ARE 97% OF FAMILIES NEUROTIC?
The following excerpt is from the self help
psychology book, Be Your Own Therapist.
(In This Book: Neurotic = Skewed = Mild-to-Moderate
In an earlier chapter I baldly said that 97% of us grew up in
dysfunctional families. That 97% statistic has circulated
widely in recent years, although its accuracy has not been free
of controversy. Given our skewed society, the truth is that all
of us learned neurotic ways in our growing-up years: skewed
thinking, skewed communication patterns, skewed emotional
responses and skewed ways of treating our bodies. We learned
dysfunction and became more or less dysfunctional depending upon
how dysfunctional our role models and parenting figures were.
|Millions of mothers are as sexist about childrearing as their husbands are sexist about job roles.
For most of us, our parenting figures were our most important
teachers of dysfunction. They traumatized us with their abusive
actions. They also gave us trauma knots with their demands, both
subtle and overt, that we learn to stuff our feelings such as
anger, tears, love and sexuality. Their demands upon us to
remain silent, to not talk back, to take care of their feelings,
to act strong when we felt weak, etc., increased our
dysfunction. Their oft-repeated failures to meet our needs for
love and affection skewed us immensely, as did their continued
lack of respect for our individuality. The felt lack of caring
from them traumatized us, whether it was caused by their
addictions, by the dreadful parenting skills they acquired from
our grandparents or by their adherence to "correct"
child-rearing manuals of the times.
There are adults who honestly believe that their parents
traumatized them not one bit. They claim most happy childhoods.
In most of these cases denial is present. Their current claim of
childhood perfection is contradicted by their addictive behavior
such as smoking or drinking, their excess weight, or their
unhappy relationships. Until such adults really look at what
happened back then, it has been my experience that they continue
a downward life course in terms of happiness. Potentially some
are perhaps the healthiest among us, for their childhoods were
generally good. Others claiming childhood perfection, of course,
are in complete denial about a truly horrendous childhood, and
they need their denial to protect themselves.
As I write this in the mid-1990s, there are many parents who
have left most of the neurotic parenting behind. They accept the
feelings of their small children, even hatred for girls and
tears for boys. Instead of finding that their children are
spoiled if their needs for affection are met, it seems the
children are satisfied with enough. They don't become insatiable
as do many adults, who are neurotically trying to make up for
childhood lack of love. (Only by resolving that old trauma knot
of kid-neediness will today's insatiable adults likely change
their current never-ending neediness.)
If societal parenting is getting better, then why the increased
violence among children? The reason is that parents have thrown
out an important baby with the old neurotic parenting bathwater.
The discarded baby is authoritarian messages, which will be
discussed later in this chapter. Authoritarian messages are
crucial if we are to change our society's violent trends.* The
media unknowingly support these violent trends with constant
faultfinding of authority figures.
Emotionally healthy adults are comfortable saying the words I love you to men, women, and children in a feeling way.|
More Excerpts This Chapter
ARE 97% OF FAMILIES NEUROTIC?
TRAUMATIZING CHILDREN - 97% OF THEM?
ARE WE REALLY HUMANE?
OUR CURRENT FAMILIES BRING OUT OUR SKEWNESS
MOTHERS CAN BE SEXIST TOO
MANY MEN STILL ABDICATE THEIR PARENTING ROLES
WORKING MOMS - ARE THEIR KIDS OK?
LATCHKEY CHILDREN DON'T DO AS WELL
THE SEARCH FOR APPROVAL
This Chapter's Quiz
Book Table of Contents
Sexual Education Psychology
Self Help Free Read - Book Online
ARE 97% OF FAMILIES NEUROTIC? © 1995-99