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Dysfunctional/Abusive Families Vs Healthy Families
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Poll

Is there dysfunction/abuse in your family?
I grew up in a dysfunctional/abusive family and am not sure about my current situation, it may or may not be healthy
 13%  [ 25 ]
I grew up in a dysfunctional/abusive family and am currently in one myself
 5%  [ 11 ]
I grew up in a dysfunctional/abusive family and am divorced after leaving a dysfunctional/abusive marriage
 3%  [ 7 ]
I grew up in a dysfunctional/abusive family and am in a healthy marriage today
 26%  [ 50 ]
I did not grow up in a dysfunctional/abusive family but am in one now
 3%  [ 7 ]
I did not grow up in a dysfunctional/abusive family but am divorced b/c of an abusive/dysfunctional marriage
 2%  [ 4 ]
I did not grow up in a dysfunctional/abusive family and am in a healthy relationship today
 39%  [ 73 ]
I do not know or understand what a healthy relationship/family looks like
 4%  [ 9 ]
Total Votes : 186


amother




Brown


Post  Tue, Jan 10 2017, 7:58 pm
I think we both grew up with levels of dysfunction. That said, there were levels of function too.

In his family - neglect verbal abuse

In my family - lies, inconsistencies, covering up, yelling some physical abuse and lots of anger.

We are battling our own issues and our home is likewise a mix of functional dysfunctional but I like to believe we each improved on what we grew up with.

Sigh. We try.

I once heard someone say ' A dysfunctional family is any family with more than one person in it'
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Lady Bug









  


Post  Wed, Jan 11 2017, 10:41 am
The problem with this poll is that it is so subjective, as is defining dysfunction. You also need to account for denial. A few years ago I would've said healthy all around, because I had no idea what healthy looks like. Even with some of the responses on this thread, posters saying that they grew up in emotionally functional homes when the examples they cite are clearly dysfunctional.

Dina Friedman describes dysfunctional parenting as any interaction that is not with the intention to nurture your child. We all have moments of dysfunction. To label a situation or childhood dysfunction, my opinion is that we look to the 80/20 rule. If less than 20% of interactions were dysfunctional, then it can be considered healthy. Not all dysfunctional homes are dirty and unkempt and dysfunctional on the outside, some have the perfect image but are dysfunctional on the inside.

Another thing to keep in mind is each individual's perception of their childhood. While there are some families which are clearly dysfunctional, there are others where some children feel like they received a dysfunctional upbringing while others feel like they were loved and nurtured, and both can be true.

Regarding the occurrence in the frum world, I believe that Hitler killed more in the people he left alive than in the people he killed. I think it very important to take the Holocaust into account since so much of the frum world today are children/grandchildren of the Holocaust, and even those who didn't personally experience the Holocaust, experienced the trauma of hearing it and seeing it happen to their people. I can only speak for myself, but I am certain the same occurred in different ways to all Holocaust survivors. My grandparents were emotionally stunted and shut down, physically weak all their lives, and lived in terrible fear. My parents were raised in emotionally sterile environments, where anger was the only appropriate emotion. If that doesn't create dysfunction then I don't know what does.

Brene Brown says that even someone who would grow up in the non-existant perfectly functional family, would still have some areas of dysfunction to heal since society is dysfunctional. We all work hard to do right by our children and to do things differently. We are all wired to replay our childhood relationship patterns and our work on this world is to heal and become "healthy". We all win some and lose some, and I think our preoccupation with labeling dysfunction hurts us more than it helps. As long as we do our best, taking our awareness and working on ourselves to do better, we are functional human beings.
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Growing









  


Post  Wed, Jan 11 2017, 11:17 am
Lady bug, I have to call out my appreciation of your above post.

Very eloquent and so true.

Thank You
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Chayalle









  


Post  Wed, Jan 11 2017, 12:07 pm
Growing wrote:
Lady bug, I have to call out my appreciation of your above post.

Very eloquent and so true.

Thank You


Ditto. What an excellent post.

I also totally agree about what lady bug wrote about the holocaust having affected so many of us today. This is true of both those who were themselves survivors, and those who fled and lost all their family.

My grandmother - she should live to be 120 - is an amazing woman, a teen survivor of Auschwitz who tried so hard to give her children a normal upbringing....but we still see the affects of that today, because when you witness that kind of destruction, normal is no longer relevant.

DH's grandparents fled the holocaust, and I hear stories of how his grandmother A"H lived with survivors guilt, having fled against her own mother's wishes and having lost every single living relative. Raising kids with that kind of guilt and depression has it's own repercussions.

