Do You Get Arrested For Running On A Football Field Recreating Family Dynamics in Adulthood

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Recreating Family Dynamics in Adulthood

What a person experiences in childhood, he carries with him into adulthood and often subconsciously recreates or re-enacts those dynamics at school, in the workplace, in clubs and organizations, in his own family, and, if he desires recovery. Twelve-step meetings. Whether these experiences are positive or negative in nature, they are internalized and accepted; And, if the person wants to change any feelings, emotions, behaviors and reactions based on them, he needs to identify, understand, address, process and overcome them. It is unlikely that he could do this on his own.

Because parents are not perfect and often do the best they can given their own upbringing, no home of origin can ever be a perfect environment in which a person can be fully prepared for life.

Nevertheless, Anthony Stevens in his book On Jung (Routledge, 1990, p. 97) attempts to depict what a theoretically ideal home might look like. “… maturity proceeds through a sequence of innate archetypal expectations, which the environment either succeeds or fails to meet,” he says. “Foremost among these expectations are that the environment provide warmth and nourishment sufficient for survival; a family with mother, father, and peers; sufficient space for exploration and play; security from enemies and predators; community to provide language, myths, religions, rituals, codes of behavior, stories , values, initiatives and ultimately, a partner; and financial role and/or professional status.”

Adult children growing up with alcoholic, para-alcoholic, dysfunctional, and abusive parents are unable to fight, escape, or even understand their situation, and usually view any shaming, critical, blaming, or harmful behavior as a justified action because of their own inadequacy, inferiority, or simply schemes of unpleasantness. . Forced, without choice, to escape from within and create a trauma-induced, time-arrested inner child, they stop developing, use false or artificial children to replace their real selves, and unwittingly adopt survival characteristics through recycled brains, because they expect the same. It is subordinated to the conditions of the outer world to the inner one.

In the absence of maturity, tools, and brain development, some of these traits developed to survive, tolerate, endure, and adapt to unstable, unsafe, and even dangerous situations include isolation, fear of parental-representative authority figures, and seeking approval. , fearing anger and criticism, accepting addictions and coercion, identifying themselves as victims, overdeveloping their sense of responsibility, always using fear, pitying others instead of loving them wholeheartedly, repressing childhood emotions until numb, fearing abandonment, and consistently reactive. .

When an adult child finally leaves his native home, he is not a blank slate to start over in the world beyond his door. Instead, he takes with him all his experiences, perceptions, feelings, fears, and defenses, and unconsciously anticipates and recreates them as he progresses along his life’s path.

One of his “recreations” involves his subconscious need to reenact one or more of the family roles he assumed during his upbringing.

Becoming a hero, one of them, he intellectually and functionally rises above his pain and transforms himself into what the late recovery expert John Bradshaw called “a man of action against man.” As an overachiever, he can get high grades in school, join extracurricular clubs, captain the football team, and win awards.

According to the textbook Adult Children of Alcoholics (World Service Organization, 2006, p. 98) “The hero child in a dysfunctional family may try to get good grades.” “It’s an honors student who shows the world that his family values ​​education and is stable because of it.”

What it really is, however, is the equivalent of the perfect family portrait in which everyone is suited, smartly dressed and smiling, but it confuses and distracts opinion and hides the madness and chaos behind closed doors.

Other family roles include the mascot—or the child who tries to relieve tension with humor and humor—and the lost child, who feels his environment is not safe and therefore fades into the background, fails to express opinions, and diminishes himself. Little more than shadows dancing on the walls. He retreats inside, fantasizes in his room, escapes his harsh reality through books and movies, and disconnects from his situation. Shrinking and slouching, he wonders if his image will actually be reflected in the mirror if he passes one.

The scapegoat, the fourth type, is the child who relies on blame, anger, responsibility, and shame, whether he had any part in the situation or not.

“Such survival roles lead hard lives and remain fixed in our personalities after we leave our troubled homes…,” according to the textbook Adult Children of Alcoholics (ibid, p. 98). “(Adult children) can look at their families and see dominant roles decades after the children have grown up and left the family.”

