"We cannot overstate the need for creating an extensive family diagram, which reveals with greater clarity the effects of family dysfunction in our lives today." BRB p. 127
Many of our families told us we were screw-ups, and we ate that label hook, line, and sinker. We may have thought we were the only ones who were messed up - until we drafted a family tree with a twist.
Our ACA family diagram lists our ancestors, just as any family tree would. But we add at least one label from page 128 of the BRB to each person. We determine the labels by finding out whatever family history we can from our relatives. We probably know that Mom was a martyr and Dad was a loner. But maybe we didn't know that Grandpa was a ladies' man and Grandma worried excessively, or that Great Grandpa was a workaholic and Great Grandma drank too much, although they called it something else.
Our diagram helps us see that the way we talk, dress, walk, and smile may also belong to people from our past. This helps us decide what we want to keep, and what coping mechanisms we may have been imitating that no longer work for us.
When we realize that we may have been imitating what we observed, the family secrets stop and our own lives begin. Armed with this knowledge, we are free to make our own choices as we learn to reparent ourselves.
On this day I will remember the past so that I don't repeat the patterns of my family's dysfunction. The secrets are out in the open.
Copyright © 2018 by Adult Children
of Alcoholics / Dysfunctional Families
World Service Organization, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Page Number - 263