Mind Control (Traditions of Dysfunctional Families 10)

It wouldn't make sense to end a series on dysfunctional family traditions without mentioning mind control. Many parents play the Fear, Shame and Blame Game to manipulate their adult children. It's easy for them to push our buttons because they installed them. If you had controlling parents chances are they used mind control. It's hard to break away …

Components of Spiritual Abuse

I recently discovered the following components of Spiritual Abuse. I am unsure of who the author is, but they sound familiar. 1. Spiritual abuse is the violation of our trust placed in God by someone who betrays that trust by using God’s name to gain entrance into our secret soul, destroying our experience of the goodness …

Violence (Traditions of Dysfunctional Families 8)

Violence doesn't just happen. I've heard many people say, "Things just got out of control and we didn't realize it until someone got hurt." I don't believe them. Violence always starts with disrespect. Violence isn't always physical. We can each do violence to ourselves without speaking a word or hitting the wall. Other times it's angry …

Victim-hood (Traditions of Dysfunctional Families 9)

Have you ever known someone who could go to the circus, have an elephant step on their foot, clowns spit on them, pop spilled down their back and still get stuck with nothing but peanut shells? This is the caricature of a martyr. Many victims have become martyrs. Bad things happened to them and before …

Silence (Traditions of Dysfunctional Families 6)

Silence takes many forms in a dysfunctional family but shunning is a sort of final silence. Before shunning there was first the silence of the controller who chose not to reveal truth so they could manipulate an outcome. There was the silence of children who were afraid to tell the truth for fear of what will happen when …

Triangulation (Traditions of Dysfunctional Families 5)

When Natalie received her first check the first thing she did was buy a sofa. She'd never bought anything brand new before so in her excitement she told her family. The delivery truck was unloading it when her phone rang. It was her sister informing her that their parents were talking because they thought Natalie should wait …

Isolation (Traditions of Dysfunctional Families 4)

Most never speak about it, but isolation is a very common tradition of dysfunctional families. We all know the fairytale where the heroine is locked away in a tower with nothing but birds and mice to talk with, but often isolation is so subtle neighbors, teachers and church members might not recognize it as such.  Here are three ways children suffer from isolation …

Scapegoating (Traditions of Dysfunctional Families 3)

Some families are so dysfunctional that they can only be united when they have a common enemy. Scapegoating helps a sick family unite by choosing one person to blame for all the family problems. When we first left home, one of my siblings began to see things differently than my parents.  As they had children they began …

Anger (Dysfunctional Family Traditions 1)

Anger is NOT a sin, but many Christians grew up being warned about it. The Bible gives us examples of people whose anger was out of control. Like Jonah who got mad because God saved Nineveh and Balaam who got so angry he beat his donkey. But there are other examples in the Bible where good people got angry …

Dysfunctional Family Traditions

Being in a relationship with somebody who lies is tough. It’s not that you don’t love them or care about them, it’s just that you can’t connect. Without trust, there’s no relationship. -Donald Miller One of the most common searches on this site is the question, "How do I get to the root of my …