Is your family a source of joy and laughter? Do you feel really good when you think about your family? Are you living among people who love and support you?

Many of us take our family relationships for granted. If everything is going well, we assume there are no problems. Out of sight, out of mind.

Unfortunately, some adults grow up in unhappy homes. Their parents and siblings called them names (stupid, weird, annoying) so frequently, they’re convinced they’re undesirable. Even highly successful people could be dealing with hidden pain from the past.

Parents have the power to send a message through their actions and words. A child who receives kindness and affection hears “I am lovable.” A berated and ignored child hears “I am nothing” or “Something is wrong with me.” Whether good or bad, the child stores the message in the “self-respect” file of their mind.

Dysfunctional homes tend to be devoid of fun. Little (if any) time is set aside for games or any enjoyable activities. It’s a serious, somber environment.

Children from such homes grow up believing there is no pleasure to be had in life. Everything is plain, boring, or uneventful. Tragically, some individuals commit suicide because they were programmed to believe this. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could delete negative thoughts from our systems, like a computer? If only it were that easy.

Think back to the questions you saw at the beginning. Did you answer “yes” to any of them? If so, you have a caring, friendly family. If you said “no” or “sometimes,” chances are your family has its share of troubles.

At Maui Recovery, we realize that self-assessment can be an exercise in pain. If having a flawed family troubles you, tell yourself that all families fall somewhere between perfect and destructive.

Don’t forget – it’s possible to change things. When you recognize that improvements can be made, you start the process.

Sometimes, a good attitude isn’t enough. Relationship patterns can go deep, and all the determination in the world won’t get rid of them if you don’t have help. Our codependency program gives countless sufferers the tools they need to move forward and conquer obstacles.