dysfunctional family

Recognizing Childhood Emotional Neglect

Do you have difficulty identifying and trusting your emotions? Do you feel unfulfilled, disconnected, or empty? Do you feel like your needs—or you—don’t matter? Do you sense that you’re different than everyone else, but you can’t put your finger on what’s wrong? Childhood Emotional Neglect is a powerful experience, but one that often goes unnoticed …

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Stop trying to help what to do when your help isn't wanted don't want to change

Are you a helper, fixer, or rescuer? Are you trying to help or change someone who don’t want to change? Watching a friend or family member struggling with a problem or making “bad” decisions is hard. You naturally want to help. You want to make your friends and family’s lives easier and more joyful. You …

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Mother’s Day When You Aren’t Close to Your Mother

Mother’s Day is painful when you’re not close to your mother. For many, Mother’s Day is a stark reminder of a relationship that’s fractured, distant, or even non-existent. Strained mother-child relationships are not uncommon, yet our communities, families, and the media persist in portraying mothers as angels and mother-child relationships as unbreakable. The pressure to …

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healing from a toxic family requires boundaries

Growing up in a dysfunctional family can cause lasting wounds. For adult children who grew up in these environments, healing can be challenging, and navigating relationships with “toxic” family members can be a constant source of pain. A key part of the healing process is setting and sticking to boundaries. Boundaries are essential for stopping …

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Managing triggers when setting boundaries with family of origin

Setting boundaries with your family can stir up old emotional wounds. Learning to manage your triggers will help you set more effective boundaries. What are Boundaries and Why Are They Important? Boundaries are the invisible lines we draw to define what’s acceptable and unacceptable behavior. They encompass how much of ourselves we share emotionally and …

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11 Characteristics of Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families

Growing up in a dysfunctional family has a lasting impact on us. Many adult children of dysfunctional families underestimate the effects of being raised in a dysfunctional family. Perhaps it’s wishful thinking. Perhaps it’s denial. More likely it’s shame and simply not knowing that adult children of dysfunctional families, as a group, tend to struggle …

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Lost Childhood The Effects of Dysfunctional Family

This article addresses something that impacts many of us— the lasting effects of growing up in a dysfunctional family. Growing up in a dysfunctional family can be lonely, scary, and confusing. And children in dysfunctional families don’t have typical childhoods. What is a dysfunctional family? Let’s start by defining what we mean by “dysfunctional family.” …

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Setting boundaries in enmeshed relationships

Key points about boundaries and enmeshed relationships: What is an enmeshed relationship? An enmeshed relationship lacks boundaries. People in enmeshed relationships are so close that they lose their individual identities. Enmeshed relationships can be between parents and children, siblings, romantic partners, or friends. If you’re in an enmeshed relationship, you may: People in enmeshed relationships …

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Adult Children Dysfunctional Families Need for Control

Feeling out of control is scary for most people, but even more so for adult children. The term adult children (or adult child) refers to individuals that grew up in dysfunctional families. This includes having parents, caregivers, or close family members who struggled with substance use, mental health issues, rage, narcissistic behaviors, or were abusive. …

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Healing from emotional abuse and trauma

An emotionally abusive or toxic relationship can make you feel trapped, small, and deficient. It can feel like an anchor weighing you down, suffocating you. People who grew up in dysfunctional, chaotic, or unsafe families, develop a set of coping skills that helped them deal with the chaos and dysfunction in their families. Although these …

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