Family CollageThe Communication Patterns of the Leo Family Stephanie Leo Grimason Communication in the Family April 10, 2011
Daughter to MotherCommunication with my mother is full of guilt. It has always been her way of having some form of control over me. Whether I am expressing a concernor sharing good news, she always reminds me of the tough spot that she is in.When I was younger, she would make me feel guilty for doing well in school orbeing involved in something that did not include the rest of the family. As I havegotten older, I have had to learn that her comments are a representation of howshe is feeling and not of myself or how I should feel.
Destructive ConflictGrowing up there was a lot of conflict within my family. My mother and Ihad overt conflict. Her comments came fast, furious and hard. Therewere many times that I did not know what I had done to cause suchconflict. Now that I am older, the conflict between us is much morecovert. Guilt and avoidance have replaced the cruel words and insteadof communicating, my mother will now avoid contacting me if she is upsetabout something.
Daughter to FatherCommunication with my father has become very confusing. Due to achildhood filled with violence, abuse and yelling, I spent many years estrangedfrom my father. After having my own children, I realized that it was easier tobe okay with him rather than spend the rest of my life hating him. I amstill confused by our conversations and a little timid each time that we talk.
Communication and Specific CrisesAlcoholism runs in my family and unfortunately something that my dad has. Itaffected our family and the way that we communicated with each other. EveryFriday, it was understood that my dad would be drunk and the rest of uschanged how we approached him. There was no talk of anything serious,in fact we tried to keep the mood light so that we did not anger him.
Sister to BrotherGrowing up, my younger brother and I were very close. In recent yearsour communication is tense and limited. I have become fed up with trying tohave meaningful conversations with him and this has resulted in us nowhaving no communication.
Family Stages and Life CourseMy younger brother is in jail. The only communication that he has with mehas been through letters that he has written. I no longer communicatewith him after too many times of him returning to jail after being out forabout a week each time. I have a need to protect my family and feel thatI am putting them in danger by having my brother in my and their lifes. Hehas stopped writing and I have no plans of communicating with him until hegets his life back in order.
Father and BrotherWhen it comes to my father and brother’s communication, there is a lotof frustration. My father feels as if he is a broken record and that my brotherdoes not care about what he is saying. My brother feels frustration that myfather is trying to give him advice when he has not been there for him in thepast. They no longer have a good relationship and it is due to so much troublein their communication with each other.
Mother and BrotherCommunication between my mother and my brother is also very strained.My mother feels responsible for the way that my brother’s life has ended upand so she is constantly trying to help him and be there for him. He feels likeshe is telling him what to do and has stopped listening.
Mother and FatherMy childhood with my parents was filled with arguing constantly. Lookingback, I have realized that my parents did not know how to communicateeffectively with each other. To get a point across to one another, they yelledbecause that was the only way that they thought the other person wouldreally hear them.
Communication and Family Conflict The communication within my family of origin was abusive and very non-productive. The conflict was both covert and overt. My parents would poke fun at my brother and I at our expense, which was very hurtful. The overt conflict was even worse though, because it usually led to abuse, both physically and mentally. Not a day went by when there was not conflict within our home which made for a tough time.I am very lucky to have my husband who was able tohelp teach me how to communicate effectively. It I startedto yell, he would walk away letting me know that we werenot going to have any disrespect or abusive behavior in ourrelationship. It has taken many years to relearn how amature, loving relationship is supposed to be, but it is wellworth it. I am very determined that my children will growup learning how important it is to communicate well witheach other.