If you have not already read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of Brain Injury, Stress, Anxiety, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years please do so by clicking on the below links.
Family system roles — assigned and designed to contain unresolved conflict and family secrets — add stress and anxiety to family interactions. This stress seems to be exacerbated during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.
What may have remained dormant for much of the year now emerges to trigger memories of abusive behavior. To compound or add to the stress of interacting with families is the excessive use of alcohol and /or other mind altering substances.
Abuse of alcohol and other mind altering substances exacerbate the stress and anxiety of family interactions.
What may have been denied as a concern — a family member’s drinking and drugging — comes center stage as family members interact. What was meant to be a joyous time — during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years — instead becomes a chaotic, crazy-making and walking on eggs shells experience. As the family system roles interact — as family members interact — blame and shame are passed around like a “hot potato” because no one in the family knows how to talk, trust or feel.
Because of the three unspoken family rules — Don’t talk, Don’t trust and Don’t feel — family members are led to believe they have no other choice but to endure family interactions during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Because of the three unspoken family rules family member are left feeling isolated, alienated and confused. Because of the three unspoken family rules hope for family intimacy — during the holiday season — is thrashed on the rocks or denial, disappointment and disillusionment.
Because of the three unspoken family rules trust is thrust again and again on the rocks of denial, disappointment and disillusionment. Because of the three unspoken rules, resentment and control drive family interactions. Because of the three unspoken family system rules family members do not know how to talk, trust or feel. For further explanation please read Traumatic Brain Injury and Vines.
The good news is that families do not have to suffer in silence. Although alcoholism and drug addiction is cunning, baffling and powerful family members can reach out for help. Isolation, alienation and confusion can be traded for hope. Each member of the family can attend Alanon and Alateen support group meetings. Alanon and Alateen meeting are for individuals who have been affected by another persons drinking or drugging — in a relative or friend. For support please read Traumatic Brain Injury and Support
The good news is that you and I no longer have to be alone to suffer in silence. The good news is that you and I can choose to reach out beyond your own best thinking. The good news is that you and I can reach out for help and people will reach back to us.
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