The Second Reality: Your Secret has a Secret by Susan Jackson, LMFT

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Ah, the Abstruse! The secret’s….. secret! The second reality of the addictive family.

Abstruse means hidden, out of conscious sight and incomprehensible. In the addictive family, the family secrets are deeply hidden and the family is unaware they exist. They are truly abstruse. Concealed secrets hide deeper secrets. Hiding secrets is the reality of living in an addictive family. The addictive family not only keeps secrets, they hide them deep inside their soul. The Abstruse Reality is the culmination of the addictive family experience.

When the addiction takes over, family members often become the secret they hide. And that is the secret’s secret. This is partly due to the family scrimmage, where the rules are never spoken, yet are instinctively understood and played out over and over again during the “rough and vigorous struggle.” The family scrimmage is always confusing because the rules are assumed. The rules can and do change daily, based on the way members of the family behave, the positions they take, and the feelings they transmit.

The ongoing self-destructive and self-defeating behaviors often indicate that the secret and the secret’s secret are begging to come out. There is a true genuine-self craving to be released. The secret’s secret is also the unknown damage, (because it is abstruse), that the individual experiences constantly, due to the stress of living with an alcoholic or drug addict.

So often, I see this reality in the addict and the family members I work with. Feeling guilty about what they have done and what they have become due to the addiction, and not realizing there is a secret self, a true genuine-self that desperately wants to emerge but cannot because it is unaware that true genuine-self even exists. Family members suffer from the secrets they hide which hold them hostage. They do not understand that the primary guilt and shame they experience is not what they have done or have become but what they have not been able to do or become.

How does the abstruse become the reality in the addictive family? Often it is the ongoing denial of the true genuine-self and not realizing that the true genuine-self is usually being denied. The abstruse is a mystery. The family mystery.

The abstruse can become the most powerful of all the realities if left unresolved. This is because its power lies within the nature of the reality which is; addiction effects the family in an insidious way, so hidden that all other life experiences are tainted. It becomes our invisible measuring stick, making our decisions for us while blurring our ideas and thoughts.

We are not always aware of the negative and toxic effects the addictive family environment has on us. We must find a solution. Finding a solution begins with becoming aware and identifying all the realities we have suffered through and have learned to cope with. Your successful resolve of each reality is the solution!

When you are able to resolve a reality you will eventually come to appreciate the purpose that reality has served in your life. Remember, it is the adversity which created the wonder of you. You can now choose to live in the reality of recovery. True recovery, your own personal recovery will let you tell your story, share your experience, and be of service to others.

Next issue we will explore the third reality: Synchronized Pathos. A look at how each family member suffers their own pathos with our pathos, together, synchronized!

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