Our Dysfunctional Society

If families were viewed as living human beings they would be living in a hospital intensive care unit on life support, suffering from an incurable disease that would most probably be passed on to their children. This disease is called codependency, and although it is not officially a disease, it is insidious, powerful and living everywhere.

Definition of Dysfunctional

Nearly every family in America has at least one member with some type of: addiction, chronic medical problem, serious mental illness, physical or emotional abuse, criminal background, or is simply absent.

Many dysfunctional families look perfectly healthy on the surface. Even inside the home, most of the problems are just not mentioned, as if by not discussing the problem makes it no longer exist. Parents think that if they pretend to act normally the problem will just go away or fix itself, and the children won’t notice or be affected by it.

A Basket of Abuse

Even bringing up this fact, that dysfunctional families have become the new norm, is avoided, perhaps for fear that discussion might further add to the problem. According to the American Medical Association (AMA) seventy-two percent – nearly 3 out of 4 families – have at least one family member who is an addict. Nearly one-third of all children in America don’t live with both parents. Over twenty percent, or one out of five Americans, suffer with some form of serious mental health condition. Also contributing to family dysfunction is an entire basket of abuse: physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, spiritual, even self-harm.

Parents who as children were themselves abused or abandoned, either physically or emotionally, bring their insecurities with them and often have difficulty when it comes to anger, affection, trust and love. Life-long denial completely covers their shame, guilt and lack of self-esteem.

A Defense Mechanism of Sorts

Children live with this pretense that makes them doubt their own perceptions. What they see and know aren’t ever acknowledged. They grow up never questioning or even talking about the “problem.” They go hide in their room and get lost for hours on their favorite websites, often changing identities as if they were clothes piling up on their bedroom floor.

Addicton: Let Me Count the Ways

Today’s society is addicted to drugs, both legal and illegal, alcohol, energy drinks, vaping, endless coffee concoctions, relationships, sex and romance, both on and offline, gambling, violent computer games, money, exercise, smartphones, tweeting, texting, and twiddling, and watching their favorite teams on television.

Many families are in a love-less, hollow shell that causes the children to become codependent. Codependency often begins with the repression of feelings, observations, thoughts and needs, and is typical in most dysfunctional families. Children learn to mistrust their parents, numb their pain, and attempt to be self-sufficient much too early. They hide behind multiple fake personalities, depending on the website or which group of friends they are with. They develop compulsive behaviors in order to cope.

Ruled by Abuse

Dysfunctional families are often ruled by an addicted, abusive parent living with ever-increasing bouts of both. The parent argues that they are neither thus ending the discussion. The rest of the family must tiptoe around the problem and try to live normally. They repress their thoughts and feelings to avoid making waves (or getting beaten). Codependency is born out of codependent parents.

Learning to Trust Yourself

If you are among the countless millions who are looking for answers besides “don’t rock the boat” or “just tread water for a little longer, things are bound to get better,” well, what if they don’t? First, remember that it is difficult to stop a thought or a habit without replacing it with a new one. By getting interested in your own life, you will have less time and energy to focus on someone else’s. Learn to trust yourself. If you are living in a family where your thoughts, feelings and perceptions are denied, it is hard to trust your instincts. Looking to others for answers is giving up your own life. Listening to yourself and respecting your feelings is the beginning of trusting, protecting and loving yourself.

Center Yourself by Journaling

Learn to write down your ideas and feelings. Journaling is an excellent way of centering yourself and analyzing your future. Staying focused in the present will keep you from obsessing about other people, what ifs and shoulds. Focus on yourself, on your feelings, your plans. Being centered is the mindful approach to calm yourself and quiet your mind. Study mindfulness and you will become less reactive to people and events.

This report is not a diagnosis. We hope this information can guide you toward improving your life.

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