Understanding The Dynamics Of A Dysfunctional Family And 5 Ways To Recover From One

understanding dynamics of a dysfunctional family ways

When you come from a dysfunctional family and have a disturbed childhood, it can negatively impact your thinking in a million ways. Additionally, a dysfunctional upbringing can also affect your adulthood.

When we take off the rose-tinted glasses of childhood, many of us find ourselves looking into the abyss of a broken upbringing. Childhood trauma, the juvenile exploits of our parents, and even unaddressed mental illness can destroy the baselines we build as children. And they can go a long way to create negative patterns that undermine our happiness as adults.

Accepting the fact that you were raised in a dysfunctional family household is a painful process, but one that’s necessary in order for us to heal. The way we are treated as children, and the experiences we tie into our crucial developmental memory help us to determine how we define our self-worth, our relationship, and even the way we make decisions.

Overcoming all the traumas and tribulations of our childhood takes perseverance, however, and it takes committing to a journey that’s as uncomfortable as it is uncertain.

Related: The Narcissistic Family Tree: 12 Common Dynamics of a Dysfunctional Family

Waking Up As Dysfunctional Adults

It’s not always easy to admit that we grew up in broken or dysfunctional homes, but it’s a realization that many of us wake up to as broken and struggling adults.

The way we are raised has a drastic and (sometimes) permanent effect on the way we see ourselves and the way we see others. It’s a vital piece of who we are, and — unless we work hard to overcome and understand it fully — it can seriously undermine our lives.

Waking up, as an adult, to the truth of your upbringing is a painful and necessary process. More often than not, this occurs when we wake up to the negative spiral of patterns that are leading us to rock bottom again and again, and get real about healing and resolving them on some real and crucial levels.

We can heal the pain of our childhood, but it takes digging deep and it takes confronting from memories that aren’t always enjoyable. Overcoming the pain and uncertainty of a broken home-life takes time, and it takes getting comfortable with the uncomfortable parts of who our caretakers were and who we are today.

If you want to heal from your history of broken family debacles, you can forge a way forward. Knowledge is the only way to arm ourselves and access the healing ahead.

The Characteristics Of A Dysfunctional Upbringing

There are 6 characteristics to a dysfunctional upbringing, but each facet can look different in each situation. You do not have to experience every characteristic in order to have undergone a traumatic childhood, but even one similarity could be a good indication that there are some closets to cleanout.

Part of healing is accepting and recognizing the signs we’ve been ignoring.

1. Abuse

No matter what form of abuse takes place (physical or emotional) it’s always wrong, and it’s always an indication that something was broken in our childhoods. If a parent hit you, screamed at you, or otherwise used mental and emotional manipulation or intimidation to control you — it might have created feelings of insecurity and uncertainty that’s followed you into adulthood.

2. Control

Control always factors into the dysfunctional upbringing, and it is something that is almost always consolidated by one person. This might look like a “head of the family” who makes unilateral decisions for the family as a unit, or it might look like one person raging through the group with fear and intimidation to guide everyone in the direction that they want.

However it happens, those being controlled always feel powerless, inadequate, and resentful.

Related: 3 Ways To Handle Childhood Trauma

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E.B. Johnson

E.B. Johnson is a certified Life Coach, NLP-MP practitioner, and entrepreneur who writes about psychology, relationships, and the growth mindset. Through self-esteem sessions and a focus on the internal relationship with self, she helps others thrive.View Author posts