Crazy family history...how do I avoid passing it on?
September 23, 2011 3:58 PM Subscribe
How do I break the cycle of abuse in my family and make a stable, happy and safe environment for my own (future) family? (
posted by snowysoul to human relations (21 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I'm feeling like I'm in a bit of a complicated situation family wise and am not sure how to go about this.Sorry for the length!
My immediate biological family, frankly, sucks at best (except for my mom). My dad is an abusive alcoholic with an undiagnosed mental illness, my brothers are strangers I barely know despite efforts otherwise. Mental illness (depression, anxiety, alcoholism, bipolar and schizophrenia ) and a history of abuse runs through both my maternal and paternal family. My parents were both emotionally abused, my dad was emotionally abusive towards me. I realize I am not the sum of my crazy family history, but I am downright terrified of having a family of my own and doing the same things that happened to me. The long and short of it is that I moved out of my parents house after a particularily nasty incident with my dad, got my but into therapy, joined Alnon and moved across the pond to Norway for the year. Things have been slowly getting better. I'm in a place where I can tolerate my dad in small doses, and we can have short and pleasant visits (<5 days).
Among all this, I met a great guy. A great wonderful, sweet guy who I love to bits and would like to marry and start a family with in the next couple of years. However, the thought of starting a family often is terrifying to me. I am so scared that despite an excellent relationship with my boyfriend, something will happen and suddenly I will be married to someone like my father (who is he is NOT anything like, and given absolutely no indication towards the type of behavior I am afraid of) or worse, I will be someone like my father, passing on a toxic family legacy leaving my family in flames behind me.
As a result of my family history I currently cannot deal with conflict in anyway that resembles healthy (working on this). Anger is a scary emotion for me, I don't have much idea of what healthy anger and conflict looks life between a couple/family. I'm worried about my crazy (depression and generalized anxiety disorder) and how this may affect my relationship. And how all of this may come into play as my boyfriend and I start building a future together.
Most of all I do not want to be the parent my father was! There were times I literally did not feel safe in my own house. I would get cornered and yelled at, and if I talked back or tried to get away it would make it three times as worse. Stupid things like not doing my laundry correctly or forgetting to empty the dishwasher would start WWIII. I was sworn at, called names, shamed, ridiculed, and yelled at for things that had nothing to do with me (i.e my mom's behavior)
So, the question is twofold. How do I continue to build a stable and safe relationship with my boyfriend? Do you have any relationship advice for what I can do to avoid dragging family crazy into my relationship with my boyfriend? Also, how do I break the cycle of abuse and alcholism in my family?