Today everyone was eager to know about the 12th std results. Reeya scored good marks and hence she was about to demand a emphatic gift from her parents. Her parents were equally happy with her result. Reeya’s elder sister Priya too was glad. Priya was studying her medical Degree. At home, everyone was in the mood of celebration. Reeya’s father observed her mark sheet repeatedly and realized some commotion in it. But in the celebrations mood, he ignored the suspicion he had. The following day, Reeya’s paternal aunt came to visit Reeya. Reeya’s aunt was a teacher in a High school. She was always in a cross with Reeya’s mother. The moment paternal aunt entered the house, Reeya’s mother sneered. Reeya’s father called the aunt inside and showed her Reeya’s mark sheet. Reeya’s mother was angry about this. After going through the mark sheet, the aunt’s experienced sight was in a doubt and when she reexamined it, she noticed that it was a fake mark sheet. She informed about it to Reeya’s father. Still they decided to go to the college the next day and confirm about it. Also, Reeyas’s father’s uncle had a job in the Boards. He too could verify the mark sheet. Being Sunday, Reeya was not at home and was unaware of all this.
Everybody was shocked the next day, when they received the information from the college as well as the uncle from Boards. Reeya had not appeared for the exams. Reeya’s parents, her elder sister, and the paternal aunt all were angry with Reeya. Reeya’s paternal aunt took Reeya for a task in front of parents. Reeya was unable to utter a single word; she bowed down and was listening to it. After Reeya, the paternal aunt focused her attention on Reeya’s mother. She added how irresponsible and undisciplined Reeya’s mother was. As both Reeya’s parents were full time employees, Reeya’s father was explaining that Reeya’s mother was not really so. This led to disputes in the siblings and rise in debate. All the past worst memories were revised. Priya was scared with all this and she called her paternal uncle and aunty in the neighborhood and requested them to visit their house at the earliest. But their telephonic talks revealed that Rohan, Priya’s cousin passed his 12th in merit and so they were all celebrating. But when they heard about Reeya, their happiness shattered and unwillingly they started to Reeya’s house. Their unexpected arrival further increased the tension at Reeya’s home. This Reeya’s aunty, allegated Reeya’s mother that during the exams of Reeya and Rohan, Reeya’s mother insisted on taking Reeya’s grandfather to their house. She also added, due to this, how she had to face the anguish at home. In the meantime, the paternal aunt started comparing Reeya and Rohan. Education was given a vital importance in the family. Education was not compromised at any costs. With such a background, this behavior of Reeya was a defamation of all, was what all of them felt. Reeya’s behavior resulted in the cropping of nose of all and so Rohan’s success was the best is what the paternal aunt pointed at. This was followed by a series of scolding and blaming to Reeya and her mother, from all. Reeya’s mother also continued that if her parents came to know about this event, she would lose her maternal relations as they too valued education and uprightness of special and vital importance. In the meantime, Reeya’s uncle raised the issue of who would inform about all this to grandfather? All of them were more tensed now. Under such circumstances, Reeya’s mother abruptly started quarrelling with Reeya’s father. Reeya was totally confused in this situation. She had a strong feeling of guilt as she realized that she was the root cause of all this. This single incidence increased the distension with every member in the family. No body was under the condition to help the other. The following six months also faced the same tension. There was hardly any interaction with the family members. The communication with each other was formal. Reeya was absolutely shattered. After knowing about the incidence, Reeya’s grandfather was seriously ill and was in the hospital for almost a month.
Let us look at the reasons this…!!
Outlook towards each other (Assumptions): Generally, in every family the negative outlook and assumption of every other member, relative and an event, or incidence, causes tension. In this incidence of Reeya, Reeya’s behavior was not the cause of tension but the fact was the negative assumptions of the family members with each other was the real reason of tension and stress. This implied nobody knew and was capable of handling the stress that aroused due to the negative outlook between Reeya’s parents, two brothers, siblings, sister-in-laws, and other members in the family. Such incidences often focus the intense grudge based on past experiences, among themselves. At all other times, the happiness generated from festivals and functions is often destroyed. Under such conditions, when unexpected problems occur, this tension increases to such an extent that the relation between to individuals may reach the extremes and may even break off. If the root cause of these negative outlooks / assumptions about each other is checked in-depth, it is possible for a counselor to reduce the tension that rises in similar situations.
