Thursday, January 3, 2013
Things to think and write about
1. What kind of relationship did your mother have with her parents?
2. What kind of relationship did your father have with his parents?
3. Were you wanted at birth?
4. Write out the circumstances of your family at the time of your birth. Things such as family size, age differences, financial status.
5. Was there laughter?
6. Was there arguing?
7. Was there depression?
8. Were there other relatives or people living with you?
9. In general describe what you think your family thought of you?
10. Did you feel your parents’ attitude toward you was different than other parents’ toward their children?
11. How old were you at the birth of brothers and sisters?
12. How did you feel about the new arrivals?
13. Were either of your parents sick enough to need hospitalization?
14. Were you separated from any important family member?
15. Was there fear or guilt about this separation, did you feel responsible?
16. Were you threatened by the Bogey man, or the Devil, if you misbehaved?
17. If so, what were your fears in this regard?
18. A child is made to feel guilty about his or her normal sexual curiosity. This comes about by his being caught and punished for touching him or herself; masturbating; playing ‘doctor’; or for participating in group masturbation. Many parents tell children that sexual feelings are evil and must be punished. With no sex education, taken together with this sort of teaching, a child will naturally distort what he or she knows about sex. When a child is exposed to fully developed nude persons he or she may begin to feel inadequacy in adult life, even as a thoroughly developed adult. Write down any of the above that makes you feel uneasy.
19. Did you have a difficult time pleasing one or both of your parents?
20. Were you constantly directed and redirected by your parents?
21. Did you obey without question?
22. Did you have feelings of distress and boredom?
23. Were you afraid of the dark?
24. Were you afraid to fight?
25. Or were you afraid not to fight because of pressure of father or older brothers or others?
26. Did your parents submit to your whining and immature demands most of the time?
27. Did you have temper tantrums?
28. How did your parents punish you? Did they try to reason with you, or was it punitive?
29. How did you react to punishment?
30. What kind of marriage do you think your parents had?
31. If they fought, did you resent it? Did it scare you?
32. Were you used to break up their fights? To take one side or the other?
33. Were your parents preoccupied with themselves?
34. Did they lack awareness of your needs?
35. Was there an absence of affectionate concern or loving attention in your home?
36. If your parents were from different religious backgrounds, did you feel confused about it?
37. What particular idea of God was impressed upon you?
38. Did you reject this concept because it seemed inadequate?
39. If you did reject this idea did you imagine you had abandoned the God idea entirely?
40. Were you afraid of storms?
41. List all the feelings of guilt, fear, resentment you had toward each person, in your life as a child (not your feelings now).
42. Did you feel you were ‘bad’?
43. Did you put yourself into situations that caused others to punish you?
44. Describe the first time you ever stole anything. List all your thefts.
45. How old were you when you first masturbated?
46. Were you ever caught and made to feel guilty?
47. Did you feel guilty even though you weren't caught?
48. What other sexual curiosities were you involved with (homosexuality, bestiality, and sexual encounters with other members of family, sodomy - anything else)?
49. If you were named after someone, what was that person like?
50. Did your family move often?
51. If so, did you make friends and then have to break off the relationship so often that you became afraid to get too close?
52. Do you remember starting school? What were your feelings?
53. Try to remember each successful grade in school and as you do, write out the resentments you felt toward teachers, pupils, anyone. Any fights, slights, blurts and embarrassments. Put it down on paper.
54. Did you resent your relatives, friends, or parents? If so, list them. No resentment is too small to mention, AA’s Big Book states, "Resentment is the number one offender..." (p. 64 AA’s Big Book)
55. What kind of language did your parents use?
56. Were you ashamed of them for this or anything else?
57. Did you ever see your parents in the nude? What were your feelings?
58. Did you ever see or hear your parents having sex? What were your feelings?
59. In every family, a child usually has certain chores assigned. What were yours? Were they fair? Did you do them to please your parents?
60. Do you remember longing for a carefree childhood because of the absence of play?
61. Did your parents seem to like your friends better than they did you?
62. And did your friends seem to like your parents better than they did you? Did you resent this?
63. Did you have any bad experiences at Sunday School?
64. Did you have any bad experiences at summer camp?
65. Were you an only child? Did you resent this or did you enjoy it?
66. Did your parents want a child of the opposite sex when they had you? Did they name you, or dress you to match their gender choice?
67. Did your appearance (looks, dress, etc.) embarrass you?
68. Did you feel that you were ‘different’ from your classmates?
69. Were you treated as a nuisance or a burden?
70. Did you test possible friends with hostility or obnoxious behavior?
71. Did you force friends to abandon friendly behavior?
72. Second time answer. Did you feel that your parents' attitude towards you was different than other parents toward their children?
73. Write down any other childhood memories that were/are painful.
74. Which of the above questions about childhood was the toughest for you to answer? Do you know why?
Now you have reached the first crossover point. Continue writing. Place the pen to the paper and spend some time just writing it all out. The aftereffects, the afterthoughts, the new memories and understanding that are falling into place. Use the Big Four: Resentment, Anger, Fear and Sexuality, if you like.
Get it on paper and look for patterns.