An angry abusive parent and sad child
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A lie appears as your instant friend. But, even if it hurts in the beginning, truth is your real friend.” -Anon.


If you were abused or neglected as a child, you lived in a “dysfunctional” situation.


If you were not nourished and cherished in your family, you lived in a “dysfunctional” situation.


That is the blunt truth, and I am sorry if it hurts – but the lie hurts worse and for much longer.


I hear you say, “I don’t want to go over that crap. It is all in the past! Why uncover this painful shit?”


Believe it, that is just another convenient – and damaging – lie, the belief that ignoring it will make it go away.




Because most everyone coming out of an abusive/neglectful home comes away with baggage. Baggage is also termed “unfinished business.” It is the gift that keeps on feeding you shit sandwiches disguised as a free lunch.


Most everyone thinks their family was not dysfunctional. Most everyone is wrong. To some degree, and with varying frequency, we all came from a family that was, at least sometimes, dysfunctional.


How much damage those times of dysfunction impacted us is the real issue, and that can be very difficult to determine by just looking in the mirror and asking.




Because we lie like rugs to ourselves. We hide from the truth by – what psychologists call – “repression.” We have conveniently forgotten (repressed) what actually happened because it was so painful. We did this to protect ourselves. At that time, it felt like the only way to get through it.

What is in the past often isn't

But, in all honesty, it is NOT in the past. We never lay it down. As adults we are the “walking wounded” and that robs us of a healthy, happy and balanced life.


A reason we continue to hide from the truth is that one of the bummers of surviving such a family is we have no idea how to heal ourselves – we are way short of the tools we need to deal well with self-healing – so covering it up seems, again, quite reasonable.


And maybe it will just go away.


No, it won’t. It doesn’t.


How dysfunctional was your family?


Let’s see just how dysfunctional your family was.

The F**ked Up or Dysfunctional Family Questionnaire

Answer the following 8 questions. YES or NO answers only. Be brave.


Yes or No   1. Our family was critical of one another. (Compliments rare, criticism frequent.)


Yes or No   2. When we were abused (punished, spanked, traumatized, sexually abused, etc.) it was deemed a righteous action. (“This is for your own good.” “You know you need/want this.” “God says ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child.’” “This hurts me more than it will you.”)


Yes or No   3. Our parents/caregivers were mostly focused elsewhere. (On an addiction, work, television, gambling, habits, recreation, each other, etc. etc.)


Yes or No   4. Our basic needs were often neglected. (Good nutrition, proper rest, nurturing, security, safety.)


Yes or No   5. Our health needs were neglected. (Healthcare, dental needs, necessary immunizations)


Yes or No   6. Every problem seemed to burden and weaken us more.


Yes or No   7. Our mistakes were spotlighted and we were shamed and/or punished for making them.


Yes or No   8. Being hypervigilant was nearly constant. (“Walking on eggs” was a common feeling.)



Total up the number of  YES_____



If you scored 1 there are doubts as to the health of your family of origin.

If you scored 2-4 there is no doubt.

If you scored 5-6 your family was definitely dysfunctional (abusive/neglectful)

If you scored 7-8 your family was seriously f**cked up!)

So, now you know the truth.

Now what?


Read the next blog, please.

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Dr. DJ is a renegade psychologist who cares about people more than impressing other psychologists. He promises to tell you the truth – keeping it as plain and blunt as possible.

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