If you’ve ever sought to understand what’s going on in your life by reading books with engaging titles, taking part in personal development workshops, or going to any kind of psychotherapy sessions, but you still have questions you haven’t found the answer to, then I invite you to take a journey into your family history.
It is possible that this will make you discover and understand things that could help you heal your emotional or physical pain, end conflicts that seemed endless, or break the chain of recurrences in your destiny.
The road I’m inviting you to take is sometimes full of all kinds of surprises. Be ready and open to find out anything!
The journey starts with drawing a map. This is about the Family Tree. After you write down for every family member all the important dates of their life, keep asking anyone who might know something for details about them: date of birth, of marriage, or of death when applicable, important events in their lives (diseases, accidents, displacements, material loss, etc.), names, nicknames, anything. Go back into your family history to the furthest person you can find something about. What you’ll have created is called a genogram (up to three generations) or genosociogram (over three generations)
In order to make this easier, I suggest we call it a genosociogram regardless of which generation you managed to get to in your searches.
The genosociogram is the map that will help you start your journey, it is the beginning of your transgenerational work. It is the main tool to decipher the events, the problems we face, the dysfunctionalities in maintaining our life balance. The genosociogram is more than a family tree enriched with the significant facts, dates and events of our ancestors. It is about coming together with our family, with our roots.
I often meet people who can answer questions related to acquaintances or friends because they have a lot of information about them (which is fine as far as anchoring into the reality they’re living in), but they do not know the name of their maternal or paternal grandmother. Only two generations away and yet they do not know the people they come from, their names, or basic things like their date of birth or death. There are others who do not even know these things about their parents. And here I’m talking about people who grew up with their parents in the same house until adulthood.
The genosociogram is the opportunity to discover those who make up the whole we are all part of. It is a time-consuming effort and it requires a lot of availability from the one who wants to take this journey into their family history.
Building a genosociogram requires you to be curious, to spend time with your mom, dad, uncles or grandparents, asking and writing down everything you find out in order to create the whole picture of the facts and events experienced by your extended family, as well as the associated psychological history linked to these events. Find out how they experienced the events you’re adding to the tree, how happy or sad, how angry or how scared they were to live through what they did. Someone told me a story about his grandfather and how he lost everything when he came back home from the war (World War II). “He was devastated, he started to drink heavily and he shut everything out. All his life he was quiet and sad.” Sometimes we have no information, just a series of actions like a movie in which the frame moves continuously without freezing on any character to capture their emotions. Someone told me in a session how her grandmother had to pack up everything she had and loaded it all in a cart as she had to run away with her kids in the middle of the night; all becase somebody had told her that the people from the new political regime would start arresting people that night. When I asked her what her grandmother had been feeling during those moments or after that, she told me, “I don’t know, and I have no way to find out now.” In situations like this we can only imagine, put ourselves into somebody else’s shoes and imagine how it must have been like.
sunt ai tai, fie ca iti place sau nu.
When you’re done, when you have the family tree, rich with all the data you’ve collected about your family (as much as you could find out), I suggest you take a look at the drawing. What do you feel when you’re looking at your family’s history drawn on a large piece of paper? There you have people who loved, cried, hated, cursed, had dreams and hopes and went through moments of joy or despair. They humiliated others or were humiliated themselves. They lived through drama or caused dramas for others. They all belong to you, whether you like it or not.
Then answer the following questions:
What are the most beautiful aspects of your life? Where do you see others living them as well in your tree?
What is the one thing that bothers you most in your life now? Have you been broken up with/ abandoned? Have you lost hope? Are you sad and lack the energy to move on with your life? Do you have a disease you can’t find a cure for?
Look at your genosociogram and you may find the answer there.
Are you repeating the story of a grandfather, uncle or aunt? Is there anyone in your family who went through the same experience? What other things are repeating themselves in your family? People who die at the same age, children abandoned the same way?
The history of our family does, of course, include good things that get to be repeated. Here, however, I will tackle just the part that brings disfunctionality in our lives.
You might have received the name of someone in your family. You will find out how this has influenced you. Or you will find out that you have been through the same trauma and when you were the same age as your aunt. It is also likely to uncover a family secret through which many of the meaningless things in your family will suddenly make sense.
For each topic or question above you will find articles in which maybe you can come across answers to your questions.
Have a wonderful journey!