Presentation on theme: "Caught In The Crossfire Growing Up In A Home With Addiction Kim Smithson Eagle Ridge Family Treatment Center Adapted from the work of: Claudia Black Sharon."— Presentation transcript:
Caught In The Crossfire Growing Up In A Home With Addiction Kim Smithson Eagle Ridge Family Treatment Center Adapted from the work of: Claudia Black Sharon Wegschieder-Cruse Handouts: Mary Toney Miller
THE FAMILY AS A SYSTEM “system” An assemblage or combination of things or parts forming a complex or unitary whole. A whole made up of interactive parts. A system is more than the sum of it’s parts.
Maintaining Balance Family “systems” work to survive and maintain balance just like any other interactive “system”
LIFE STRESSORS What are some things that may occur in life that could knock a family system off balance??
HOMEOSTASIS The tendency of a system to maintain or return to a state of equilibrium By whatever means necessary
HEALTHY FAMILY CHARACTERISTICS Empathize with each other Talk and listen to each other Have a balance of interaction Share responsibilities among themselves Have a strong spiritual core Respect the privacy of all members Have a sense of play and humor Strong feelings for one another Encourage family traditions/rituals Share leisure time Place a value on service to others Teach the value of worth in diversity Teach a sense of right and wrong Affirm and support each other Develop a sense of trust Encourage the sharing of feelings without fear
Maintaining balance while living with addiction Addiction is a chronic, progressive and often times fatal disease. As the disease progresses the family grows more and more out of touch with themselves and reality
Unhealthy Family Characteristics Have secrets, are very closed Frozen feelings No boundaries Indirect communication Projection/blame/displacement Denial and delusion Rigid rules / No rules /Chaos Approval or love must be earned Punishment / Shame Judgments (good or bad) Control No free fun
Focus in the 70’s begin to determine that Addiction is a “shared” Family Disease The family members make adjustments necessary in order to cope with the addiction in the family and remain some sense of balance and in order to survive as a whole, despite the damage done to family members. “Roles” and “Rules” are created to allow family members to experience the least amount of personal pain and stress.
RULES These rules are often unspoken, unwritten and have been learned by experiences very early in life and become deeply embedded Don’t TALK Don’t TRUST Don’t FEEL
DON’T TALK If I don’t talk about it then it won’t hurt and will go away Parents give negative strokes for bringing it up Trying to get needs met creates fear of abandonment or other abuse by displeasing a parent There is so much shame about what is going on The child is told directly not to talk about it Other family members role-model not talking by ignoring the “reality” No one knows how to talk about it
DON’T TRUST Broken promises Unpredictability Emotional Unavailability of the parents who are preoccupied with the problem or each other Parents discount child’s reality Words don’t match actions Vulnerability gets used against you Trusting others gets you hurt
DON’T FEEL Expressions of fear, sadness, anger, guilt, embarrassment, loneliness are not allowed because they trigger the same in the parent Learning to emotionally “Numb Out” creates physical, emotional and psychological safety Expressing feelings can bring about punishment and abuse
Take My Hand… The First Step on Your Journey Through Co- dependency Recovery Mary Toney Miller
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION NEEDED INTERACTIVE EXERCISE TO VISUALIZE THE FAMILY ROLE DYNAMIC
POINTS TO CONSIDER….. Members become “locked” into rigid survival roles Roles can shift or overlap Roles are carried on into our adult lives What once worked well for survival turns on us and often becomes fatal and self destructive
BREAKING THE CYCLE New Attitudes and Behaviors We can encourage new attitudes and behaviors that can help break the cycle of self-defeating behaviors and fixed responses. HOW????
HERO / CARETAKER/OVER ACHIEVER Needs to learn: To relax To have fun To be spontaneous How to follow How to ask for help How to compromise To accept mistakes and failures
SCAPEGOAT/PROBLEM CHILD/REBEL Needs to learn : To express anger constructively To express hurt feelings To be involved in activities that bring them positive attention To forgive him/herself To learn to negotiate
LOST CHILD/FORGOTTEN/WITHDRAWN Needs to learn: To recognize his/her importance To recognize his/her feelings and deal with loneliness To recognize his/her needs and wants To initiate activities To make choices for oneself
MASCOT/CLOWN/COMIC RELIEF Needs to learn: How to recognize and accept his/her anger and fear To accept support from others To accept responsibility To take oneself seriously To accept his/her importance
Rarely do all members of the same family, grow up under the same roof - Richard Bach
Without proper intervention. The cycle perpetuates itself. The family disease of addiction creates generational dysfunctional. THE SAGA CONTINUES