Growing up in a Dysfunctional Family Article

Growing up in a dysfunctional family all I wanted is to prove that I am simply who I am. The family perception of me was their problem, not mine. Except that by fixating on it, I was making it my problem. The emotions we don’t or can’t process get stored in the body. They create limiting beliefs and feelings of unworthiness or unlovability. When we don’t feel whole, we seek approval outside ourselves. When we don’t get that approval, it hurts because it extends our limiting beliefs. Now that I turned 50, I’m no longer allowing someone else’s thoughts or judgments to define who I am. It’s something you can learn to do as well.

How I stopped the negative thoughts.  The first step is to become aware that your mind is validating a false belief. You’re hurt because, on some level, you believe this criticism. In my case, I was allowing someone else’s opinion about me to validate the idea that there was something fundamentally wrong with me, that I’m unlovable. What I had to do is shift my energy and acknowledging the fundamental truth that I am not broken or less than or unworthy. I am perfect exactly as I am right now no matter what that looks like. It is Incredibly liberating. You begin to realize that you aren’t a victim and that things that other people say about you don’t have to define you. Your mind no longer compulsively focuses on the stories, and when you feel that loop starting to form, you are empowered to walk past it and connect to your deeper truth.

Do you relate with anything I wrote?

Updated for continuing a story for a book I wish to write.

I was born in December of 1966 and five years later my real mother died. Do you know I actually have memories of her when she was alive? I have an older sister and a younger sister. My dad was a single father and also ran his family owned restaurant. I have many memories of going to the restaurant with dad. Throughout my life I was a tag-a-long child whom went to work with my dad.
Then my dad met this woman whom had three children making six children like the “Brady Bunch.” The difference is that when they married they also had another child making us seven children. We were brought up in a very strict, Irish, Catholic environment. Dad was a drinker but never violent or the fighting type. He just enjoyed his Manhattan’s and Beer. I found out later in life as I got older that my real mom was an alcoholic. My father blamed himself for leaving her alone to drink with three little girls as he ran the family business. My youngest sister has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. I guess that is why I always defended her and root for the underdog. I grew up with her being left out and not included in so many things because of her disability.
I, as well as my two sisters spent weekends at my grandma’s and grandpa’s house to visit so as to give my parents a much-needed break. My grandma never complained about anything she was very humble and prayed a lot. I loved to spend time at grandma’s house she taught me how to play rummy 500! Christmas time was very special.
I remember having to play outside until dinner after school. Watching one television that was black and white.
Any comments, thoughts, or observations?

6 thoughts on “Growing up in a Dysfunctional Family Article

  1. I want so badly to write about this subject myslef, but I fear the certain consequences of my family. Growing up the oldest of four in a traditional Boston, Irish Catholic family I can absolutely relate to you. I was just lucky enough that it was when I hit about 30 and got serious about therapy and working on myself that I reallized I am enough, just as I am. Yes, I am different from my family, and no, they don’t always like that. At times they vocalize it so harshly it nearly breaks me down, becasue I obviously love, adore, and seek out their acceptance. But, I reach within myself and realize I am the mother, wife, writer, and me that I have always meant to be. Someday my memior will be written, for better or worse.

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    • I hope you write your memior and share your story. I fear what family and friends would think or say before “coming out” about my family issues and dysfunctional family. I am almost 50 and I hope to write a book as well to help others not for profit. Just knowing I can share and give hope to others is enough for me. writing helps me heal…my past….and since I was told never to talk about the past I am going to do it with the inspiration of the Lord. Keep on going forward…you are a strong person as am I….please keep in touch…bless you…~Jackie

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      • It’s like I’m reading the story of my life here. My family’s motto was “what happens in this house stays in this house.” I, too, have no desire to profit iff if mnt memior, but to show other women there is hope on the other side. I look forward to reading your book for I’m sure it will be a wonderful piece!

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