Life is a gamble. In fact, you never know what cards you’ll be dealt. One of those cards determines your family. You’re forced to cohabitate with people that may drive you crazy more often than not. Unlike most of my peers, I wasn't born into a family where I was loved unconditionally and felt accepted for who I really was.However, if you’re like I am, you wouldn’t trade in your dysfunctional family for a cookie-cutter one any day.
I hold no feelings of resentment or anger toward them. I don't want to imprison my mind by harboring those self-destructive, negative and draining feelings. I've forgiven my abusive parents and my brother. They had taught me some valuable life lessons that I would not have learned had I not been born into my chaotic family.In this myTake, I will address benefits that result from surviving in a dysfunctional family, including resiliency, perseverance, a sense of humor, forgiveness, kindness, and the ability to discern real love.
I've Been Desensitized To Emotional Pain
Without a doubt, the best lesson I have learned through this life is a simple, yet powerful, truth: “People will do to you in life what you allow them to do.” I don't give mean-spirited people the power to hurt me, bully me or betray me. I'm emotionally resilient and often stoic. Pain is by itself very deep and hurting but reasoning and understanding the situation is of paramount importance. You will be living and be dealing with many such events. And you must stand up and fight for yourself and your interests. To be able to do that and to do justice to yourself, you must not let any pain shun you or suppress you for any longer.
I Can Detect Warning Signs From Miles Away
After being subjected to years of emotional and physical abuse, I have acquired the talent of accurately assessing people's character. I've witnessed the darkest side of human nature at an early age. I've been exposed to people who are greedy, self-fish, violent, manipulative, passive-aggressive, judgmental, narcissistic, bigoted, have ugly souls and purely evil. I've also had the pleasure of meeting some amazing people. People who are inspirational, kind, compassionate, loving, talented & innovative. After meeting a wide range of people, I've become a good judge of character. I can tell whether someone is inherently good when I see them. In future, I will never make the mistake of staying in an abusive relationship.
What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger
Studies have shown that some trauma survivors report positive changes and enhanced personal development, called post traumatic growth (PTG). PTG refers to any beneficial change resulting from a major life crisis or traumatic event, but people most commonly experience a positive shift by having a renewed appreciation for life; adopting a new world view with new possibilities for themselves; feeling more personal strength; feeling more satisfied spiritually, and/or their relationships improve.
I know My Self-Worth
I was raised by Asian immigrant parents. They were never affectionate.They never loved me because I was not the stereotypical trophy kid with a perfect transcript. Some distant cousin or family friend’s son/daughter was always being trotted out as a paragon of perfection that I was falling short of. Growing up, I always felt like I was inadequate, a complete failure and an utter disappointment to my family. I've spent many years feeling that I should be different than I was. I should be thinner, more talented, more confident, smarter, more disciplined. I’ve learned over the years to embrace my "imperfections". After years of feeling like a complete disgrace to my family, I started to question myself "What I do differently to make them like me?" The answer was very simple "Nothing".
Many of us feel like we have to earn our self-worth. Maybe we need to earn a hefty paycheck. Maybe we need to have a pricey home. Maybe we need to get a prestigious promotion. Maybe we need to make straight As. Maybe we need to lose 20 pounds in order to finally realize that we’re enough. But I now know, that my worth is unchanging and is inherent because I was born. I exist. Period.
Recognizing that my accomplishments aren't tied to my worth has allowed me to develop a more stable sense of self, to feel freer to express myself in all aspects of life, and to accept criticism in a more helpful way.
People Who Don't Love Me, Do Not Have The Power To Hurt Me
I was relentlessly bullied, humiliated, screamed at and verbally abused by my older brother. I had to agree with everything that came out of his mouth and obey his every order like an indentured slave. I was constantly hit with a thick bamboo stick by my mother for struggling with math problems. I had a severe form of ADD but I was not diagnosed in my childhood and my parents were in denial. They had a hard time accepting the fact that I had a legitimate mental disorder. Taking medications would have definitely helped but my parents thought good old fashioned spanking was the way to. But I no longer give them the power to hurt me because they never even loved me.