In Reeya’s incidence, the stressed relation between the sister-in-laws was the root cause of the tension. To reduce this tension, counseling media could have been used. Sharing and discussing with a counselor from time to time and out flowing the negative feelings was possible. This would have improved the relationships. It is necessary to remember and note that the negative assumptions about each other are the main cause of stress.
High expectations from each other: It is very natural to expect from the head of the family and other members and relatives while caring for the relationships. This implies the dependency of family members on each other. But when such unexpected issues are to faced, this dependency seems to be taxing because the expectations from each other result the others being taken into granted. In the above incidence, Reeya’s mother was taken for granted by all and when expectations from her suddenly increased, the house had to face with frequent disputes and events leading to tension. Reeya’s mother could not carry the burden of expectations and her relations with her husband distended. During an unexpected crisis, when family members start expecting a lot from each other, the sorrow behind the disappointments or failure in expectations was handled by none. Instead of helping each other, excessive expectations focused on censuring each other. This further increased the stress in relationship and the relations might have permanently come to an end. Hence it is necessary that every member in the family is independent. This will not be a burden to the family. In the above incidence, each member of the family was expecting someone would rescue them from their problem. Had Reeya’s parents taken care to resolve their family issues of their own, instead of expecting others do so, they would not have met with such a disappointment.
Privacy: Urbanization has totally changed the definition of the family. Even the definition of joint family is changed. In ancient period, any event in the family was known to every member of the family. Obviously, the occurrence of stressed incidences was comparatively low. But today education, technology, and communication media has changed the life style of every member of the family. So even during an unexpected crisis, or festivals and functions, every individual needs his / her own space, and privacy. In the above incidence, the children facing their tenth and twelfth Board exam also required privacy from relatives. Under such times, interference from regular home visitors like grand parents, maternal and paternal families also becomes unbearable and incase any one disturbs, tension arises. Hence many of the family members are in a dilemma about helping each other and interfering with each other’s affairs. This need of privacy also creates excessive stress that further manifests as distrust in the family. This implies it is necessary for every member in the family to certainly plan about the issues that need privacy and the issues open to all. Most of the time, privacy concerned with financial transactions is confused.
Stress of stereotype roles: Many new relations are developed between the individuals. On the basis of the above points, some assumptions and expectations regarding these relations are made resulting in to more responsibilities. Under these responsibilities, one is compelled to play certain roles. For example: a newly wed bride has to play multiple roles of a wife, daughter-in-law, aunt, sister-in-law etc. While playing those roles, she has to follow all the rules and constraints associated with it. Due to this gradually, she loses her freedom and even loses her own identity. In the above incident, every member of the family followed the rules confined to the role even under crisis and the tension was created due to this roles being followed. Reeya’s mother was so burdened with the role of being a mother that her other roles of being a wife, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law all were ineffective and she was a losel by all other members of the family. If the family system has to be made strong, getting out of the stereotype roles and looking at others and most importantly towards one self as a human being is absolutely necessary. This will increase the possibility to accept the fact that all such incidences can occur in the lives of all the people. This makes the tension sober. Caring for oneself and for all the other members of the family while maintaining the humanity in them and oneself is the true foundation of the family.
The following solutions would be useful:
- It is necessary to take help from the counselor when such incidences occur to avoid them from reoccurring. This will help to know the negative assumptions and attitudes about each other and the root cause can be eliminated or can be worked upon.
- The ways I expect / excessively from expect others, they too expect / excessively expect from me. It is necessary to be aware of the fact that if others feel sad when disappointed, I tool feel so.
- It should be noted that the way I feel, that I need privacy, and that others should not interfere with it, similarly every other member needs privacy and that they too should not be interfered.
- Including myself, each individual is first a human being and being human he may be a blunder, discharged and not only once but likely to commit the same mistakes frequently.
- It is necessary to believe that each individual can think. Hence it is not my job to decide my thoughts are correct and that of the others are wrong.
- The members in the family and others too would be the same as they are and I will have to continue my life with them. Hence to make others change the way I wish, criticizing them, pointing their mistakes, advising them will not change them but possibly stress me. Hence it is better to change myself, is the only option left to me.
- Occurrence of any event, results in grief, happiness, anger, and depression is a half-truth. Because it depends on the outlook of every individual towards the event, and my outlook for the same, itself determines the feeling of grief, happiness, and depression, and this is the only truth.