In the course of my graduate and professional work in counseling, particularly my study of marriage and families, I have become increasingly aware of the system of spoken and–more importantly–unspoken rules and taboos which governed my own upbringing. I am amazed at the power of this invisible structure to shape the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of a growing child pushing up against the confines of its somewhat unyielding mold. Evidence of my formation and deformation continues to be evident in my life today.
At the same time, I have grown to better understand and appreciate the unique ways children find to cope with their relative lack of power. They learn behaviors, big and small, to crack open or even pop this mold, or to at least shift its shape enough to allow them breathing room until such time as they have grown enough to cast it off.
If you are reading this, you have been clever and resourceful enough to survive your own childhood. I am not being glib. There are no perfect parents. Though I believe most parents are good and many are outstanding, no parents can perfectly attend and meet the developmental needs of any child. This means you have had to go in search of what was missing. If you are like me, you continue this process into adulthood.
Family Rules is my attempt to make sense of the rules of my childhood and how they have affected me. In exploring these rules, I become more able to make conscious choices about which ones serve me, which ones don’t, and how I would like to proceed.
You are welcome to read my thoughts for entertainment or to assist you in understanding the rules which helped get you to where you are today.
To get started, please go to the introductory entry Welcome to the Family! from February 25, 2015. Stories illustrating individual rules follow. As time goes on, I will mix in some unrelated bits to lighten things up. Later, I will be adding several posts which comprise The Story of Hanna, a memoir piece about friendship, loss, and aging.
Thank you very much for visiting my site.