried that the world would end if I made a mistake on anything. Flylady.org was the first one to change my perspective. She wrote about the illness of perfectionism. Irony is she is a bit of a perfectionist herself, but that just means she is a work in progress. I bought a Sodoku book and practiced making mistakes without feeling anxiety. I don't do them any more because they served their purpose. I make mistakes, typos, misunderstandings, forgetting, the list is a length one. I am human. I am supposed to make mistakes. I like at the school where I am at that they are teaching students FAIL First Attempt In Learning. I am allowed to make mistakes. I don't need to blame anyone or anything else. I also rejected the mantra I heard often, "What can you do so you never make that mistake again?" I make the same mistakes over and over and over....I will thrive making mistakes.
Blame - Oh boy is this one ever a big. I started working at take responsibility for my actions from a young age. I was also punished by my mother for the things she did. I took the blame for everything my younger brother and sister did because I was watching them and I was blamed for anything that went wrong. Until I married, I was the designated target for blaming. I accepted that role. However, when married I alternated between taking all the blame and blaming everything on my husband. I was not consistent. Counseling did a lot to help me sort out how to take responsibility for the things I did and allowing others to take responsibility for what they do. I don't need to cushion others from their mistakes. I don't need to take the blame for someone else's screw up. My poor nasty boss was a guinea pig for many of my counseling homework assignments on how not to take responsibility for someone else's problem. I am still working on not shouldering blame that is not mine. I am fairly good at admitting when I am wrong. Progress comes slowly when I am totally changing my entire way of functioning.
Denial of the Five Freedoms*—Each freedom has to do
with a basic human power—the power to perceive; the power to think and
interpret; to feel; to want and choose; and the power to imagine. Wowser....I was stunned in counseling to find out that these basic freedoms were even available. My counselor spent weeks having me write out my basic rights and responsibilities. Powerful homework assignment. I was raised with a status of less than a 3rd class citizen. The grocery clerk was treated with more respect than I was. I was denied basic things like food when there was food rotting in the refrigerator. Use of the bathroom when I needed to go for no other reason that my mother had the power to tell me know. Things like feeling, choice, opinion, perception were all denied or punished. I mirrored what my mother wanted or she would make my life miserable. She was a pussy cat compared to what the neighbor did to me.
The No-Talk Rule— this was a total screw up. I was expected to talk but by damn I better say exactly what they wanted me to say. The first year of counseling was pure agony as I attempted to share my story. I would get physically ill just trying to say some of the things I remembered. I was terrified that my family would be murdered if I talked. I still feel uneasy but so far we are all healthy.
Don’t Make Mistakes—Yea this was lethal....literally. Make a mistake at the wrong moment and being backhanded was the least of my worries. At least with hitting it was over quickly. Also see above perfectionism.
Unreliability— Sadly, I am also unreliable. If you are not the same person from day to day, yea major unreliability issues all over the place. I still struggle majorly with trust issues. This piece is something I hope my children can improve on. I hope they are more reliable to their spouses and children than I was for them. I am working at becoming a reliable person and I am working at learning to rely on others.