What Lies Hidden

Leo Tolstoy wrote that ‘all happy families are alike, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’  The reality is that most families are a mixture of hurtful and nurturing experiences, but the most common illusion is that we all come from happy families!  The myth of the happy family is a clever creation that seeks to keep hidden the neglect – physical, sexual, emotional, social, intellectual, behavioural, creative – within a family.  The façade of the happy family is reinforced by regular contact, regular family meetings, family celebrations and an over-involvement in each other’s lives but every interaction stays at the surface level.  What lies beneath is skilfully avoided.  

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