In my daughter Kelly’s and my book, Love Her As She Is: Lessons from a Daughter Stolen by Addictions I describe fourteen ways to love unconditionally with clear boundaries. The first way is
take your frustrations to someone you trust.
Family Patterns of Feeling Frustrated
Life events can often trigger us to feel frustrated. As the therapist and author, Muriel James wrote:
. . . it is important to remember that each life drama, like every theatrical drama, involves a script, and that somebody wrote that script. That somebody is you, under the direction of your parent figures, who were, of course, influenced by their own background, experience and parent figures.
Often when we feel frustrated with others it involves an old family pattern. Family patterns are passed on to the next generation if not brought to awareness, examined and new behaviours introduced. Sorting out these dynamics can not only assist the children under your watch but can deepen your freedom of choice so you develop healthier beliefs and responses.
Often times we play roles that have been repeatedly described through the centuries in classic fairy tales and myths. As a child, my parents modeled extreme patterns of aggression and passivity.
Playing out the idea of what I thought mother to be, had me caught. When I could not be the Good Mother who graciously handles it all and has clean, happy and healthy children, I became the “Wicked Mother” using my irrationally driven power to dominate.
When a healthy and loving relationship with myself started to take shape, I learned to better manage my inner responses and refrain from playing power games. How did I do this?
I sought places and helpers to support me. With safe people, good friends, and an effective therapist, I learned to reveal my heart’s longing, share my struggles, tell my feelings and transform my shame into self-care.
Research by Joan Borysenko, author of A Woman’s Book of Life, indicates that middle-aged and older women with good health had two determining factors: they had high self-esteem and they had a caring support system.
Should you decide to use a helping professional, consider yourself a customer who is researching the best-fit service for you.
Also, ask yourself these questions to provide insight into your situation:
- What fears, hurts, frustrations or resentments linger inside?
- What past and painful patterns are you living out?
- Of what character in a fairytale, myth, classic book or movie do your reactions remind you?
- What hurts or injuries, including those from childhood, need acknowledging and healing?
- What coping and revival mechanisms did you unconsciously develop in the past that are now dysfunctional to you and your loved ones?
- What support is available in your community?
- Without anyone else changing, what would you like to be saying and doing differently?