It’s Our Stories That Make Us Who We Are

Licensed Marriage Family Therapist

Nancy Stoops M.A., M.F.T Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

By Nancy Stoops

Every human being becomes attached to his or her story.  Some of our stories are about the joys of our life, others are about the horror.  Some of us grew up in families that made life safe while others had horrible things done to them that stole their safety.  We seem to literally be creations based on the pieces of our stories that have stuck with us.  All of us wish we could be born into a family that was healthy and whole, but many times that is not the case.  I treat so many people that were damaged as children and spend their adult years acting out the dysfunction.

Let me try and explain what I mean by example.  Let’s say when you grew up and one of your parents was an alcoholic and your role was to always take care of your younger siblings. You had to deal with the trauma that went with all of the drinking.  Let’s also say that you felt bad for the parent that didn’t drink and you always took care of him or her, and tried to prevent any harm to the family when your parent would drink.  It always seemed like no matter what you did, things would still go badly. Now let’s look at present day, you may have anxiety or panic when you see things start to fall apart and you feel like there’s nothing you can do.  This is now amplified because that could be exactly how you felt when you were growing up.

In order to stop this vicious cycle, one must learn to differentiate the past from the present and what the truth is.  The truth is you did your best as that child, but circumstances were beyond your control.  The truth is that as an adult, you are in control and you have the power to manage your life and your emotions differently.  Set yourself free from those lies that haunt you!