General

We are all born to love, with full abilities for empathy, logical analysis and creativity. Almost all children are born as geniuses. Yet the emotional environment inflicted by poverty, caused by social darwinism, creates this dysfunction and then shames and blames its historical victims. Thus, from rich to poor, we can only win together, as one society, one big functional family.

General

Despite my family dysfunction, there is more function as the generations pass - and I call that a real testimony to the power of love. They struggled against many prejudices, in Dickensian dire poverty, against addictions and abuses. Yet they all gave their children a better life than the one they'd had. We are all heroes and villains, yet if we are making things better even when they're bad, at least the hero side is winning.

General

Joel could recite all the reasons yet of course he was still left with the emotional pain and scars. He knew that the inherited traumas of the years were in the room when either of his parents surrenders their self control, when their primitive brains took over tasks that empathy and logic should be custodians of. Being mixed, as many families are, the trauma came down many lines to damage the brains of his loved ones - Irish, Jewish, White working class and Black Caribbean - so many cultures and peoples used as a means to an ends for generations. He wanted to end this terrible cycle of pain, be better for his kids, and he intended to find out how, to read all the books he could and keep on practising good self control with empathy and logic. Brains can heal, they simply need the right opportunity and environment to do so in. They need the right role models. Hope, chance and a helping hand - a recipe to make dysfunction can become function, to release the prisoners of their own brokenness into wellness.

General

Dysfunctional families can be fixed. Function can happen. Good intentions to love can become real. Change the environment and everything flicks into healing mode. Change poverty to comfort with low stress and the anger of years may become a sadness, but at least then the healing has begun. Then trauma brains have a chance for self reflection and self improvement, a chance to learn how to properly care for others, the door to their cage of pain wide open and a new world beckoning them to venture out.

General

From a young age I knew I was in a dysfunctional family. I didn't know that word of course, but I was trying to fix everyone around me with hugs, love and kindness. I was what my parents would call, "a golden child." I think that's great, I'm glad they're proud, but it came at a huge cost to myself. I grew into a person who saw her role in life as fixing others, which would be perfect if I'd also learned to look after myself, to have boundaries when others took too much. All any bully would need to do to gain my help was to act weak, even if in reality they were far stronger than I, and I would give them all the help I could at my own expense. Real function, I was to learn, is all about the right balance between "I" and "we." Function isn't all taking or all giving, but a flexible and relationship of helping one another. It isn't "I give one, then you do," it isn't "quid pro quo," there are times one person does far more of the giving because the other person is in no position to give back. And part of all that, all that learning of function, was to learn how I felt when I wasn't strong, to tune in to emotions and sensations I had learned to ignore since childhood. I had to learn my inner world had needs to, to listen, to respond, to protect. This learning gave me a better chance to give a functional life to my kids. I failed of course, in many ways. Yet I did a much better job than I would have otherwise. So I guess victory needs measurement against where you started. Comparisons to those who started with a more functional family and comfort are hard because their brains were never developmentally damaged as yours was. They never had to heal as you did. It's as if you were both born with healthy legs but you had yours repeatedly broken over the years - then at eighteen you were forced into a running race to determine your future. When you fall short the judgements as to your worth begin and the access to housing and food and such is determined also.