26 Aug When family is a victimizer (Wayne W. Dyer)
While the family unit is certainly the cornerstone of American social development, the main institution
where values and attitudes are taught, it is also the institution in which the greatest hostility, anxiety, stress, and depression are learned and expressed. If you visit a mental institution and talk with the patients, you will find that virtually all of them have difficulty dealing with various members of their families. It is not neighbors, employers, teachers, or friends whom disturbed people have difficulty handling to the point where they have to be hospitalized. It is almost always family members.
Here is a brilliant little passage from Sheldon B. Kopp’s latest book, If You Meet The Buddha on The
Road, Kill Him! The Pilgrimage of Psychotherapy Patients.
“It greatly upset the other members of Don Quixote’s family and his community to learn that he had chosen to believe in himself. They were contemptuous of his wish to follow his dream. They did not connect the inception of the Knight’s madness with the deadly drabness of his living amidst their pietism. His prissy niece, his know-what’s-best-for-everyone housekeeper, his dull barber, and the pompous village-priest, all knew that it was his dangerous books that had filled Don Quixote’s failing mind with foolish ideas and so made him crazy. ”
Kopp then goes on to draw an analogy between the aging Don Quixote and the influence of modern
families on seriously disturbed people.
“Their household reminds me of the families from which young schizophrenics sometimes emerge. Such families often give the appearance of hyper-normal stability and moralistic goodness. What actually goes on is that they have developed an elaborately subtle system of cues to warn any member should he be about to do something spontaneous, something that would topple the precarious family balance and expose the hypocrisy of their over-controlled pseudo-stability.”
Your family can be an immensely rewarding part of your life, and it will be if you make it that way. But the other side of the coin can be a disaster. If you allow your family (or families) to pull your strings, they
can pull so hard, sometimes in different directions, that they tear you apart.
Being a non-victim will force you to apply the guidelines of this book most specifically to the immediate members of your family. Family members who feel they own you, whom you feel obliged to defend simply because of a blood relationship, or who feel that they have a RIGHT to tell you how to run your life because of their kinships, must be set straight.
Pulling Your Own Strings
Wayne W. Dyer