Following on from the family tree, it’s time to ask ourselves some difficult questions; questions that perhaps we’ve never dared to ask. However, not asking these questions leaves us in (harmful) denial. In order to understand that we were not responsible for what happened to us as children, it’s vital we gain clarity on the behavior of the adults who raised us. Take your time. There’s no rush. The miracles are waiting.
In your journal, write down the answers to these questions as honestly and fully as you can:
1. Who was the dysfunctional parent?
2. Who crossed sexual boundaries?
3. Who was the drama maker in your family?
4. Who was the harsh, rigid and or perfectionist parent or guardian?
5. Who had poor emotional health?
6. Who was physically violent in your family?
7. List three effects of being raised in a dysfunctional home.
8. How did you think that you had caused your parents' behavior?
9. In what ways did you feel responsible for making everything ok?
10. How did you modify your behavior to try to make this happen?
11. Give an example of how you tried to be perfect, or, saying the right thing?
12. What did you lose in your childhood as a result of this?
13. How were you powerless over your parent's behavior?
14. How did you manipulate them to try and control your situation?
15. How did you act like a victim when in truth you were controlling your situation?
16. Were you forced to ignore your feelings to maintain the relationship with your parents because you had no other choice?
17. Did you keep a watchful eye on their mood so as to anticipate how you should behave?
18. Did you abuse siblings because you were abused?
19. Can you see the difference between being powerless and being helpless?
20. Are you honest about the way your parents treated you?
21. Do you minimize what happened to you as a child?