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Dysfunctional Family Survivors: 7 Myths that Hold Your Healing Hostage

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I have never known a patient to portray their parents more negatively than they actually experienced them in childhood but always more positively–because idealization of their parents was essential for their survival.” Alice Miller, If we’re born into dysfunctional families and, by some miracle, manage to recognize there’s something really wrong there, we can end up devoting a huge portion of our time on Earth (if not all of it) to piecemealing a life not defined by the despair and pain we felt as children.

This is as challenging a feat as it gets. The institution of family is universally recognized as sacrosanct. But when this unquestioned bubble becomes a breeding ground for —be it covert or explicit, emotional or physical, subtle or extreme—then naming a breach, taking a stand, protecting ourselves, or even deciding to proactively heal can be seen as a betrayal.

After a lifetime of some version of this, I want to share with you seven family myths that, for years, held my healing hostage.

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