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

understanding dynamics of a dysfunctional family ways

7. Poor communication skills

If you were raised in a home in which it was not safe to express yourself or your desires, it can lead to poor communication skills later in life. This poor ability to say what you need to say permeates every aspect of our lives and can stunt our growth both personally and professionally.

8. Mental turmoil

Perhaps the most common side-effect of being raised in a broken home is mental and emotional turmoil.

When we are raised in environments that leave us scared and uncertain, it can break who we are and break the way we see the world. Feelings of hopelessness and anger become the norm, and — if not managed carefully — come to be cornerstones of who we are.

Related: The 5 Child Roles In Dysfunctional Families

Recovering (As An Adult) From A Dysfunctional Upbringing

As adult children of dysfunctional families, it is up to us to resolve our pain and our trauma and find our way back to happiness and healing. We can let go of the darkness that was instilled in us, but it takes commitment and it takes facing up to the facts and the needs that we’ve been hiding from everyone (including ourselves).

1. Find professional help

More often than not, it’s necessary to consult a mental health professional when it comes to resolving the pain of a dysfunctional upbringing. Some hurts run too deep, and some traumas can only be uncovered safely by someone who has experience dealing in long-buried mental and emotional anguish. When we consult a mental health pro, they can often help us to make revelations that open the door on transformation in our lives.

Find professional help and look for someone who specializes in the level of trauma or pain you’re experiencing. For instance, if you grew up in a home in which extreme physical, mental, or sexual abuse was the norm — look for someone who specializes in family trauma or even PTSD.

If the dysfunction you experienced at home was more subtle, you can lean in for help with someone that can gently help you dig deeper into your emotions and the issues that you need to address.

However you go about it, there’s no shame in reaching out to get the help of someone who has experience dealing with the type of pain and mental anguish you’re experiencing. When we open ourselves up to new avenues of healing, we speed up our healing opportunities and processes.

2. Re-parent yourself

When we are hurt by our parents, we often go out looking for healing in all the wrong places. We turn to other people, to drugs, to alcohol — all in the search of the love we were denied when we needed it most. Not being taught how to properly manage our emotions (the good and the bad) can result in associating happiness with the feeling of pleasure when that’s not necessarily true.

There is no salvation in pleasure alone. The problem with that is that no one else can save us. Only we can save ourselves.

Sometimes, you have to step up and be the parent you always deserved for yourself. This means treating yourself well, checking in on how you’re feeling and how you’re doing. Be a mentor for yourself; an advocate for yourself. Do all the things a caring mother or father would do and do it with complete radical abandon. Find activities that bring you peace and joy and be kind and gentle with yourself and the way you see the world.

Work hard to build up that confidence that was wrecked by a dismissive or emotionally distant parent and celebrate your strengths and victories every single day. Write notes to yourself and start a mindful journaling practice that lets you get back in touch with that scared, broken little child that’s hiding deep inside.

Learn how to love yourself and the rest of the world will follow. Give yourself a gift that never quits giving and be the parent you always needed.

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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