Friday, March 22, 2013

Family ties

This was an interesting article about how people are more resilient when they feel like they are part of a larger extended family, know some stories and the origins of their ancestors, etc.

The single most important thing you can do for your family may be the simplest of all: develop a strong family narrative.
***

“The ones who know a lot about their families tend to do better when they face challenges,” she said.

Her husband was intrigued, and along with a colleague, Robyn Fivush, set out to test her hypothesis. They developed a measure called the “Do You Know?” scale that asked children to answer 20 questions.

Examples included: Do you know where your grandparents grew up? Do you know where your mom and dad went to high school? Do you know where your parents met? Do you know an illness or something really terrible that happened in your family? Do you know the story of your birth?

Dr. Duke and Dr. Fivush asked those questions of four dozen families in the summer of 2001, and taped several of their dinner table conversations. They then compared the children’s results to a battery of psychological tests the children had taken, and reached an overwhelming conclusion. The more children knew about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem and the more successfully they believed their families functioned. The “Do You Know?” scale turned out to be the best single predictor of children’s emotional health and happiness.

“We were blown away,” Dr. Duke said.


Why does knowing where your grandmother went to school help a child overcome something as minor as a skinned knee or as major as a terrorist attack?

“The answers have to do with a child’s sense of being part of a larger family,” Dr. Duke said.
***
Dr. Duke said that children who have the most self-confidence have what he and Dr. Fivush call a strong “intergenerational self.” They know they belong to something bigger than themselves.

I come from a big family and for some reason I learned to see most of them as extensions of myself, so I looked out for them. And they looked out for me. I felt like we were like twigs -- weak apart, strong together. I don't know why I thought that and other children sociopaths see their family as threats. Maybe it's because we were all so smart we spoke a sort of shorthand/twinspeak with each other.  Maybe it was because we had a common enemy in our narcissist father. For whatever reason, I always felt like I was part of something bigger, almost like I had grown up in a mafia family. And it's true, I think it did make me a better person



37 comments:

  1. Most of my family members hate one another. The extended family is essentially comprised of small warring factions.

    There have been several occasions where a big get together was called for and let me tell you, there was a lot of bitching, arguing and backstabbing. Barely managed to avoid a brawl at a funeral once.

    There are a few narcissists in the family that are responsible for the conflicts.

    This is the reason that I don't allow any contact between my children and most of my family. I just know that they will try to pull my children into their webs of lies and abuse. By keeping my children away from these toxic freaks, I hope to break the cycle of abuse.

    My children don't know what it's like to be hit, neglected or belittled. Nobody tries to break them. They are strong, happy and independent. I have no doubts that they would be able to weather any storms.

    I don't think my children need to know their grandparents, aunts and uncles and be involved in their train wreck lives.

    Sometimes the price of having a big "happy" family is simply too great.

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  2. The only thing family is good for is money and free connections

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    Replies
    1. I know this is probably an outdated comment but yes, I agree, especially on the former.
      Gosh, I have been wanting to express these thoughts but I don't have anyone who is remotely open enough to not deem such thoughts as cruel.
      Sometimes, I pray for my father's expedited death because his narcissistic ways and attempts to control me have been getting on my nerves. Of course, I cannot do anything to directly cause that (not even verbal assault) as that would not be ideal for when he finally gets the hell out of my life, I might not be able to have my deserved share of his money.

      Sigh, I suppose I have to be patient with his controlling nature. I so wish that he would die soon. Perhaps there are ways to accidentally cause his pacemaker to stop? :)

      Delete
  3. I began reading this blog not too long ago, so I have missed out on many older blog posts, so I thank you for posting throwback links to relevant material.

    I saw my family as a utility of sorts when I was younger, but as I got older, a half-trust formed in that I knew their behaviors so well that I knew they'd not act against my well being unless, for some weird reason, I began to act out too obviously. I never felt any connection whatsoever to my extended family, and oddly enough, I seem to find more of a sense of "Yeah I've been there..." toward your "Sociopath Children" article than this one.

    I was in a private school where, I am under the impression anyway, that my class had more sociopaths than those who weren't (if not other cooperative disorders with similar young age appearances), as that experiment mentioned toward the end of the other blog post was almost a nostalgic throwback to my youth and how we made teachers lose their cool and enter yelling frenzies to get us out of doing class work. I even had a classmate sneak heavy amounts of laxative into someone's food just as a means of vengeance for harming her sense of comfort in the social hierarchy that had been so rigidly established. She quit the school soon after, and no one seemed to miss the little whistle blower.

    Many teachers left that school in a hurry after being driven to the edges of anger management. We were even taught by our principle to appear as "perfect little angels" to help attract new teachers and students, stifling our strange and manipulative behaviors until the witnesses were gone.

