Many of us are brought up in dysfunctional families where we did not learn to accept or address the emotions that we felt. Most of our childhoods went in understanding the conflicts and the chaos of the homes where we lived, and being our own parents, because our parents and caregivers did not give us the necessary amount of love, care and attention that we deserved. “Dysfunctional families tend to be unstable and/or have several conflicts. Parents/caregivers can be hyper focused on their own needs and desires that they might fail to meet those of their child(ren). This often leads to neglect, abuse, or other conflicts. If you grew up in a dysfunctional family, the behaviors discussed in today’s post may have seemed normal. But they aren’t.,” wrote Therapist Allyson Kellum-Aguirre as she explained the behaviors that have been normalised by our dysfunctional families but are not healthy for our emotional wellbeing.
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Not sharing feelings: We have grown up suppressing our own feelings and emotions because we did not know where to show them, or who to show them to. As we grow older, this characteristic of ours can harm our mental and emotional health.
Keeping family secrets: Some secrets are meant to be let out, but having grown up in dysfunctional homes where conflicts were regular, we learn to keep a lot of family secrets.
Being around unsafe people: Some of the people we felt unsafe about in our childhood came from our own families. We learnt to normalise staying around people who made us feel unsafe and uncomfortable.
Cover up problems: Rather than addressing the problems, we learnt to cover them up so avoid difficult conversations and conflicts in the home.
Acting as if nothing happened: We also learnt to behave normal after a conflict as if nothing happened, even though we are deeply affected by it.
Pretending to be okay: We learnt not to talk about our mental and emotional health and pretending to be okay, when we needed help.