Grandparents (grandparents) in the system of family relations (part 2)
Close ideas about the role of “parental programming” in the fate of a person are developed by the American psychotherapist E. Byrne. Describing the various ways in which the family and its individual members affect the child’s personality, he uses the concept-metaphor “scenario”: “a Scenario is a gradually unfolding life plan that is formed… in early childhood, mainly under the influence of parents. This psychic impulse pushes a person forward with great force, towards his fate, and very often regardless of his resistance or free choice” (FOOTNOTE: Bern E. Games played by people. People who play games. – L., 1992.- Pp. 175-176.) (our italics. – E. S.). This is a kind of unconscious acceptance by the child of the prescriptive “image” of the future adult life-the fate of the “winner” or “defeated”, “loser”. The origins of many life scenarios, according to Bern, lie not even in the parent family, but in earlier generations. The author managed to trace the broadcast of the script for five generations (we are talking about the “winner” scenario in a specific version of “My son will be a doctor”).
It is very important, says Bern, that a person knows about their ancestors and great-grandparents, what feelings they have towards them. An already uncomplicated remark or story about ancestors may indicate the nature of the “scenario prescriptions” that a person follows. “My ancestors were Irish kings” – this phrase can be pronounced solemnly and ceremoniously, or with irony (“I am as much a drunkard as one of them”); and behind each judgment in the analysis reveals some interpretation of a significant past.
Feelings towards ancestors vary:
pride in outstanding ancestors without any hope of surpassing their achievements;
idealization (romantic or paradoxical, focusing on one, originally snatched, line – ” cheerful old woman»);
In General, grandparents are more intensely felt than parents: “grandparents are treated with awe or horror, while parents are admired or feared” (FOOTNOTE: Bern E. Games played by people. People who play games. – P. 195.).
Without dwelling on the details of the mechanism of early programming of the life scenario, we emphasize that the study of the problem of family education should take into account not only the direct effects on the child, but also the more General ideas of the child about his relatives and relatives.
N. Pezeshkian, the founder of positive psychotherapy, is confident in the importance of the psychological “heritage” of a person and the carelessness of origin as a factor of identity. He uses the concept of “family concepts”, which define the rules of relations to people and things: from one generation to another, not so much material goods are passed on, but rather strategies for processing conflicts and forming symptoms, worldview structures, and attitude structures that pass from parents to children. Concepts originate in the critical experiences of a family member, in religious and philosophical ideas, take root, are assimilated by children, and are again passed on to the next generation of children. Examples of family concepts: “what people will say”, or “Accuracy is half of life”, “Nothing is easy”, “Loyalty to death”, “Achievements, honesty, thrift” , etc. they Are partially realized and formulated by the carrier in a concise form in the form of favorite sayings, instructions to children, comments on situations: “Be true and honest, but show what you can do” or “we should have everything as in the best homes”. For the most part, they remain unconscious and do not affect explicitly.
The study of the history of family concepts is related to the concepts of “historical consciousness”, “rootedness”, “lack of roots”, and”collective past”. Desires, demands, resentments, and actions that look unmotivated today make sense in the context of family concepts that stretch back into the past. When the social and family situation changes radically, the old program ceases to meet current needs. Family members accumulate problems, tasks, fears, obsessive rituals, and addictions until one of them breaks the vicious circle with active intervention. Therefore, one of the most important principles of positive family psychotherapy by N. Pezeshkian is the principle of establishing a connection between family tradition, identity and human problems. Building a “conceptual family tree” is seen as an effective means of identifying significant topics and setting goals in therapy that involves several generations (parents, grandparents, and sometimes great-grandparents).
In Russian psychology, E. G. Eidemiller and V. V. Justitskis consider pathologizing family inheritance, characteristic of dysfunctional families as the formation, fixation and transmission of emotional and behavioral response from parents to parents, from parents to children, grandchildren, etc.Rigid, irrational, rigidly related beliefs borrowed from the older generation, form a personality that is not able to adapt, suffering from borderline neuropsychiatric disorders.
It can be noted with regret that the phenomenon of distorting influence of unconscious determinants on the behavior of a young person, the phenomenon of “negative” psychological inheritance, is attracting more attention of specialists. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the field of interest of psychologists and psychotherapists are primarily people who have not resolved their internal conflicts, are in a state of crisis. As an illustration of another, positive understanding of family “roots”, here is an excerpt from a novel by a popular modern American writer.
“It was in this house at the age of thirteen that Elizabeth discovered the origins of her family and for the first time in her life felt that the wall of loneliness had collapsed, that she was a part of a large whole.
It all started the day she found the Book. “…”And it was like opening a door to another world. It was a biography of her great-great-grandfather, Samuel Roff, published in English and privately printed on parchment… The main thing was the content, the story that gave life to the portraits hanging on the wall below. … Strangers who meant nothing to Elizabeth.
And now, in the tower room, as Elizabeth opened the Book and began to read, Samuel and Terenia came to life. It felt like time had suddenly flowed back. «…»
Elizabeth put the Book down and closed her eyes, clearly imagining Samuel’s loneliness, his delight, and his disappointment.
It was then that a sense of belonging came to her, and she felt like a part of Samuel, and he was a part of her. She had his blood in her veins. She was dizzy with happiness and excitement…
In a wonderful, unexpected way, it was old Samuel who gave her courage and supported her in her most difficult moments. It seemed to Elizabeth that their fates were very similar. Like her, he was alone and had no one to share his thoughts with. And since they were of the same age-although they were separated by a century-she was completely identified with him.”
We see a girl, born devoid of maternal love, my father’s side have taken only a formal concern about her well-being, finds stability of identity, its “embeddedness”, the separation of feelings and experiences in getting acquainted with the images of the ancestors of what became the turning moment in her life.