Page 16 - Peace-Centered Family

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“What kind of a map?” he asked.
Making it up as I went along I suggested to Joe that he start by
drawing circles and squares to represent the people in his birth family
and put them any place he felt they belonged and, for clarity, that he use
the circles for females and squares for males. I added that it might be
helpful if he also put a first initial or name inside each icon so we could
identify them more easily.
That done, I added, “Now, I think we’re going to need some dotted
lines from one person to another to show who was connected and who
wasn’t and then maybe some straight lines in between to see how much
distance there was between them.”
Joe paused. “I didn’t feel much connection to my father. He was
never there.”
“Okay, then leave out the line.”
“Well, it was more than that. We not only weren’t connected, I
couldn’t stand the way he treated my mother. He always put her down.”
As Joe talked, he emphasized his words by drawing a strong solid
double line separating himself and his father.
“That looks like a barrier.”
“Yes, I think that’s what I meant. We couldn’t hurdle it.”
That gave me another idea. “Okay. Draw a solid line between
everybody to show how much space each person occupied within the
family, if any.” Still making it up as I went along I continued, “One line
is different from a barrier; it’s friendlier––more like a fence between your
house and your neighbor’s. You can chat over the fence whenever you
feel like it, but there’s a clear definition of the space between you so that
when each of you goes into your own house and closes the door, it’s
understood that you’re in your personal, private space.”
Illustration 1
age 16
After drawing in the lines Joe stopped and looked at his “map.” He
was the middle child. “My brother always bullied me and my sister.
Because I tried to protect her from him, my brother and I didn’t
have much use for each other. My sister always did girl stuff with Mom
so I just did my own thing and tried to stay out of everyone’s way. My