Quotes About Dysfunctional Family

Quotes tagged as "dysfunctional-family" (showing 1-30 of 40)
Erin Merryn
“Along with the trust issues, one of the hardest parts to deal with is the feeling of not being believed or supported, especially by your own grandparents and extended family. When I have been through so much pain and hurt and have to live with the scars every day, I get angry knowing that others think it is all made up or they brush it off because my cousin was a teenager. I was ten when I was first sexually abused by my cousin, and a majority of my relatives have taken the perpetrator's side. I have cried many times about everything and how my relatives gave no support or love to me as a kid when this all came out. Not one relative ever came up to that innocent little girl I was and said "I am sorry for what you went through" or "I am here for you." Instead they said hurtful things: "Oh he was young." "That is what kids do." "It is not like he was some older man you didn't know." Why does age make a difference? It is a sick way of thinking. Sexual abuse is sexual abuse. What is wrong with this picture? It brings tears to my eyes the way my relatives have reacted to this and cannot accept the truth. Denial is where they would rather stay.”
Erin Merryn, Living for Today: From Incest and Molestation to Fearlessness and Forgiveness

“Fear of breaking family loyalty is one of the greatest stumbling blockages to recovery. Yet, until we admit certain things we would rather excuse or deny, we cannot truly begin to put the past in the past, and leave it there once and for all. Unless we do that, we cannot even begin to think of having a future that is fully ours, untethered to the past, and we will be destined to repeat it.”
Ronald Allen Schulz

“Abusive parents have inappropriate expectations of their children, with a reversal of dependence needs. Parents treat an abused child as if the child were older than the parents. A parent often turns to the child for reassurance, nurturing, comfort, and protection and expects a loving response.”
Benjamin James Sadock

Marnie Grundman
“Keep your heart wide open and you’ll be received with open hearts — not by everyone, but to be received by one open heart is more than worth the journey.”
Marnie Grundman, Missing A True Story Of A Childhood Lost

Rupi Kaur
“i can't tell if my mother is
terrified or in love with
my father it all
looks the same

i flinch when you touch me
i fear it is him”
Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey

Erin Merryn
“She was so upset about a blog that maybe a total of six people read yet had no compassion for her granddaughters who had suffered the physical and emotional pains of sexual abuse and whose lives were changed forever. The two cannot even be compared, yet when someone is in denial about what happened, they cannot perceive what is true. It seemed too hard for her to let her mind go there and believe her grandson could do such terrible things.”
Erin Merryn, Living for Today: From Incest and Molestation to Fearlessness and Forgiveness

“The fear of abandonment forced me to comply as a child, but I’m not forced to comply anymore. The key people in my life did reject me for telling the truth about my abuse, but I’m not alone. Even if the consequence for telling the truth is rejection from everyone I know, that’s not the same death threat that it was when I was a child. I’m a self-sufficient adult and abandonment no longer means the end of my life.”
Christina Enevoldsen, The Rescued Soul: The Writing Journey for the Healing of Incest and Family Betrayal

John Bradshaw
“Perhaps nothing so accurately characterizes dysfunctional families as denial.”
John Bradshaw, Bradshaw on the Family: A New Way of Creating Solid Self-Esteem

Erin Merryn
“My mom called Grandma today and told her we would no longer be attending family parties. My mom told her we have had enough of being blamed for something Brian did and everyone brushing it off like it was no big deal.”
Erin Merryn, Stolen Innocence: Triumphing Over a Childhood Broken by Abuse: A Memoir

“If I, as a child, claim that something awful has happened—that someone has done something terrible to me—and everyone around me acts as if nothing is the matter, then either I must be crazy, or all of them are. And when you’re a kid and your life depends on all these people, there is no choice: of course, I must be crazy.”
E. Sue Blume, Secret Survivors

Ellen Bass
“You have the right to set ground rules. This means deciding if, when, and how you want to see the people in your family. Many survivors feel that if they open up the channels at all, they have to open them up all the way. When you were a child you had two options—to trust or not to trust. Your options are broader now.”
Ellen Bass, The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

Henry Cloud
“You cannot fix people who will not take feedback, because from their perspective, they do not have a problem.”
Henry Cloud, Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward

“Too many Americans are spurred to achieve, rather than to attach.”
Thomas Lewis, A General Theory of Love

Judith Lewis Herman
“..[The] disclosure of the incest secret initiates a profound crisis for the family usually...the abuse has been going on for a number of years and has become an integral part of family life. Disclosure disrupts whatever fragile equilibrium has been maintained, jeopardizes the functioning of all family members, increases the likelihood of violent and desperate behavior, and places everyone, but particularly the daughter, at risk for retaliation.”
Judith Lewis Herman, Father-Daughter Incest: With a New Afterword

“My sister only has one side of the story but she is sure that she knows the whole story because that is how the dysfunctional system works. We don’t question everyone or even consider that there may be another side to the story but instead automatically believe the one who has the most power in the relationship.”
Darlene Ouimet

Judith Lewis Herman
“Though all the daughters eventually succeeded in escaping from their families, they felt, even at this time of the interview (while in their 20s and 30s) that they would never be safe with their fathers, and that they would have to defend themselves as long as their fathers lived.”
Judith Lewis Herman, Father-Daughter Incest: With a New Afterword

