Expert Series: Family Type-Casting
By Dr. Barbara Sinor
We tend to create similar situations in our lives until we become aware that the same experiences keep “happening to us.” When you recognize a particular negative circumstance seems to repeat itself over and over, or a certain type of person re-enters your life several times to your dismay, take a hard look into your childhood and search for the pattern or script which may be embedded in your subconscious mind which invites the same unwanted experiences into your life.
One obvious role we play in our childhood, which can display itself repeatedly throughout adulthood, is our location in the line-up of siblings and the expected script it bestows. A significant portion of the roles we assume as an adult are based on what was encouraged or discouraged in our childhood according to our position in the family system. If one of the youngest of the family, as in Emma’s case, you may tend to feel “the world owes you and nothing is your fault.” Living in a family system as one of the youngest children can have its benefits; however, in the long run many times one is left with feelings of “always needing to be taken care of,” therefore not needing to strive for your best.
My younger sister, the baby of the family, was labeled “cute and artsy” which provided her with the script of becoming the sister with “so much artistic talent.” Yet at the same time, this label silently implied to her that she was not as intelligent as her sisters. This label stayed with her through many adult years. She kept peace and received love in the family system by accepting her role as an artist and to not expect to be seen as a serious educational student. She began working with her child within and chose to break the bonds of being type-cast as the “artistic baby” of the family. To do this she chose to continue her education and allowed herself to follow her true Self’s desire to become both a published author and a world-renowned sculptor.
Many times when one challenges the casting of the family scripting and ventures outside the accepted boundaries, it disrupts the accepted family system. When this occurs, family members do not know how to relate to the child/adult’s newfound identity. This is why it is so difficult to move forward by trusting our own inner feelings of “who and what we want to be when we grow up.” We continue to live in our programmed scripts, not venturing beyond the boundaries established so clearly by our family system. We subconsciously fear that to challenge our role in the family unit would consequently result in our losing their love. Many of us are so embedded in our childhood slotted-roles we live out our adult years content to stay the oldest, smartest, funniest, prettiest, dumbest, youngest, weakest, ugliest, strongest, or fattest child in the family to prove that we can be just what they all thought we would be!
If you find yourself relating to this concept of being slotted into a particular type of role by your family, it is now possible to re-create these influences. What your parents and siblings said and did to you as a child may have had a substantial effect on how you perceive yourself today. However, you can alter how you were regarded by your parents and others by re-creating (while in light meditative state called autohypnosis) what you believe they thought you should be into what you would have desired them to do and say to and about you.
As an example, you may have enjoyed playing the piano or painting as a child but this was discouraged by your parents. Instead, you were encouraged to enter competitive sports. As an adult, you may still view yourself as athletic but not artistic or creative. In a gentle autohypnosis, search your subconscious mind for a time in your childhood in which you were happy doing, or attempting to do, something you enjoyed. Feel the energy of this action as you begin to dance, play the flute, paint, jump the high-jump, throw the ball, or write the poem just like you wanted to when you were a little boy or girl. This exercise may bring back one of your hidden talents long forgotten and discarded. Now you can follow-through with your dream.
Let yourself explore the new possibilities of choice in your life. We have all heard of the person who developed a second career later in their life and became very successful. It is as if the desire and talent had been there all along just waiting to be discovered. This self-discovery can begin any time you choose. You can unlock these hidden talents and desires rather than continue to cheat yourself by believing there are limits to your abilities. Become who you know yourself to be.
A friend once told me that I work with people who have come to an “intersection in their lives.” I like this analogy and have repeated it to clients when they tell me they need to make a decision in their life. Are you one of those people who wish to move past being a “victim of circumstance” and begin creating a new way of being? The choice-point to move in a new direction, to look at the intersections of your life, and to choose which path to take is a giant leap forward. As we choose to face our fears and self-doubts, we begin to see these intersections as mere skid-marks along our journey to healing and wholeness.
Dr. Barbara Sinor Bio:
Dr. Sinor is a retired psychospiritual therapist of over thirty years. Sinor is also the author of five books and is working on a sixth. Gifts From The Child Within is the culmination of clinical research in the areas of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and adult survivors of childhood abuse/incest.
Sinor’s book released in 2004 is An Inspirational Guide for the Recovering Soul. This book is a companion guidebook for further growth and understanding of the personal healing and recovery process which can be used by anyone dealing with past or present trauma.
In 2006, Barbara coauthored What’s Really Going On? Inside a Heroin Treatment Program and in 2010 her fifth book Tales of Addiction and Inspiration for Recovery was released.
Sinor may be reached through her web site: www.drsinor.com
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