Family Is Never As It Seems: Lessons from Downton Abbey

By

Family Is Never As It Seems: Lessons from Downton Abbey
If we could all believe Violet's observation, we'd be a lot less stressed and a lot happier

As a therapist, I hear a lot of clients describe their relationship and family struggles as "abnormal" or "shameful".  Whether it is 1920 in England or 2013 in the United States, there seems to be a tremendous tendency to assume that other families are perfect or, at least "normal" and that the every-day struggles faced in so many relationships are such a poor reflection on the family as a whole that they leave people feeling isolated or even defective.  A client once told me that when he overdosed as a teenager, his mother's first response was to be furious because she had a personal relationship with one of the nurses in the emergency room and she worried what others would think.  Another client opened up about the fact that she was abusing drugs, and her parents' first question was who in the neighborhood already knew about the problem.  They said they would only get her help with the condition that she promise to tell no one of her "transgressions."  I cannot count the number of clients I have worked with over the years who resort to psychiatric medication when it is absolutely necessary, and then proceed to torture themselves with worry that others will find out and see them as "crazy" or "weak". 

If only we could all give into Granny's insightful observation and realize that ALL families struggle behind the closed doors of their real lives.  Sometimes these struggles can seem extreme or dramatic, but what makes them far worse is subsequent worry that the very fact that a struggle exists is a shameful referendum on the family unit as a whole.  If we all worried a little bit more about how the people we love most are feeling, and a little bit less about the outside world is thinking, it would likely reduce a tremendous amount of anxiety and leave us all a lot happier.

 

Learn more at www.elisabethlamotte.com and follow @elisjoy

 

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Elisabeth LaMotte

Counselor/Therapist

Social worker, psychotherapist, blogger and author of "Overcoming Your Parents' Divorce"

Location: Washington, DC
Credentials: LICSW, MFT, MSW
Specialties: Communication Problems, Dating/Being Single Support, Divorce/Divorce Prevention
Other Articles/News by Elisabeth LaMotte:

Good News Movie Lovers: Science Says They're As Good As Therapy

By

Johnny Carson once said: “In Hollywood if you don't have a shrink, people think you're crazy.” His observation says less about the stars than it does about the rest of us, who are typically reluctant to enter psychotherapy. By the time a client walks into my office, she knows something needs to change, has exhausted her own efforts, and is ... Read more

4 Clever Ways To Keep Romance Alive — Despite The Kids

By

When two people love each other, nothing is better than raising a family together. That said, couples often put their parenthood duties and career responsibilities at the top of their priority list, and allow their marriage to fall to the bottom. Most parents are on an endless treadmill of chores, meals and responsibilities, and forget to invest ... Read more

4 Struggles All Sex Addicts Face

By

Romantic relationships are complicated, intense, beautiful entities that can be challenging to nurture and sustain. Today's persistent emphasis on high-speed solutions, high-tech communications and ubiquitous social networking can compromise the development of a simple, organic union between two like-minded people hoping to find love. For those who struggle ... Read more

See More

 
My Videos
ASK YOURTANGO MORE QUESTIONS
Most Popular