Saturday, June 27, 2009

I do not deny, that drug addiction and dysfunctional behaviors affected us and we fell into enabling, but DID SAY NO MORE!

* Denial (i.e. a refusal to acknowledge the alcoholism of a parent or child/teenager; ignoring complaints of sexual abuse)
* Lack of empathy toward family members
* Lack of clear boundaries (i.e. throwing away personal possessions that belong to others, inappropriate physical boundaries)
* Mixed Messages
* Extremes in conflict (either too much or too little fighting between family members)

In Dysfunctional Families

"There are four basic roles that children/adult children adopt in order to survive growing up in emotionally dishonest, shame-based, dysfunctional family systems."

"As an adult the Family Hero is rigid, controlling, and extremely judgmental . . . . . of others and secretly of themselves. They achieve "success" on the outside and get lots of positive attention but are cut off from their inner emotional life, from their True Self."

"The scapegoat is the child that the family feels ashamed of - and the most emotionally honest child in the family. He/she acts out the tension and anger the family ignores. This child provides distraction from the real issues in the family."

"A lot of actors and writers are 'lost children' who have found a way to express emotions while hiding behind their characters."

Other Stressors in Dysfunctional Families

* Parent/Child role reversal
* Resentment toward the person with the problem
* Blame primary caregiver for staying in the situation
* Individuals may be prone to depression
* Develop fear of becoming close to others
* Fear of losing the primary caregiver
* Learn to discount feelings and needs
* Irrational belief systems
* Multiple unresolved losses (real, symbolic or perceived)

Stages of Stress

* "I can do and be everything." Built in failure and guilt
* "I can't do and be everything." Self Acceptance
* "I don't want to do and be everything." Choice
* "I don't want to do anything." Burnout

Symptoms of Families Under Excessive Stress

* Constant sense of urgency and hurry
* Sense of tension underlying sharp words and misunderstandings
* Mania to escape to your room, car, office, or anywhere
* Feelings of frustration for not getting things done or caught up
* Feeling that time is passing too quickly
* Frequent desire to return to a simpler time of life
* Little me or couple time
* Pervasive sense of guilt for not being and doing everything to and for the people in your life

Transitions and Dynamics That Can Lead To Excessive Stress

One or More Persons in The Family Has Any of The Following or Has a Family History Of:

* A Mental Illness
* An Addiction To Legal or Illegal Drugs
* Overly Rigid Religious Beliefs
* An Abusive Spouse
* An Abusive Parent
* A Physical Disability
* An Emotional or Behavioral Problem
* Responsibility For an Aging Parent
* An Infant/toddler
* An Adolescent
* Adult Children Living at Home

Some of these situations may be temporary, yet without proper preparation, clear guidelines and teamwork can lead to severe strain on the primary caregiver, thus placing the family at risk for malfunctioning.

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