Parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, while spending time with them, as adults, brings back old feelings and memories, from happy all the way to the painful. But between opting for a linked dependent relationship or breaking dysfunctional families ties & bridges, there is a possibility for a happy medium.
Family… we love it either passionately or not at all. According to a socially scientific survey 48% of people meet their family at least once a week. And with family there are no rules: you compose whatever strength you have and you try to go along nicely with all the different personalities that makes up the circle of your familial relationships. A complex system maintained by each member, the distance can either break the family bond or strength depending on how you go about it
Stay alert for physical signs
How often do you see or call them? “The only indicator is yourself, how do you feel about this relationship?” In the presence of all the different members of your family, try to pay attention to their physical health and well being: you don’t want to be name called and shamed in the next thanksgiving, when you’re all gathered together and your singled out as the cousin who never calls to check on his sick aunty you’ll become the selfish , self absorbed family member who simply doesn’t care. On the other hand make sure you read between the lines on in this case between the tensions and physical feel in the family, if it’s too tensed, or if it’s light. It’s a sharp sword either way, and you’re ought to be careful.
A construction in early childhood
The right distance – or proximity – is developed from a very young age. “The baby does not feel differentiated from his/her mother until about 14 or 15 months old,” says Renée Findris, a transgenerational psychoanalyst. “The child, little by little, and step by step becomes more and more able to emotionally accept the absence of their mother, and the detachment and the father will be able to take the place as a third separator”.
If this stage goes wrong, in early childhood, the adult will have difficulty living his autonomy. And will be heavily dependent on others and the existence and validation of others , If the mother invests her child too much,” says Renée Findris, “she’s going to stop the child from growing up, which can lead her to put aside her needs, her desires, to meet those of her children leaving her always living on a leash”
At the same time, there are sometimes problems of jealousy among siblings, incomprehension of a parent who is too demanding, rivalry with the older ones, etc, this can also lead to some negative impacts on the life of a child once they are adults.
To be fusional: the risks
You have the impression that, despite a good agreement, the bonds are too tight? If you phone your mother with pleasure every day, that’s good, good for you. Again, there are no rules. But if you need her approval or advice before making any sort of decision, even the small ones, then you need to ask yourself about your sense of inner security and self-reliance.
These distance problems are sometimes transmitted from one generation to the next. In the event that you are this intrusive parent, you probably have unresolved problems with your own mother or father …
Your freedom and independence must be respected. In case of suffering, follow the advice of the neuropsychiatrist Mony Elkaïm in his book How to survive his own family: “I must make my territory, that is to say to differentiate myself from the members of my entourage to be able to find my sphere of This is an essential operation because it will allow me to escape from the rules I obey – these invisible rules that give me my place and dictate my behavior within my family. ”
Take some distance
Similarly, if you feel disturbed by a conflict, or you feel extremely uncomfortable then draw a line and take a step back. “The family bond does not force us to stay in a relationship that hurts us,” says Julie Arcoulin. Do not impose meetings that depress you. Without justifying yourself or getting lost in explanations, firmly state that you need to step back. If you face a toxic person, give as little information as possible – they could turn against you.
During the imposed meetings (with the unbearable aunt, for example, that the other members of the family absolutely want to invite every Christmas), you can take your precautions. The specialists advises “to position yourself at the other end of the table, identify the gaps, the subjects that make you suffer, not to be fooled, you will not fall, because you have marked the ground. “It’s your point of view,” “You have the right to think that,” to drag the attacks.
Cutting ties is not the solution
When the situation affects you too much, the temptation is great to isolate yourself. By refusing to see some people, you will experience some relief, and will be able to “recover , recharge your energy and mental state”, as Julie Arcoulin points out … but this is not the same. that does not mean that you will feel soothed. The pain caused by conflicting relationships with close family members can be healed in therapy, and with time.
“Cutting ties is violent and always causes suffering, also warns Renée Findris.You remain stuck and in a forever connection with the family member in one way or another .You are not free, but on the other hand, try to work on yourself to understand that your parents did what they could and become self-sufficient. ”
Towards a balanced relationship
Free yourself to take care of you. You will not be able to change them!, Accept that the past that still hurts you and direct your gaze on what you have received from positive, what is still beneficial in your relationship. It will be easier to evaluate the time you want to share with them..
Therapy may help you overcome your injuries. Renée Findris concludes: “The ability to adapt and find the right balance, to stay in a good position … It’s the work of a lifetime”.