Text: Chen Zhenji, Zhang Shumei, “Ming Pao”
(Hong Kong News) Psychologists point out that although the wounds caused by the original family are irreversible, they can be overcome through self-healing.
“Diary of a Youth” uses the protagonist Zheng Sir’s process of tracing a student’s suicide note to reveal his childhood full of scars. What seems like a glamorous family of four turns out to be a growing environment full of verbal and physical violence behind closed doors. The protagonist grows up and loses confidence in starting a family of his own.
The family of origin not only affects the concept of love and family, but also has a certain relationship with a person’s character shaping and interpersonal interaction. Why is the influence of the family of origin so profound?
Patients with depression and anxiety are often injured in childhood
“Family is the first place where a person learns emotions or experiences. In this environment, everyone will establish his own unique habits, personality and thinking.”
Clinical psychologist Liang Chongfan quoted psychologist John Bowlby’s attachment theory and pointed out that the relationship with parents or primary caregivers in childhood will shape the way a person gets along with other people in the future. From how parents respond to children’s emotional needs, they form Secure or insecure attachment relationships.
“For example, when a child has emotional needs, if the caregiver comforts and encourages him, he will feel loved and worthy of care; on the contrary, if the parents ignore the child’s crying for a long time, he will gradually feel that he has no People care, are unworthy of love, ignore their own emotional needs, and avoid problems.”
Parental discord builds up stress and creates trauma
Therefore, a secure attachment relationship can help children learn how to manage their emotions, get along with others, and face difficulties; but an insecure attachment relationship will make it easier for children to develop problematic internal operating patterns.
“Many psychological problems such as depression and anxiety are actually just symptoms. After talking to the patient, we found that the patient suffered a lot of harm when he was a child.”
Psychiatrist Tan Huanzhi pointed out that it is generally believed that violence, abuse, poverty, parents with mental illness and other reasons may cause trauma in children, but in fact, the biggest impact on children is long-term discord between parents.
She explained that people rely heavily on their parents when they are young, so in addition to providing material supplies, it is also important for families to provide a stable environment so that children can grow up slowly.
“Children are naturally very loyal to their families. They want a happy family and a good relationship with their parents, so they are very sensitive to their parents’ relationship and pay close attention to their parents’ emotions; especially mothers, because usually after a child is born, he will maintain a very close relationship with his mother. .
Therefore, a family atmosphere full of arguments, unresolved problems, and long-term discord between parents can feel suffocating. Long-term accumulated stress or worries about parental separation can also form trauma. “
Get out of childhood shadow through psychological counseling
The discipline method presented in “Diary of a Youth” resonated with the audience, and some people even dared not enter the show for fear of reviving childhood trauma. The discipline method of Chinese families, in addition to corporal punishment, often uses comparison to “encourage” children to become angry.
Liang Chongfan pointed out that among children who are often compared, not only the “loser” will have lower self-confidence when they grow up, but the “winner” may also have a negative impact. They feel that they must be better than others and believe that only they can be better than others. will be loved. “He may be a high achiever. To keep climbing, even to the point of overload, he simply needs the approval of others.”
Although the family of origin has a great influence on the initial establishment of personality, it does not mean that this influence will last a lifetime.
“On the way a person grows up, in addition to family, there will also be new interpersonal relationships such as school, workplace, and friends. These acquired factors all have an impact.” If you encounter a good attachment relationship, such as having good teachers and peers around you, or through psychological counseling, you can get out of the shadow of childhood.
Write a diary, draw and notice your emotions
self-fulfillment attachment needs
How to get over the trauma of your original family? The trauma of the family of origin turns into an internal operating mode, causing an automatic reaction in people, but there may be something wrong with this reaction and thinking.
Clinical psychologist Liang Chongdan pointed out, “If you encounter an unsatisfactory interpersonal relationship, the first reaction may be: I am not loved, and even my parents do not love me. At these times, you need to deliberately learn the second reaction and use different methods to alleviate it. This is an automatic response.”
1. Keep a diary and draw pictures
When you are stressed or stimulated, pay attention to your physical and mental state, what triggers these emotions, and understand whether you have any needs that are not being met. Whether it’s writing a diary or painting, they are all ways of being aware of emotions.
2. Act as a parent and love yourself
Perhaps the attachment needs of being taken care of, accepted, affirmed, etc. were not met in childhood; many things may not have been obtained from parents in the past, but it does not mean that one cannot be self-satisfied now. For example, if there is a lack of love, one can act as a parent and love oneself. .
3. Communicate more to resolve knots
When you feel uneasy in relationships, sometimes your first reaction is “Am I not loved?” When you notice your fear and vulnerability, you should also try to communicate and resolve the knot. For a long time, we may have been accustomed to not touching our feelings, but at these times, we need to learn how to muster the courage to express to the other party that we want to maintain the relationship.
4. Build an interpersonal support network
The support brought by the interpersonal network is very important, letting people know that there will be someone to help when facing difficulties, which can reduce anxiety. There may have been a lot of hurt in the past, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to establish some good interpersonal relationships when you grow up. Try not to just think about what happened in the past, but focus on the present and the future. Maybe you can slowly get out of the shadow of the past.
5. Have a regular life
A regular life will make people feel safe, feel that things are under control, and reduce sensitivity to the surroundings.
6. Seek help from professionals
You don’t necessarily have to seek help from someone when you have emotional problems. Sometimes you feel stuck in work or interpersonal relationships and you can’t handle it on your own. You can seek help from professionals.
Love runs away from the father, raising love runs away from the son
Relational patterns passed down to the next generation
If there are a lot of conflicts and emotions that are not dealt with (in the family of origin), then similar problems may arise in the next generation after marriage in the future.
Psychiatrist Tan Huanzhi pointed out that the cross-generational problem is not a pure behavioral replication, but a problem of relationship patterns.
Family influences child behavior
“We found that some things are passed down from one generation to another. The problems faced by some children today are not problems between the two generations (children and parents), but problems between the parents and the previous generation.”
“A family is a life, and a life may grow or get sick. Its disease is that the relationships between the people in it are entangled. To cure this disease is to help it loosen its bonds, and then see if there are other possibilities and deal with the problems that need to be faced. problem.”
Therefore, when children have emotional or behavioral problems, the family is an important influencing factor. Family therapy focuses on finding the root of the problem in the relationship, and then allowing parents and children to change together to achieve therapeutic results.
A depressed man once sought help. He often quarreled with his two sons and had an estranged relationship. He also often quarreled with his wife over the handling of household matters. After getting to know him, it was found that he was worried about his father’s cancer. Since his parents lived nearby, he insisted on visiting his parents first before going home after get off work every day, thus neglecting his own family. His wife often complained, and his two sons also complained. He is relatively close to his wife; in addition, the client has been more dependent on his mother since he was a child, and he will ask her mother for help with everything. Whenever his son does not listen to his instructions or has an argument with his wife, he will call his mother to deal with it, and he will avoid facing it.
Over time, his relationship with his wife and son became worse, so he was often unhappy and felt incompetent. And the son, like the person involved, chose to escape and ignore everything when he realized something was wrong.
The son asks his mother for help
Tan Huanzhi pointed out that looking back at this family, the mother and son are relatively close to each other in both generations, and the son handles problems like his father, like a mirror. This is the continuation of a cross-generational relationship model. “To deal with this family problem, the direction It is to strengthen the relationship between husband and wife and make men understand that they cannot ask their mother for help in everything, but that they need to work together to deal with the affairs of their two sons.”