Are all families dysfunctional
Many dysfunctional families look healthy outwardly, but the internal dynamics revolve around addiction, abuse, illness, or trauma to a family member. Other families are dysfunctional due to rigid control or a lack of empathy and acceptance that can lead to children becoming codependent. The strongest predictor of codependency is the presence of dependent parents.
Code dependency usually starts when you feel emotionally abandoned. In response, suppress feelings, needs, observations, and thoughts. You learn to numb your injuries, you will distrust your parents and you will become independent. In order to cope with and be accepted, you hide behind a wrong personality and / or develop compulsive behaviors to deal with it. The following are symptoms, but not all are necessary for a family to be dysfunctional. Families with drug addiction or abuse usually have more symptoms.
Dysfunctional families are closed to varying degrees. Some will not allow different or new ideas to be discussed among members or with outsiders. You may not host guests or make friends with those of any other race or religion. Remember Archie Bunker from All in the family . He was autocratic and intolerant of opposing views.
Some families are isolated and do not interact with the community. Others do, but appearances are everything. The family can be respected in the community, but it hides the truth. Talking to others about the family is considered disloyal. Basically, shame and fear are dissimilar ideas.
Denial in dysfunctional families
Family problems and crises, such as the absence, illness or addiction of a member, are never mentioned. Parents think that if they act normally, pretending that the problem doesn't exist, it may go away, or children may go unnoticed or be harmed. However, this pretext makes you doubt your perceptions, because what you see and know is not recognized by figures of authority.
You learn not to question or trust your parents, nor to trust your perceptions, feelings, or yourself, even as an adult. Rejection teaches children that they cannot talk about something scary - not even with each other. Sadly, scared children who share the same bedroom and overhear their parents fighting still live in silent fear because they cannot talk to each other about their pain.
Ask yourself these questions:
What truths have been ignored or ignored in your family?
How did your parents do it?
How did it affect you?
Secrets in dysfunctional families
Denial breeds secrets. Some families have been hiding a shameful truth for generations - be it addiction, violence, criminal activity, sexual problems or mental illness. This shame is felt by the children - even if they are the secret not knowing. When you know the secret but can't ask questions or talk about it, you will feel different, damaged, or ashamed.
A genogram is a diagram that shows family relationships, patterns, and secrets. It is guaranteed to lighten. Gather information by interviewing all of your loved ones and taking a family genogram. The males, shown as squares, are on the left of females, shown by circles, and the oldest child is on the left.
Credit: By Darlene Lancer
In this example genogram, you were born in 1969, married Bea in 1996 and have a son and a daughter. Her parents, Bob and Ana, divorced in 1984 at the age of 15 ("//"). Ana married Ira four years later, but separated ("/"). Your father, who now lives with Meg (the broken "- - -" line) is an alcoholic, as is your grandfather Sid and great-grandfather Jim. In 1986 her father married Fay, who died in 2009. From this marriage you have a half-sister Lea, born after a miscarriage, and a stepsister Mia, the same age as you. Your other half-siblings are Pam, Joe, and Jill. You are also an uncle of Alt's daughter Sue.
A genogram also shows curious generation patterns. Maybe you got married or had a child the same age as one of your parents. By doing a genogram, you can find answers to many of your family questions. In this example, Ana's father, Sid, and his brother, Ted, are also alcoholics. As a codependent, she was prepared to marry your father.
Ana had twins, as did her grandmother Nora. Ana's were fraternal, and Noras were identical, as indicated by the adjacent bar ("-"). Ana married Ema at the age of 19, like her mother. Both you and your Uncle Max were born in the year your parents got married, which suggests weddings. Also, note that your two grandmothers were the oldest extended families, suggesting that they were strong wives and carers.
Look online or make icons to indicate mental illness, adoptions, family violence, incarceration, and various types of addictions including alcoholism, gambling, sex, and eating disorders. You can also track illnesses and diseases such as depression, addiction, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Also ask yourself
What secrets were kept in the family you grew up in?
Are they generational?
How did it affect your family?
What rules and behaviors hid the secrets?
Solidify the Secret?
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