“Attitudes and ignorance” about (any type of) abuse can be passed down through the generations. It is important to our healing that we sort out the belief systems we adopt; belief systems that were taught to us and because they are so full of lies, they lead to all kinds of depressions, addictions and other struggles while we try to cope with the manifestations of the problems instead of the roots of the problems.”
Darlene Ouimet

Ellen Bass
“To heal from child sexual abuse you must believe that you were a victim, that the abuse really did take place. This is often difficult for survivors. When you’ve spent your life denying the reality of your abuse, when you don’t want it to be true, or when your family repeatedly calls you crazy or a liar, it can be hard to remain firm in the knowledge that you were abused.”
Ellen Bass, The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

“When I thought about how much time I had already put into a relationship without reciprocation from the other person and how I spent YEARS recovering and trying to recover from the damage of her verbal, emotional and physical abuse and neglect, I realized that I was the only one trying and I wasn’t the problem! That understanding changed everything!”
Darlene Ouimet

“Sexual abuse is also a secret crime, one that usually has no witness. Shame and secrecy keep a child from talking to siblings about the abuse, even if all the children in a family are being sexually assaulted. In contrast, if a child is physically or emotionally abused, the abuse is likely to occur in front of the other children in the family, at least some of the time. The physical and emotional abuse becomes part of the family's explicit history. Sexual abuse does not.”
Renee Fredrickson, Repressed Memories: A Journey to Recovery from Sexual Abuse

Brenna Ehrlich
“When I was your age, I would go to plays all the time, just sit in the darkness and try to take it all in inside me. Contain everything in some corner of my heart so that when I had my shot, it could all come pouring out - all the lights and moments and colour.”
Brenna Ehrlich, Placid Girl

John Bradshaw
“Perhaps nothing so accurately characterizes dysfunctional families as denial. The denial forces members to keep believing the myths and vital lies in spite of the facts, or to keep expecting that the same behaviors will have different outcomes.
Dad's not an alcoholic because he never drinks in the morning, in spite of the fact that he's drunk every night.”
John Bradshaw, Bradshaw on the Family: A New Way of Creating Solid Self-Esteem

“One needn't stop dysfunction; just evince and reflect.”
Andy Harglesis

J.P. Sexton
“In Ireland we have the phenomenon known as a "Spoiled Priest." Unlike a spoiled child, this does not refer to a Priest throwing a temper tantrum.”
J.P. Sexton

“Here's an idea, how about you stop drinking? How about you go to rehab? Or you could just do us all a favor and die.”
Evelyn Smith

“You don’t want to threaten me sis.”
Evelyn Smith, The Summer of Secrets

“Thus polyvictimization or complex trauma are "developmentally adverse interpersonal traumas" (Ford, 2005) because they place the victim at risk not only for recurrent stress and psychophysiological arousal (e.g., PTSD, other anxiety disorders, depression) but also for interruptions and breakdowns in healthy psychobiological, psychological, and social development. Complex trauma not only involves shock, fear, terror, or powerlessness (either short or long term) but also, more fundamentally, constitutes a violation of the immature self and the challenge to the development of a positive and secure self, as major psychic energy is directed toward survival and defense rather than toward learning and personal development (Ford, 2009b, 2009c). Moreover, it may influence the brain's very development, structure, and functioning in both the short and long term (Lanius et al., 2010; Schore, 2009).

Complex trauma often forces the child victim to substitute automatic survival tactics for adaptive self-regulation, starting at the most basic level of physical reactions (e.g., intense states of hyperarousal/agitation or hypoarousal/immobility) and behavioral (e.g., aggressive or passive/avoidant responses) that can become so automatic and habitual that the child's emotional and cognitive development are derailed or distorted. What is more, self-integrity is profoundly shaken, as the child victim incorporates the "lessons of abuse" into a view of him or herself as bad, inadequate, disgusting, contaminated and deserving of mistreatment and neglect. Such misattributions and related schema about self and others are some of the most common and robust cognitive and assumptive consequences of chronic childhood abuse (as well as other forms of interpersonal trauma) and are especially debilitating to healthy development and relationships (Cole & Putnam, 1992; McCann & Pearlman, 1992). Because the violation occurs in an interpersonal context that carries profound significance for personal development, relationships become suspect and a source of threat and fear rather than of safety and nurturance.

In vulnerable children, complex trauma causes compromised attachment security, self-integrity and ultimately self-regulation. Thus it constitutes a threat not only to physical but also to psychological survival - to the development of the self and the capacity to regulate emotions (Arnold & Fisch, 2011). For example, emotional abuse by an adult caregiver that involves systematic disparagement, blame and shame of a child ("You worthless piece of s-t"; "You shouldn't have been born"; "You are the source of all of my problems"; "I should have aborted you"; "If you don't like what I tell you, you can go hang yourself") but does not involve sexual or physical violation or life threat is nevertheless psychologically damaging. Such bullying and antipathy on the part of a primary caregiver or other family members, in addition to maltreatment and role reversals that are found in many dysfunctional families, lead to severe psychobiological dysregulation and reactivity (Teicher, Samson, Polcari, & McGreenery, 2006).”
Christine A. Courtois, Treatment of Complex Trauma: A Sequenced, Relationship-Based Approach

Rachel  Grant
“I’m an aid worker. I’ve been helping South Sudanese people who’ve returned to their villages after being displaced by the civil war prepare for the rainy season, which, by all accounts, is going to suck elephant dicks this year.”
Rachel Grant, Catalyst

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