Will Our Family’s Past Destroy Our Lives?
There is nothing worse than seeing our parents’ flaws in ourselves. It’s crazy to remember how hard it is to deal with these flaws, and even if we don’t like it, our family history is also a part of us. The inconvenience caused by this similarity is so great that there is often nothing to do but deny it. This denial also causes us to attribute these flaws to others. As a psychoanalytic term, this is called projection.
In other relationships, it is very common to repeat the schemes that family members have. The things you learned while growing up have followed you to this day. Realizing this might make you ask the question: “Am I doomed to the fate of my family?” or “Will I make the same mistakes my family made?”
Why Is Our Family History Important?
Our family history goes beyond genetic studies. The learning process never stops starting from the moment you leave your mother’s womb. In fact, you learn something even before you are born. It’s normal for you to imitate what you see every day. In the blink of an eye, you will be expressing yourself in the same way as those around you express themselves. You deal with your emotions like they do. In a way, these people become your role models.
In fact, there is a period of development during which children cannot distinguish themselves from their parents. However, in later periods, the child develops his “self” and realizes that he is independent from the figures he is attached to. This stage is especially pronounced during adolescence, when the person declares himself and rejects his family’s past.
Moreover, these attached figures are the only examples to be modeled. Children idealize their parents during childhood. So much so that, according to psychoanalytic theories, there is a state of falling in love with his parent, known as the Oedipus or Electra complex.
Will I Make the Same Mistakes My Family Made?
No, you are not bound by your family’s background. If you want to be different from your family, you are. Of course, all the schemes you have learned or seen are ingrained in your personality. So you may notice some of these in yourself. However, you are not just these schematics. Your whole life experience creates your personality.
New relationships that are romantic, friendly, or with your sibling change all the schemes you carry in you. In this regard, you may view your family history as a burden. However, our family history is a valuable thing we must have in order for our lineage to continue. Believe it or not, it is possible to improve your family’s history.
Famous psychiatrist Sigmund Freud’s daughter Anna Freud made fundamental contributions to psychiatry with her theories on defense mechanisms. As you can see, Anna Freud continued her father’s legacy and went one step further.
It is important to understand your family history to fully understand how attachment figures have affected you over the years. However, this does not mean that you will repeat what your family members do. Note that you do not need to repeat actions that you do not approve. After all, you are a separate individual from them.
One of the psychotherapies looking from this point of view is family therapy, because it tries to enlighten your very current family situation, and even generations ago. This helps the person to take action rather than maintain similar unconscious schemes that are repetitive and painful.
After all, you are an heir to your family members. Positive things, things that make you proud, and those that cause you discomfort are also your legacy. However, it is entirely up to you to improve this past and pass on the best version of yourself to future generations.