The Face of Dysfunction
Dysfunction Within Families Breeds Dysfunction
Stopping dysfunction in its original form will prevent generational impact that affects individuals, families and society as a whole.
I spent thousands of hours examining people's lives under the microscope of counseling and I continue to see repetitions of the same underlying themes in almost every family. Healthy families beget healthy families and sick families beget families with many of the same sick dysfunctions that they experienced as children. Young boys and girls whose family role models were womanizers or man-users usually womanize or abuse and dispose of men, those whose models drank, usually have a substance abuse problem and those who grew up with hurt, pain, and abuse, usually inflict it upon their families in the same measure, over fifty percent of the time, or they may invariably find a partner who inflicts pain upon them. There are a rare few who escape this repetitive cycle, even though they were raised in it, but they are the exception. Many will marry the negative image of their parent or their opposite in an attempt to recreate what 'love' felt like and looked like to them as a child.
No matter how the child interprets it, when the family model is corrupted then the copy is corrupted. A very wise man that I greatly admired and who was a teacher and trainer once said there was a grandmother who baked a turkey with the edges cut off and both her daughters and granddaughters also baked their turkeys with the edges cut off. When someone asked the granddaughter why she baked her turkey with the edges cut off, she replied because her mother did it that way. When the mother was asked, she replied 'because my mother did it that way' and when the grandmother was asked, she said that she always had a pan that was too small for the turkey so she started trimming the edges so it would fit into the pan.
Dysfunction only needs to operate the first time, the rest will follow. We need to stop dysfunction where it starts in the first family, with the first children. If dysfunction by chance escapes detection, then stop it where you find it.
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Domestic Violence: A Societal Issue? by Sara NIles
By Sara Niles author of Torn From the Inside Out
Is Domestic Dysfunction and Domestic Violence a Societal Issue? In other words, does the societal beliefs and attitudes fostered within a culture, affect how domestic violence is treated as a social and legal issue, and does it affect how domestic dysfunction is cyclically perpetuated from generation to generation? Attitudes help form beliefs and beliefs perpetuate atttitudes.
People tend to examine the world from their own points of reference, which limits their understanding of some issues-that is-if they did not experience it to the same degree then they many not understand it-that in turn, limits the empathetic response and encourages apathy.
Another societal problem with abuse is that many former victims of childhood abuse think they need not think about it again-just move on, stuff it, and pretend it did not happen.This does not fix the problem with the individual, and it does not improve the collective health of society-instead it fosters the 'sweep-it-under-the rug' societal state of denial.
In addition to societal denial,there is societal 'projection' in which the victim is blamed for being 'stupid'....and of course if you can believe that what happened to 'the victim' happened only because they were stupid, then you only have to be 'smart' to not be victimized. The illusion of invulnerability is created and it helps people feel they have control when they say "I would never let that happen to me", not understanding the total dynamic involved. Just as individuals use such tactics to avoid feeling vulnerable-so do collective groups; and eventually, group attitudes become cultural 'norms'...that is what we have now.
In both cases,societal denial and victim blaming- the real issue gets ignored, which is the need to do something to change the cycle of abuse,
that affects huge numbers of children growing up who will have issues as adults. Changing cultural norms is part of what needs to be done (much like in the situation when slavery existed, and when gay people were considered outcasts).
Domestic abuse is extremely widespread and includes all forms of family dysfunction from emotional and psychological abuse by caretakers of both genders, to sexual and physical abuse.As you both stated-many children are affected and this is a BIG issue in our society.When you consider most people addicted to substances and negative behaviors, were childhood abuse victims-and most people in the prisons were childhood abuse victims-this is an issue of pandemic proportions. It is a societal issue, not just an individual one, and will have to be consistently addressed on a societal level in order to change things.
Public awareness and education is essential to changing public perception. The children absorb societal attitudes-and then the children grow up and become the 'new' society.
“In the process of my evolution, I became a victim of domestic war, an emotional casualty for a major portion of my life, entwined, entrapped and emotionally involved, until I learned how to become free. Freedom has never been easily gained and has often come at high cost throughout history, but one thing I will always know is freedom is worth every fight, and all pain.”
Sara Niles from Torn From the Inside Out, Memoir