Sunday, August 9, 2009

Dysfunctional rules of substance abusing families

The featured topic in July, 2009 was Substance Abuse: The Family Disease and it did not get fully addressed for a variety of reasons so in August, GCASA Cares will continue to feature this topic as well as the topic of Recovery since September is Recovery month.

In this article we will briefly review the rules in families affected by substance abuse and other kinds of dysfunction. They are simply called the "Don't trust", "Don't feel", "Don't talk", and "Don't think" rules.

The rules are pretty self explanatory and operate to maintain equilibrium on the dysfunctional family system. The unconscious learning of these rules have tremendous bearing on the family member's life both in the family of origin where they are learned and later in subsequent relationships.

In healthy relationships the opposite is true. It is Okay to talk, to feel, to think and to trust but it may take years and therapy to learn this.

This is article #14 in a series on Substance Abuse The Family Disease.


RICK said...

Imagine growing up like this and thinking this entire showcase is the normal theatre of eggsistence then slowly,prayerfully,persistently coming to grips with the reality and then...transmuting that dismay,heartache,astounded-ness into a remarkable lemonade kind of miracle that needs at least several books to get started with expounding....

David G. Markham said...

Hi Rick:

That is glorious to imagine. Do you know such books?

Thanks for your comment,

David Markham