FAMILY TRANSITIONS AND FAMILY MOVES
The Double ABCX model provides a tool for assessing post-crisis variables in families. Interestingly, not all families go into crisis but instead they achieve a balance in functioning by either bonadapting or maladapting. While others may go into crisis and maladapt which was the situation with my family 30 years ago. A brief background of my family will provide some meaning to our family structure. My parents were both born and raised in Muncie, Indiana at a time when the economy was not strong. My father was the fourth of five siblings in a household dominated by a physically abusive and alcoholic father. My mother lost both of her parents at a young age. I would learn later in life that my father spent most of his younger years at my mother's house to escape the chaos in his own home. My sister, brother and I were also born in Muncie but during a time when my parents were financially secure and neighborhood get togethers were the norm. I have organized this paper to follow the sequence of events as outlined in the Double ABCX model: Pre-Crisis, Crisis, Post-Crisis, and Ethnic and Gender Influences. This paper attempts to provide meaning to a non normative stressor event of moving across the country and its effects on a once seemingly normal family structure. PRE-CRISIS (1969)
During this phase, the major stressor in our lives was the decision of my parents to move from Indiana to California. At the time, we were living a typical middle-class life in a large three bedroom home and my older sister and younger brother and I attended the local catholic school. My father was a manager with an insurance company and my mother was a part time clerk at a local department store. At that time, I perceived my family as normal with regular outings to the park and routine visits to our relatives for dinner and socializing. My parents spent time helping us with our homework and I remember always eating dinner together at the dining room table. I remember communication seemed open. Although I do not remember my parents being very affectionate. Despite this, our house was the main link for neighborhood friends to gather and play. My mother was the neighborhood mom taking in our friends for local parties and fun. I remember my father had quit his job at the insurance company and started working for General Electric as a laborer. The change in his employment at the time was a mystery and still is to this day. It seems that my parents started to withhold a lot of information from us then. But soon after my father started working as a laborer my parents decided to move the family to California. They sold their home and invested their money in a truck with a camper that had a bathroom, kitchen, moderate closet space and room to sleep our entire family comfortably. I remember the day before we were to travel across the country because I would not leave the camper. This seemed to be a time of immense confusion for me. And it would the beginning of many acting out episodes in an effort to understand what was happening to the once seemingly secure family structure we had. I do not recall my parents ever explaining why we were moving or asking us how we felt about it. We were just told this was what was going to take place. I believe avoidance was their coping mechanism for dealing with this unexplained move to their children. Later in life I would hear stories that my father had a nervous breakdown at some point and my parents decided to move and get a fresh start in a new area. My parents relied on our neighbors as resources to prepare for our move. Our immediate neighbor bought my parents home and my mother would say years later that she practically gave all of her furniture away to friends and family. In order to plan for the trip my parents confided in another neighborhood friend who provided my parents with information on KOA campgrounds located across the country. I remember my father had drawn out on...
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