A marriage is a living family system. Like all living things, it can get infected with toxic agents that result in its death. Immunities are what combat potential infectious agents. I call these potentially fatal–to-your-marriage phenomena the 3 A’s: addictions, affairs, and anger. Almost all folks from time to time get impulses to do things that their head would say are out-of-bounds. Drinking a bit too much, getting a bit too friendly with someone of the other sex when your love has already been committed elsewhere, and speaking harshly when a cooperative voice would have been preferable are mistakes. Mistakes are for learning. Mistakes like these create feelings of guilt and regret Those are the signs that it’s time for figuring out what went wrong, a totally genuine apology, and learning. The learning is the basis for building an immunity. A small dose of a toxic phenomenon can strengthen your immune system’s ability to resist the sexual-drinking-anger impulses that might otherwise grow increasingly toxic until they get you in trouble. A vaccinated relationship is likely to grow ever stronger and more loving over time. By contrast, repeatedly making the same mistakes instead of using small incidents as a vaccination against larger problems can lead to one of the 3 ‘A’s’. The 3 ‘A’ mistakes can get you fired from the job of spouse. Alcoholism, affairs and anger, in addition to wrecking your marriage, can have profoundly negative impacts on your children. Modeling addictions, affairs and anger teaches your kids that this is what adults do. At the same time, addictive, sexually unfaithful and excessively angry behaviors teach your kids that attachments are unreliable and unsafe, making your kids less able to establish secure positive relationships as they reach adulthood. By clinical psychologist, marriage counselor and author Susan Heitler, Ph.D. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/resolution-not-conflict/201110/resisting-the-3-main-temptations-destroy-marriages
A successful marriage
in love many times,
always with the same person.
Bipolar disorder, although rare in young children, can appear in both children and adolescents. The unusual shifts in mood, energy and functioning that are characteristic of bipolar disorder may begin with manic, depressive, or mixed manic and depressive symptoms. It is more likely to affect the children of parents who have the illness. Twenty to forty percent of adolescents with major depression go on to reveal bipolar disorder within five years after the onset of depression. Depression in children and adolescents is associated with an increased risk of suicidal behaviors. This risk may rise, particularly among adolescent males, if the depression is accompanied by conduct disorder and alcohol or other substance abuse. In 2000, suicide was the third leading cause of death among young males, age 10 to 24. (National Institute of Mental Health) NIMH-supported researchers found that among adolescents who develop major depressive disorder, as many as seven percent may die by suicide in the young adult years. Therefore, it is important for doctors and parents to take seriously any remarks about suicide. Early diagnosis and treatment, accurate evaluation of suicidal thinking, and limiting young people’s access to lethal agents—including firearms and medications—may hold the greatest suicide prevention value. https://www.mentalhealthscreening.org/screening/resources/men-and-depression.aspx
Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain,
but it is more common and also more hard to bear.
The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain
increases the burden: it is easier to say
“My tooth is aching”
than to say
“My heart is broken.”
The energy of self-indulgent anger is contagious just like a nasty virus. It can infect your family though one member and be passed on to the others. Each person is affected by the anger in their social system and acts it out in their own unique way, whether they cower in silence with resentment or act out their anger on others. Anger is a major side effect of the chaos in the home and vice versa. The research on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder shows that the survivors of traumatic events are left with anger. The universal desire to survive during situations of threat are linked with high physiological arousal and anger. The hormones, increased muscle tension, and pounding heart are all activated to produce the resources to “fight or flight” to deal with the threat. Children learn this survival mode of reactive stress and hyper alertness when they are traumatized. Anger can become an automatic response and a protective mechanism, which “revs” up the body to deal with threat or perceived threat. Even when there is no emergency, the person can go into full activation of anger and become ready to fight. Children from angry families most often pick up anxiety, frustration and agitation that flavor how they see life. The research on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder shows that early trauma in life interferes with the ability to regulate emotion, which then leads to excessive anger, fear and rage. This inability to deal with frustration and anxiety can lead to extreme out busts of aggression. Or it can surface as icy cold hostility as a means of controlling other using looks of disgust to convey displeasure. From “So You Love An Angry Person” by Lynne Namka, Ed. D. http://www.angriesout.com/family2.htm
How much more grievous
are the consequences
of anger than the causes of it.