I tell my own kids that human beings are not perfect - only Hashem is perfect. We are here to deal with an imperfect world, and do the best we can with that. We all have to deal with the dysfunction that surrounds us, whether within or without the family.
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peanut butter c









  


Post  Wed, Jan 11 2017, 6:57 pm
Oh, wow! These results are shocking. Over 50% of imamothers who responded to this poll either grew up in abusive/dysfunctional families, are currently in one, and/or don't know if they are in an abusive/dysfunctional family dynamic today. Is there really so much dysfunction and abuse in our communities? And what can we do to change that?
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amother




Fuchsia


Post  Wed, Jan 11 2017, 9:08 pm
Bizzydizzymommy wrote:
I grew up with dysfunction. And I Baruch HaShem have a healthy marriage. My biggest fear is that I may act dysfunctional at times as a reaction to my upbringing and I'd hate for my kids to grow up in dysfunction. So far I think we are doing ok. But I could totally picture my kids as adults saying what a psycho mother they had . She made them clean for Shabbos, she asked them to do a load of laundry, she always complained when the volume of the music they were listening to was too loud, if we did not do our homework she wouldn't do it for us and she wouldn't sign it, saying that we need to learn responsibility etc. Could you just imagine what "suffering" they had to put up with?


Not sure if the second half of your post is humor/sarcasm, but in case you're really worried, I assure you that when your children grow up they won't consider that to be dysfunctional!
As an adult, I fully understand why my parents had rules about helping with chores, curfew, where in the House we were allowed to eat (no food upstairs!) etc. those are normal, understandable things.
I also know that my mother's insistence on me being ultra frum and getting only the best grades etc was dysfunction. As well as her hitting us with her slippers, and calling my father all sorts of names in front of us kids and threatening to hurt him etc. and threatening to beat us all the time for the stupidest things.
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amother




Smokey


Post  Thu, Jan 12 2017, 2:43 am
amother wrote:
We're in a similar situation in the opposite form. We each grew up with different areas of dysfunction. Neither of our parents had good relationships (to put it mildly) and there was lots of dysfunction in how each of us were brought up as children as well.
Dh and I work very hard and are very loving to each other. But I'm struggling as a mother and lot of what I say in stressful situations is verbally abusive.

This is exactly how I feel as well
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amother




Maroon


Post  Thu, Jan 12 2017, 8:53 am
peanut butter c wrote:
Oh, wow! These results are shocking. Over 50% of imamothers who responded to this poll either grew up in abusive/dysfunctional families, are currently in one, and/or don't know if they are in an abusive/dysfunctional family dynamic today. Is there really so much dysfunction and abuse in our communities? And what can we do to change that?


This is an example of biased info based on voluntary response. Who do you think is most likely to respond to this poll? Is it even an accurate assessment of women on Imamother, forget about the frum population as a whole?

Also, the words "dysfunctional" and "abusive" are subjective, and often thrown around too lightly.

I always said that my house growing up was abusive. My mother is explosive, yelled a ton, manipulated all of us with her yelling, neglected several of our physical needs, etc. My father is wonderful, but can't negate the damage that my mother has done. I think my parents' house is pretty dysfunctional, but what defines "dysfunctional?"
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amother




Hotpink


Post  Thu, Jan 12 2017, 9:10 am
Lady Bug wrote:
The problem with this poll is that it is so subjective, as is defining dysfunction. You also need to account for denial. A few years ago I would've said healthy all around, because I had no idea what healthy looks like. Even with some of the responses on this thread, posters saying that they grew up in emotionally functional homes when the examples they cite are clearly dysfunctional.

Dina Friedman describes dysfunctional parenting as any interaction that is not with the intention to nurture your child. We all have moments of dysfunction. To label a situation or childhood dysfunction, my opinion is that we look to the 80/20 rule. If less than 20% of interactions were dysfunctional, then it can be considered healthy. Not all dysfunctional homes are dirty and unkempt and dysfunctional on the outside, some have the perfect image but are dysfunctional on the inside.

Another thing to keep in mind is each individual's perception of their childhood. While there are some families which are clearly dysfunctional, there are others where some children feel like they received a dysfunctional upbringing while others feel like they were loved and nurtured, and both can be true.

Regarding the occurrence in the frum world, I believe that Hitler killed more in the people he left alive than in the people he killed. I think it very important to take the Holocaust into account since so much of the frum world today are children/grandchildren of the Holocaust, and even those who didn't personally experience the Holocaust, experienced the trauma of hearing it and seeing it happen to their people. I can only speak for myself, but I am certain the same occurred in different ways to all Holocaust survivors. My grandparents were emotionally stunted and shut down, physically weak all their lives, and lived in terrible fear. My parents were raised in emotionally sterile environments, where anger was the only appropriate emotion. If that doesn't create dysfunction then I don't know what does.

Brene Brown says that even someone who would grow up in the non-existant perfectly functional family, would still have some areas of dysfunction to heal since society is dysfunctional. We all work hard to do right by our children and to do things differently. We are all wired to replay our childhood relationship patterns and our work on this world is to heal and become "healthy". We all win some and lose some, and I think our preoccupation with labeling dysfunction hurts us more than it helps. As long as we do our best, taking our awareness and working on ourselves to do better, we are functional human beings.


