How’s your family of origin responding to the current pandemic?
Is everyone coming together by taking care of the elders, those that are alone and making sure all members of the family are connecting with each other?
Or is there a lack of connection and every person is on their own?
Some families come together in a crisis and support each other by keeping the lines of communication open and flowing and others repeat unhealthy patterns that might show up as:
- Silos; each person stands alone and is responsible for themselves.
- No communication between members based on hurt feelings of the past.
- Blaming, fighting and arguing as a way of communication.
- Communication triangles – getting others to speak for them.
- One person is in control, doesn’t listen to other family members but tells others what to do.
- Talking about family members behind their back.
- Keeping secrets.
- Lack of empathy or concern for others; disconnected from their own feelings too.
The reasons these family dynamics get set up this way in the past is complex, however, to put it simply for this post…how the family responds to stressors and traumas sets a foundation for how the group behaves at the time and moving into the future. It is learned.
“Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” Winston Churchill
So what to do if your family isn’t responding in a way that feels caring and nurturing?
- Bring awareness to how the current situation feels like the past. How is your family showing up, or not, reminding you of your past with them.
- Consider your role in your family in the past; the fixer/caretaker, the one that would leave if things were difficult, the rebel, the loud one, the quiet one, the responsible one, rescuer, persecutor, angry one, fighter, or ____________.
- Go within and ask if you need to shift this role by backing off or stepping up.
Even if your family is gone or people have passed away, you’re still part of the family puzzle. How you’re showing up for yourself, or not right now goes back to patterns that were laid down years ago.
Here’s the good news, you can heal the past in the present by bringing awareness to your family of origin dynamic, to your family role and then making healthy choices for yourself present day. Not always easy as these younger parts can show up by talking you out of it or tell you that change is scary and you might risk relationships. This is where psychotherapy can help guide you to hear, honor and bring curiosity and compassion to the parts that keep repeating patterns.
For the last 20 years, I’ve welcomed and encouraged all of my client’s inner parts (you have them too) in the therapy room, offering them a voice and hope and healing. I’m currently honing this skill even further by taking a training in inner parts work.
Contact me HERE if you’re ready to get to know yourself in a deeper way and move into a freer expression of who you really are; a shining Soul!