Feeling ‘not good enough’ is very common. As a child, we have often been criticized by our parents… told we should, could, must, be and do better. And often this results in the extremely damaging sub-conscious belief ‘I’m not good enough, and nothing I do is ever good enough’. The result is that we feel dissatisfied with ourselves, and with everything we ever do. It is a hard existence! If you have this belief, you will find it very difficult to complete anything (because, if you complete it, it will not be good enough… at least, if it is incomplete, you have an excuse.) You may go from project to project, never be able to rest, admire your creation, say ‘I did that!’ and feel proud. Your negative belief will be projected outwards and you will feel dissatisfied with your partner, your friends. Nothing about them will be ‘good enough’ either. Your partner cries ‘you’re never satisfied!’. You feel guilty you are ‘not doing enough’. Nothing is ever enough. If you think about it, ‘I’m not good enough, and nothing I ever do is ever good enough’ is a total negation of self. The entire self has been rejected, and consigned to the scrap heap. Maybe Mum or Dad criticized something about you when you were a small child, and as a result, you have decided that you are completely worthless and shouldn’t be here. Emanating out from it, like the branches coming from a sturdy tree trunk of negation, are others, such as ‘I’m not worthy’, ‘I’m stupid’, ‘I’m ugly’, ‘no one understands me’ and so on. However the reason for these beliefs is… ‘because I’m not good enough and nothing I do is ever good enough’. Change the ‘tree trunk’ level belief and the branches above it are also relieved. By Jelila /Angela Torrington http://www.baliadvertiser.biz/articles/spiritual/2005/feeling.html
Whenever you are self-conscious
you are simply showing that you
are not conscious of the self at all.
You don’t know who you are.
Verbal Abuse includes screaming, name-calling, teasing, ridiculing, sarcasm and witnessing someone else receive verbal or any type of abuse. Social abuse includes isolating the child, not allowing friends to come over or not allowing the child to visit others. Indirect social abuse occurs when the child chooses to not have friends come over because the child may be embarrassed about home, a parent’s behavior, or it might not be a safe environment to bring other children into and the parents have indirectly communicated this to the children. Mother or father might be passed out on the couch, depressed, angry, or some other handicap that makes it uncomfortable to have outsiders to the family home. Neglect and Abandonment – Are the child’s dependency needs met? Remember the child cannot survive without a caretaker… food, clothing, shelter, medical/dental care, physical nurturing, emotional nurturing, sexual guidance and appropriate information… how to succeed in the world we live in; financial guidance and information, education and occupation guidance, career and life goals. The impact of neglect and abandonment is often harder for people to comprehend. They often express relief at being left alone, felt it toughened them up and they became better people. In some ways it’s true but they didn’t get to feel taken care of or protected and don’t expect to find it in other relationships. Taken from “Adults Abused as Children” by Licia Ginne, LMFT http://www.latherapists.com/articles.html
I …understand how a parent might hit a child –
it’s because you can look into their eyes
and see a reflection of yourself
that you wish you hadn’t.
The approach of dissolving our image of perfection sounds contrary to our sense of logic about building confidence and esteem. This is because we have the belief that achieving the image of perfection will result in positive happy emotions and feeling confident with our success. We desire to feel these feelings and chase the image of perfection we have attached to them. What we may not be aware of is that achieving our image of success doesn’t effectively change our emotional state. It doesn’t do anything to permanently change the way the voice in our head speaks to us or what we believe about our self. Many times people have achieved their goals only to find themselves still unfulfilled. Your emotional state may briefly change in the euphoria if the immediate success. But the core belief of not being good enough and your long term habit of self rejection in the mind hasn’t been altered. The critical voice in our head is more likely to put a higher goal in front of us to achieve. The second belief to dissolve is that we are inadequate and somehow not good enough. These are the beliefs that create emotions of insecurity and fear. The emotions are not the problem they are just the resulting symptom of negative core beliefs. The “not good enough” image is a construct of our imagination. It is a belief about ourselves created by the mind concluding that we are “not good enough to meet the image of perfection.” A step to changing this belief is to recognize that we the one observing the “self” image. We can not be the “self” image we are looking at. We are the one doing the looking. This means the “self image we create is really a “non self” image. Taken from “Insecurity and Confidence” http://www.pathwaytohappiness.com/writings-insecurity.htm
I’m interested in the fact
that the less secure a man is,
the more likely he is
to have extreme prejudice.
Real Self Confidence and Esteem is based in emotion, not a self-image. To build self-confidence and overcome low self-esteem is to change how we feel emotionally about ourselves. To change our emotion requires changing two different core beliefs about self-image. The first core belief is obvious. It is the belief that we are not good enough. It may have a more specific association to how we look, how smart we are, money, or lack of confidence sexually. The second core belief to change is the image of success that we feel we should be. Changing this belief is contrary to logic, but is a must if we are to overcome insecurity and raise our self-esteem. When your mind has an image of success that you “should be” it associates happy emotions with that picture. I call that the image of perfection in our mind. The mind does a comparison between the image of perfection and how you see your self-image currently. The comparison results in judgment and self rejection for not meeting the image of perfection. The self rejection results in feeling unworthy and of low self-esteem. While the image of perfection appears to be a way for us to feel good about ourselves, it is actually causing us to reject ourselves which creates feelings of “not being good enough.” If you were to dissolve the belief that you should fit into the image of perfection you would eliminate the self rejection and feelings of unworthiness that result. Taken from “Insecurity and Confidence” http://www.pathwaytohappiness.com/writings-insecurity.htm
A man’s spirit is free,
but his pride binds him
with chains of suffocation
in a prison of his own insecurities.