John Bradshaw, who wrote many books on the subjects of addiction, recovery and codependency said that he believes 95% of families are dysfunctional. The presence of the average person we see in public
seems to embody something that is nebulously considered to be normal, but normal in our society is dysfunctional if you believe John Bradshaw.
When you consider the number of people who struggle with addiction, depression/anxiety, self-destructive behaviors and low self-esteem/insecurity. When you consider the high number of children who deal with abuse, when you consider
crime levels and the number of people who are incarcerated in this country. When you consider that the healthcare systems are flooded with people seeking help for overwhelming stress in their lives. It becomes a little easier to
believe that 95% of families are indeed, dysfunctional.
What does it mean to be dysfunctional or to come from a dysfunctional family? According to Janae and Barry Weinhold, who have written many books on the subject of Developmental Trauma, it basically means that you
didn't get all your needs met when you were very small and/or you got things that you didn't need. So, putting all these pieces together... it is normal for people to come from families where they didn't get all their needs
According to the Weinholds, at each stage of the emotional and physical development of a child there is a specific need that is targeted to be filled. The first need is attachment which is your first agenda when you come into
the world, to emotionally attach to your mother or caregiver. But what if you are third, fourth or more in a line of children born to that mother and what if that mother has a husband who is depressed and drinking too much. What if that
mother is working outside the home or is struggling with her own demons. That child may get the physical care it needs, but may not get enough attachment to fill their need. So the child carries that need to the next developmental
The second need is to explore the world. This may sound like it would be easy since there is freedom to explore in a family that isn't paying attention, but because the need for attachment wasn't met, the child doesn't feel
safe to venture out into the world, or maybe the mother is just overprotective, so she holds the child back. So now that child adds a second need to the unmet needs list and carries it forward as well etc, etc.
The phases of development are outlined in the second article below