I was born in the 70's, years after the holocaust, and none of my grandparents were survivors. But as a baby, my babysitter was sent to a woman who was holocaust survivor. Eventually my mother (and other parents) realised she was mistreating me and the other kids, and she took me out and stopped her babysitting by going to rabbanim. (How do I even remember this? Everytime me or my siblings would pass this women in the street she would curse us audibly. My mother would then remind us it wasn't her fault, it was Hitler's Ym'sh.)

Otherwise I grew up in a fairly functional home. Lots of kids and thus little money but my parents are good parents. I don't know if I am the most functional mother. But I am pretty sure being mistreated at a young age can impact badly on a person later in life.
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amother




cornflower


Post  Thu, Jan 12 2017, 9:41 am
My house was definitely dysfunctional. My mother either has bipolar or just generalized depression, but she was always having bouts of depression. When she wasn't she was hyper and manic like- saying anything to get some attention even if it means revealing her kids most embarassing secrets. Parents had a bad marriage where each had their own baggage. Major money dysfunction- secrets secrets secrets, living off credit cards and thinking we could afford things that we could not. Parents would go on trips overseas but no money for real groceries. No supper ever, no one to ask about my day growing up, no emotional needs being met. Very unhappy and lonely and always felt like yom tov reminded me of what I never had- - a warm loving family.
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amother




Natural


Post  Thu, Jan 12 2017, 9:51 am
I am currently growing up with an emotionally abusive parent. the abuse got so much worse since I left the house. my therapist says because when I was living there I didn't know how wrong it was. I didn't know better. I have to say it's so much worse now that I'm aware. every conversation and encounter is fraught with tension and hurt on my end while I continue to act carefree and indifferent to it all.
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peanut butter c









  


Post  Thu, Jan 12 2017, 8:31 pm
amother wrote:
This is an example of biased info based on voluntary response. Who do you think is most likely to respond to this poll? Is it even an accurate assessment of women on Imamother, forget about the frum population as a whole?

Also, the words "dysfunctional" and "abusive" are subjective, and often thrown around too lightly.

I always said that my house growing up was abusive. My mother is explosive, yelled a ton, manipulated all of us with her yelling, neglected several of our physical needs, etc. My father is wonderful, but can't negate the damage that my mother has done. I think my parents' house is pretty dysfunctional, but what defines "dysfunctional?"

What do you think would make this unbiased and objective? I mean, there could be two women from the same family who answered very differently, one said she grew up in an abusive/dysfunctional family and one said she didn't. Is one of them in denial or lying about her family? What if they grew up with a narcissistic parent and one of them was the scapegoat child who was abused while the other was the golden child who was treated like a princess. So the scapegoat sister says she grew up with abuse while the other sister says didn't. Would having this info make it less subjective or unbiased? And aren't all polls biased and subjective to some extent? Why would it not be an accurate assessment or sample size of the women in the Jewish communities?
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amother




Lemon


Post  Thu, Jan 12 2017, 10:36 pm
B"H I grew up in an extremely functional/healthy/well-adjusted/supportive family with wonderful parents who have a loving relationship with each other and with all their children.

I am now divorced from a dysfunctional (but not abusive) husband. Though I noticed some little quirks/issues in my ex when were dating, his dysfunction was not obvious on the surface. I discounted the issues because they were not clear red flags and, having grown up surrounded by functional people and functional relationships, it was not on my radar to consider that these quirks may have indicated more serious dysfunction and emotional issues.
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amother




Periwinkle


Post  Thu, Jan 12 2017, 10:55 pm
My mother is a survivor of child s-xual abuse and my father is the son of Holocaust survivors..he also escaped Hungary at a very young age..my mother didnt deal with her issues until after marriage..my father's mother was a very stern woman who was not happy her children became frum..my mother then had 5 kids in a row without parental support..she lost her mother at a very young age and grew up with a wicked step mother..my father believed in physical punishment..all my siblings are pretty messed up but I really try to run a fuctional home but its not easy..dh is a child.of divorce parents and he has major issues he does not acknowledge..social issues, poor communication skills..my kids are definitely showing signs of social issues.
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amother




Lime


Post  Fri, Jan 13 2017, 1:48 am
I grew up with parents with a beautiful, loving, respectful relationship. I always felt like we (the kids) were the most important thing to them, I was loved and nurtured.
That being said I had a brother with aspergers who took up most of the time and focus when I was younger and as a teen my dad lost his job in 2008 and most of thier savings and the financail struggle (and getting out of it) became a huge focus.
So was my childhood dysfunctional?
I don't think so - I was loved, nurtured, and my needs were met.
Was it easy?
Not in the slightest - I was S-xually abused as a child by s/o outside of the family and never told anyone because I saw how much my parentshad to deal with.
I am not resentful - I believe my parents did the best they could.

I am in a healthy marriage now and I do have a lot of baggae to work thru (3 years of therapy so far) but I believe that the labels dysfunction and abuse do not apply
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