For example, the protagonist may take on ever-increasing responsibilities at his job and not even be compensated—or, ironically, believe he deserves to be. Shubhankar can only understand humor as a way to deal with stress and adversity, because he could not find any other tools to do so. A lost child may quietly and humbly do his job at work, hoping for nothing more than his entry-level title and not being known by name by some of his colleagues. And the scapegoat, after taking the hairpin trigger, can immediately take responsibility for anything that goes wrong or is completely lost–so he’s used to this interaction.

During the preparations for a recent surprise birthday party for a woman in my office, for example, this family dynamic was clearly played out. Many set plates, put candles on cakes and wrapped presents, while one employee, whom I recognized as a grown child, wrapped her own presents and asked for various items.

“Do you have any tape?” she asked. “Where are the scissors? Do we have the same ribbon?”

Every time, tension seemed to build inside her.

“Do you have a bow so I can finish wrapping this present for Nadia’s stupid birthday?” she finally screamed.

In disbelief, the others glanced at her and wondered how a pleasant occasion could be overshadowed by such emotional turmoil.

Looking at her, I said quietly, “Mr. Smith, it’s great that you can join us for the party.”

I know she was acting out what her father always did at home and “brought it” to the office. Parties were not pleasant occasions for her. Instead, it was filled with chaos and tension created by her para-alcoholic parents and all she knew, as she replayed the circumstances of her upbringing.

“By working through the steps, the adult child learns that family roles were necessary to approximate protection in an unsafe home,” advises the textbook Adult Children of Alcoholics (ibid, p. 97). “We often feared for our safety and took the stand to disarm our parents.”

Indeed, an adult child’s place of employment represents a microcosm of his native home. Undiscovered, he carries this dynamic with him. Once again powerless and trying to define his role, function and purpose in it, he may see his boss as a parent-representative authority figure, fears him, but tries hard to hide this fact. He can re-enact any number of survival traits and family roles from people-pleasing to overachieving.

The Adult Children of Alcoholics Workplace Laundry List, which includes ten more features than the original Laundry List’s fourteen, details these parenting-reproductive manifestations.

“The Workplace Laundry List is a list of 24 statements that describe many of our thoughts and interactions at work…,” according to the textbook Adult Children of Alcoholics (ibid., pp 416-417). “(It) shows how we can try to recreate our dysfunctional family roles at work or in certain social settings.”

These are broad and include, to name just a few, treating a boss as an alcoholic parent and co-worker as a sibling, feeling different from others, not being able to ask for help or suggestions, fearing criticism, needing people to please, striving for perfection, becoming a workaholic. , exhibiting a high tolerance for dysfunction and chaos, and getting hurt when others exclude them from after-work functions and get-togethers.

Uncertain fears, traumas, mistrusts, and distortions in the family of origin provide walls that an adult child cannot penetrate or move around without considerable recovery, and they act as barriers between him, others, the world, and his higher power. Understanding Trying to see and understand God can, in fact, be nothing less than trying to see Him through a cracked glass.

“…many of us transfer the qualities of our parents onto God,” the Adult Children of Alcoholics textbook points out (ibid, p. 219). “We projected our abandoning parents onto a higher power, believing that God was vindictive or indifferent. Even though we thought God was love, many of us secretly wondered if He really cared or listened.”

Twelve-step meetings can be the ultimate place in which family dynamics are recreated. Regardless of their structure, which includes their driving by a higher power, the need to work on steps and traditions, and the rotation of service positions among attendees, a grown child might mistakenly conclude that whoever first reads the opening and introduces them. The subject, “in charge of it all” must be the official person. He may feel insecure and uncomfortable. He may feel the need to be in control to increase his sense of security. And it takes several sittings before he dares to take his first part, rehearse it in his mind before he utters it, and then berate himself when he realizes that he fails to deliver the desired picture-perfect performance. All these are family dynamic entertainment.

Whether a person is raised in an unstable, unsafe, dysfunctional home and thus may be labeled an “adult child” or comes from a loving, supportive home, he or she experiences and anticipates the same situation upon exiting. Both types subconsciously recreate and sometimes reenact it, and neither is aware that this dynamic is at play. However, if a person in a more negative environment wants to eradicate these behaviors, he must identify, examine, process, and overcome them through therapy and/or twelve-step processes.

Article Source:

“Adult Children of Alcoholics.” Torrance, CA: World Service Organization, 2006.

Stevens, Anthony. “Rust on.” New York: Routledge, 1990.

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