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  4. Replies
    1. Theme for Rich The Uber Empath
      Love from Themes and the many SW Members who loved and appreciated you. R I P, dear Friend.

      Delete
    2. This place sucks now that ol' Richy isn't here anymore.

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    3. I think is probably extremity fucking around as usual or someone else

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    4. Rich's ghost will be back to haunt those assholes.

      Delete
    5. If you'd like to attract Richy's ghost, leave some Methadone and cookies on your windowsill.

      Delete
  5. https://www.google.be/search?q=confessions+of+a+sociopathic+social+climber&hl=nl&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=obxMUbatFan30gWU1YDwDQ&sqi=2&ved=0CF4QsAQ&biw=1680&bih=955
    this is ME

    ReplyDelete
  6. http://voices.yahoo.com/confessions-sociopath-3420056.html
    Confessions of a Sociopath

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am feeling really self destructive. I don't know it it is Rich's death but I feel so worthless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How do you know for sure that he's dead?

      Delete
    2. Well sitting around moping and feeling sorry for yourself is hardly going to do anyone any good.

      Try to do something nice for someone else.
      Think of it as doing a good deed in his name.

      Delete
  8. Well, I am starting to put some things together. I asked a friend of mine with a child on methadone to help me. Rich has not posted for about a month. I remembered that he was so happy that he got a 3 week supply of Methadone, so would not have to go to the clinic every day. That stuck with me. My friend told me that if he took more than the daily dose, he could get high and so that is what probably happened and he overdosed. She said it would be a peaceful death. I hope so, but the friend who came on sounded legit, too. The main reason I believe it was that Rich loved SW as much as I do. He would not go away, just like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your friend was right. Methadone is pretty safe, unless you intentionally take much more than prescribed. Or if you combine it with downers.
      He was a drinker and still dabbled in drugs. It was probably an accident, but it would have been a peaceful death.

      Delete
    2. Thank you. That helps.

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    3. Why is his death affecting you so much, Monica?

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    4. Methadone is two times as deadly as heroin, and even the most experienced fixers die because they overdose accidentally. So in consideration of every known fact it is most likely he died, and unless he didn't fall asleep, the death wasn't really enjoyable, because methadone combined with an amount of alcohol thats similiar to a shot, causes lounge collaps. Which means he suffocated

      Delete
    5. Where are you getting your information from?
      Respiratory arrest is not the same as lungs collapsing.
      Methadone is much safer than heroin. As soon as people start on Methadone, their risk of dying drops significantly. It is hard to od on it. I have even given high doses of Methadone to clients who were drunk, with no ill effects.
      There are a lot of misconceptions about Methadone, and yes, it is highly addictive. I have seen countless clients whose lives became more stable and whose health improved dramatically after commencing on the program.
      To od on Methadone, you would most likely have to combine a very high dose with pills and alcohol. It would have been quite peaceful. He wouldn't have even noticed how his breathing slowed and then stopped.

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    6. Are you a doctor Anon 4:36? You sound like one and a compassionate one.

      Delete
    7. Thank you Anon 4:36
      That helps me.

      Delete
  9. My son died at that age

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    Replies
    1. like many other sons too. why does it affect you in this particular way?

      Delete
    2. When Rich first came on, someone chased down his personal info. We spent a lot of time e mailing and figuring out how we would deal with. I got really close to him. He had a lot of inner strength and coolness, too.He made everyone feel special. Also, I am a Born Again Christian and he was not saved. That, to me, means that he is not going to Heaven.

      Delete
    3. Lol Monica, you're so upset because you don't think he is going to heaven? No one is going to heaven because it doesn't exist.

      Delete
    4. Yes, his not going to Heaven is a big part of it. My son was saved and so my grief is tempered by this.

      Delete
    5. Maybe if you were able to think rationally about this situation, you could start to move on.

      Delete
  10. Yet another not necessarily so obvious interpretation. Ask for the reasons these kids knew more about their family. And those reasons are the way they are brought up--with respect within the family, sharing of their stories, the kids' interest in their family.

    Lousy conclusion, what if it was the sense of confidence and high functioning self in these children that enabled them to be curious of their family n the first place? Chicken or egg, what came first?

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  11. Good point, Sceli.

    "I learned to see most of them as extensions of myself, so I looked out for them. And they looked out for me. I felt like we were like twigs -- weak apart, strong together."

    That sounds like empathy to me... QM

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  12. My family nearly destroyed me with their mafia type antics. I was humiliated, belittled and pulled apart by these people my whole life, infact it was all I ever knew I thought it was normal. Just to get protection from them I ran into a sociopaths arms and to be honest, they were still much worse than him! He was definetly a safe port in a storm for me in many ways.
    A large family does not always give you a sense of belonging, infact it can do the opposite.

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  13. I answered no to all of them, even though I knew some stuff about the last two questions. Family is threat, end of discussion.

    ReplyDelete
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