Q. I know some of my behaviors come from family “scripts,” as you call them, and I am addressing that. Recently I heard you use the term “reparenting.” How can I do that?
Q. I love so many things about my partner but it is almost impossible for her to “trust.” Anyone. Anything. She is a very successful executive in her work sphere, granted, but she also tends to be quite critical. What sets this up in a person?
Q. I grew up in a very abusive background. In adulthood I lived in an equally abusive environment because, I am beginning to realize, it’s what my brain knows. In a few weeks I will be released from a safe house—for a second time—where I have been recovering from an episode of severe physical and sexual battering. The doctors have advised me never to return to the same environment. My minister, on the other hand, tells me I need to “turn the other cheek” and try again because my daughter needs a father. I’m having difficulty reconciling these two perspectives. (My partner is remorseful and says he is willing to seek help for his alcohol and battering addictions. Of course, he said that last time, too, and never followed through; but when not drinking, he’s really rather pleasant much of the time.) Do you have any comments?
Q. I have heard you say that “Each brain only has its own perception. That sounds like you advocate ignoring your brain’s perception. I know my mother rejected me—she gave me up for adoption, for heaven’s sake!” How can that be healthy?
Q. Several years ago I took the BTSA and what I learned changed my life in so many positive ways. I recall you saying something like: “Check your script. Whose script are you following?” Please tell me more about that.
Q. I finally understand where I learned to deflect compliments when my Mother shot down one I recently gave her. She has done that her whole life and certainly never gave me any compliments or affirmation. What would prompt such behavior?
Q. I’m exhausted trying to do everything “perfectly” as I was taught in childhood. What can I do to get out of this perfectionism feedback loop?
Q. How can family-of-origin work help me and my relationships?
Q. Something you said in one of your seminars about family-of-origin work prompted me to go back and look at old childhood pictures. In almost every picture my mother is holding my hand or has her arm around me or I’m sitting beside her or on her lap. I know she loved me but I felt so smothered growing up! I wonder if it was because I was an only child. Actually, I was the youngest of three but my older twin sisters both drowned when I was just a baby.
Q. Unfortunately I find myself exhibiting behaviors that often result in negative outcomes. Sometimes I think it’s because that’s the way I was raised. Is this what you meant when you said, “Take time to figure out the script you were handed at birth”?
Q. In your opinion, can reparenting help me manage my own life script?
Q. The middle child of our three children seems to be developing and exhibiting a variety of behavioral problems. I'm wondering if he is showing "the middle child syndrome" that I've heard bandied about. Do you know of any resources on this topic?
Q. Several times I’ve heard you mention how important it is to read aloud and say aloud what we want to do as if we’re already doing it? How in the world can that make a difference, especially with reparenting?
Q. My teenager recently asked me to explain what being an adult means. Can you help me?