The family – that dear octopus from whose tentacles we never quite escape, nor, in our inmost hearts, ever quite wish to. —Dodie Smith
Ahh, summer time. A time for relaxation, flip-flops, juicy peaches, and family vacations. Yes, for some of us summer means an opportunity to spend extra time with our loved ones. While family is certainly something to be grateful for, they can also be a source of stress.
As adults it can be difficult to return to old family dynamics because our parents and siblings have pigeonholed us into certain roles. Maybe it’s the caretaking role or perhaps they simply fail to recognize that our values have shifted over time. The bottom line is that we don’t feel seen for who we truly are. This makes interacting with family very tricky; caught between a childhood role and the authentic adult self, confusion ensues. We may find ourselves picking fights, feeling lonely, and noticing that we have in fact reverted back to old behavior.
When this happens take a deep breath and remind yourself that it is normal. Family dynamics are messy and difficult. Take another deep breath and remember that this is just a vacation and in a few days you can return home, where those around you recognize you as your adult self, not the rebellious child of your youth.