When you come from dysfunction, you may not be able to resolve whatever issues with your parents directly. They may have died, they may refuse to discuss anything from the past or they may deny they did anything that needs to be discussed. If you have a parent that is willing to talk about whatever you feel needs to be explained, that is good as long as you are not angry when you do it or talking to someone who is still active in their addiction. Either of those thing will bring about more problems and hurt. You will leave that situation with feelings of more hurt and rejection then when you came. You may have to be the grown up. If the idea of meeting with your parents is to resolve past problems, then being the grown up may be the only way to do that. You will have to control your anger or not try to do it at all if they are still active in their addiction(s). If you have a parent who refuses to talk to you or one who denies there is anything to discuss, you are then left with resolving those issues yourself. You are also stuck with forgiving a parent who is less then perfect and maybe not be a very good parent at all in your eyes. How do you do that? You write them down, you get them out of your head and on to a piece of paper where you can look at them objectively. You then take the list and look at it deciding whether each one is something you want to keep, revise or get ride of completely. There maybe a lot you will want to keep and it will surprise you that maybe being raised in dysfunction made you a stronger person. The things you want to revise, the things that are not exactly what you want but are okay sometimes, you can change to whatever makes you feel better about them. Not everything about how you were raised will be totally bad. It will make you feel better about how you were raised. Allow that to sink in and feel good about it. Those things that you want to change usually have something to do with what is no longer working for you. So, you look at them and decide what behavior you will do instead of that one and begin to change those behaviors. I suggest not doing them all at once if there are many. One or two but not all at once. You may be setting yourself up to fail if you try to do that. Changing any behavior takes 3 weeks of catching yourself doing it and replacing it with another behavior and another 3 weeks to make that behavior a habit. The second step is important because you will revert back to old behaviors during stressful times if you don’t. This video will help you get rid of what you do not want.and relax while you’re doing it. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxfXvKoRJ53hEQ8p1TTmAaw Enjoy!
I became a therapist in an attempt to understand my own childhood and what happened there and how it made me who I am, exhibiting the behaviors that were not always positive, very often self-destructive. I used Art Therapy to help me understand things in my past that were stopping me from making better decisions in my present day. I used Behavioral Science to help me understand underlying causal factors, roots to the present day behaviors that I was seeing in myself. Both help me to change those behaviors/thoughts that were causing me to make self-destructive decisions that were causing pain in life. I have been a therapist since 1985 and have an undergraduate degree Art and behavioral science (double major) from the University of Maine. My graduate work was done at Marywood university and I have a degree in Art Therapy. I have certificates in Forensic Interviewing and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior therapy. I have 22 out of 30 credits toward a degree in Trauma Therapy from Drexel University. I started out as a Community Support Worker, Program Manager/Clinical Supervisor, Family therapist and Outpatient therapist. View all posts by dtoomey2015