I was reading Simone Grant’s article Breathing Self-Doubt and this quote spoke to me:
“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”—Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
I came from one of those unhappy families. Though they would probably deny their unhappiness. We looked happy from the outside, but I don’t know if any of us were ever happy on the inside as a family unit. We were stuck with each other. I am fond of a popular greeting card expression: friends are the family you choose for yourself. Unfortunately, we don’t always choose wisely. We often pick the wrong relationships—relationships that reflect our familial relationships.
If familiarity breeds contempt, what does it mean that we keep seeking familiarity in our relationships? Is contempt somehow a comfortable safe haven for us? Freud would have a field day with questions like these. I’m sure he’d somehow spin it all back to his favorite theories: the Oedipus complex and the Electra complex.