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Dr. Hanscom's Blog Breaking Loose – Not Quite

Discussion in 'Mindbody Blogs (was Practitioner's Corner)' started by Back In Control Blog, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. Back In Control Blog

    Back In Control Blog Well known member

    Family Patterns
    Behavioral patterns laid into your nervous system are the essence of your life view. Until you become aware of them and their effect on your day-to-day life you cannot connect with the core of you really are. Being around your family usually will precipitate a massive resurgence of these patterns. BTW, any time you are anxious or angry you are in a patterned behavior.
    As these family patterns are so familiar it is very anxiety-producing to change or even think about changing them. Your family feels the same way. All parties involved have a vested interest in having you remain unchanged – regardless of how miserable you might be. “Misery loves company” is not a joke.
    I have a patient who became paraplegic after spine surgery at an outside institution. He has had multiple medical problems associated with his paraplegis in addition to suffering chronic pain in his back and legs. Working through the phases of the DOCC project has resulted in a significant decrease in pain. Unexpectedly, his bipolar disorder of over 40 years disappeared and he was able to discontinue his medications. The key was addressing his deep anger. The transformation was dramatic. He felt happier in a wheelchair than when he was bipolar and walking.
    “I don’t want to see you”
    I had been seeing him monthly for several years. We had entered the goal-setting phase of his rehab. He was interested in interacting with other people who are wheelchair-bound. This fall, he was able to purchase a laptop computer and start pursuing her dream. Then he called my assistant and told us that he was not going to be seeing me anymore. My first response was to wonder what I had done to upset him. He had truly been an inspirational person, so I gave him a call to ask why he no longer wanted to see me.
    What happened was this: his family from the East joined him for Thanksgiving; instead of being excited and supportive of his transformation, they destroyed him. They told him that there was no use in reaching out to other paraplegics. They also reminded him that he had been diagnosed with a bipolar disorder since he was 12 years old and told him that the disorder is incurable. Finally, the family instructed the patient to stop seeing me.
    The family environment that contributed to him becoming bipolar was now focused on keeping him that way. His deep changes were upsetting to his family because there was a major redefinition of roles taking place. He had been the sick one. If he could create this depth of insight and healing, why couldn’t they do the same?
    When he was in his own familiar patterns, which were based on anger, he could not see his anger or their anger. Today he saw it as clear as day. He had not been chronically angry for over a year and was moving forward quickly. To now see the people you love live in anger was extremely distressing.
    Family Patterns
    Family patterns are passed down from generation to generation. From birth to age 12, your family environment is “downloaded” into your brain. It is your database for the rest of your life and also your frame of reference. What are your patterns? Are you being held back by your own patterns that you cannot recognize? Are you unconsciously making sure that the people close to you maintain a certain familiarity, even though it may be destructive? Do you have control issues? Do you feel controlled? (For more on this, you might want to check out My Interpretation of Hoffman.)
    Wake up. Your life will not improve until you become aware of your behavioral patterns and the impact they have on those around you. If you are chronically angry, you cannot see anything clearly.
    I had a great discussion with that patient and he continued to see me for about six months. The phase of breaking free of his family patterns was challenging. In order to break free, he had to first recognize that he was trapped. He was undertaking a significant step, one that I’ve talked about before in “ Anger: The Continental Divide.”
    Personally, I had never understood how strongly these family patterns could hold you down. I thought her family would have been ecstatic. He was happy for the first time in his life. His family was not.
    Back into the abyss
    I am rewriting this story after about a year. For about six months his mood and pain were great and rehab was moving forward. The anger returned for reasons that are unclear. He was never completely the same after that Thanksgiving holiday. He did quit seeing me, his anger consumed him. His pain returned and his mood turned black. I don’t know all of the issues that pulled him back into the abyss but his family was a significant part of of it.
    What effect is your family having on your journey? Are they your cheerleaders – or not?
    NH, BF
  2. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is another great blog about family and your own programmed behavior from them and direction on how to recognize when your behavior has been prgammed by your family and relatives. I know my whole life was programmed until I became aware of what my reactions were. ( you said this in going from reaction to creative in
    My Interpretation of Hoffman.)

    I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my family had a huge part in my programming, I didn't even know I could be programmed until about 18 months ago. Id been missing the point for so long. Now that I do understand, I have a new found power. When I have family get togethers with my loved ones and so forth. I know im the master of my ship, but in the not so distant past I was reacting to family issues that I see now as just trivial. Nothing more than a thought to think and accept in a brighter light. So now I reprogramed my thinking and im more of the thermostat instead of the thermometer.

    This article also brings up some very good points about the paraplegic that was more happy without stress in a wheel chair than he was with it- walking. I've been through so much with expectations from family and past conditionings when I think of it. Id never be able to think of all the missed opportunity's id left behind because of another's voice wanting me to stay the same as them as you mentioned in “I don’t want to see you”. This really rang a bell and I had huge thoughts about how far I've come since I've reframed my mind to not thinking in the old unaware conditioned way.

    I really like the way you have in the Hoffman interpretation to address the anger and the anxiety then watch your reactions and begin to get creative. Take back your life and then live life to the full. With this thought in mind id thought about the past and how my dad had some strong emotional pull on me till I learned to recognize this and recondition from it, now im free of those past yokes of repression and onto living as you mentioned in the last step of your 5 steps to getting your life back above. You didn't call those 5 steps that, but that's what I felt like when I finally got that part of my life under my control with my mind. I want to thank you for bringing up such a good thought line that others can now practice the above and be set free. I had to first recognize and then will train the anxiety and face the anger then I moved on taking back my life as you said. It works pretty darn good David, Thanks
    Bless You
    Kathleen likes this.
  3. David B

    David B Well known member

    David, this is a great reminder of the Hoffman work I did so long and didn't continue to practice. If I had maybe I wouldn't be going through a major bout of MBS. The fear patterns that I learned as a child have come to a head. I see them now driving my behavior and thinking. When I listen to my parents react to my "back pain" recovery process I hear the fear in their words. You have reinforced my instinct that I need to keep my distance until I'm strong enough to process my patterns that are deeply rooted in childhood.

    And thank you for writing the book. I cannot tell you how much it means to me. I come from a medical family that did not express feelings well, a tough combination for accepting MBS as the cause of my pain. Having a spine doc write such a personal, compassionate, and instructive book has been nothing short of a miracle to ignite my process. I am using it as the primary structure in my recovery process.

    Be well.
    Kathleen likes this.

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