Shame has been a popular psychotherapy topic in social media lately and due to its fame it is frequently on my mind. Today I’ve been thinking specifically about shame-based families and how this toxic feeling is often handed down through generations.
Shame can be passed through a family in myriad ways. A common path is for it to travel through family rules. With some prompting, maybe you can recall some of your family’s rules. What rules did your family have about touching and sexuality? What were the rules regarding marriage, money, vacations, religion, socializing…?
In John Bradshaw’s Healing the Shame That Binds You he outlines 7 rules that are maintained by shame-based families.
What image does the word addict conjure up in your mind? Are you thinking of the stereotypical movie character who is trembling in an alley night after night looking for a “fix”? Most people believe that an addict is easily identifiable by their disheveled looks, by their inability to function in day-to-day life, or by recognizable constant “loaded” behaviors. This picture of addiction is simply untrue; and the danger of believing in the movie character addict persona is what can allow a person to continue in a dangerous pattern of addiction unaware.