Before I get into this week’s topic which is Habits of people who grew up in a ‘broken home’.I will just write a recap of what we have covered so far on the Broken but Whole Series .The phrase “broken home” gets used a lot to mean a lot of different things. But what does it really mean?
The truth is, there isn’t one definition. For some, growing up in a broken home meant physical or sexual abuse was present. For others, growing up in broken home meant living in a household that didn’t “look” broken from the outside, but was emotionally painful or neglectful. For others, it might mean something else completely.
No matter what your definition or experience was growing up in a broken home, your feelings are valid, and they matter.
There are certain habits or traits that are found in people who grew up in a broken home. These vary as the impact and coping mechanisms are different from every individual. As a first born of three*, although we grew up under the same roof with the same upbringing, my sibling’s experience and mine are quite different. For example, when I know that I am in the right I rarely apologise because It’s no fun to apologise when you’ve done nothing wrong. As opposed to my little brother who over apologises even If he is not at fault. Maybe my sister is the balance.
I will mention some of the habits of people who grew up in a broken home below and feel free to mention others in the comments section.
As mentioned before, there are people who have a habit of over apologising. They always feel they are in the wrong or they are a nuisance. They always feel like anything bad that happens to them or around them is their fault. This is as a result of taking the responsibility of other people (their siblings or parents), they take that toll and sometimes they do not realise it. They feel like when they speak or give an opinion, it is not that important. They over apologise to compensate and at times for things not to escalate.
Quick to mediate
They are quick to de-escalate arguments or disagreements. Can just agree with something to avoid conflict. It could be arguments or discourse brings unpleasant memories which lead to anxiety. At times they think a disagreement is an argument, and most will shut down.
blocking out the world
I am guilty of this habit of shutting everyone and everything out at times. I see it as a version of having some “me time”. Which is not bad, but there are times when I am too comfortable being “away” from everyone, pulling myself out might be hard. People who are broken we tend to want too much of our own space, (I am speaking for myself here). We sometimes Isolate ourselves too, not because of shyness but because we could be overwhelmed. At times when we find people who love us unconditionally, we start to over question their intentions and we end up blocking them out. Ending up sabotaging relationships because we are unfamiliar with consistency in relationships. At the same time we do not want dysfunctional so we end up shutting down than experiencing either.
If you grew up with older siblings or cousins, I am sure you are familiar with the trick of telling the younger sibling to go grab their shoes so you can ditch them. They would promise they would not leave but before you knew it, they would be gone and you would be running out the door with different shoes. I believe that is where trust issues started. On a serious note though, we dislike promises. Most of our lives we have been let down so many times and to us promises are fickle. They do not mean much, we tend to trust actions than words. This could also root from parents not fulfilling promises.
As mentioned in the last post, some children never get the chance to be children. They become care givers at a very young age that it becomes part of their nature. They play the parental role and they are so engrossed into it they forget to be children. They tend to want to take care and fix everything. In women, this might result in them always wanting to fix men or believing they can. They always want to compensate for what they could not do as children or young adults. This leads to more damage as no one can ever fix anyone.
This is a very common habit of some people who grew up in a broken home. It is because they want to escape the feeling of not being wanted and they tend to please other people to get attention or to be liked. Sometimes it is because they will be looking for something they never had. They are the nicest people and it is hard for them to say no and they spend most times doing things for other people than for themselves. It results in people taking advantage of people pleasers because they know they can not say no. The need to please others can be damaging to them and potentially their relationships.
Lost sense of belonging
One of the basic needs of humans (other than food and shelter) is the need to feel loved and like we belong. Belonging in the sense that we feel connected and accepted by others. We all have a different level of need. Some want more, some want less. I have seen many people who feel lonely, and I believe it has to do with the fact that they don’t feel like they belong. If we are born into a family that lacks the love and protection we need, we may feel abandoned.Those of us who feel abandoned in our younger years may not develop a sense of what “love” is. We may crave and search for that feeling of being accepted and cherished.
You might not relate to people your own age due to having “grown up” too early. You might also not fit in amongst other age groups because of lack of experience and age. This is something that you might carry into your adulthood. You might feel less than or it might be hard for you to make friends. It is very crucial to heal from this because you might end up always isolating yourself and missing out on having great relationships, meeting new people and opportunities.
Fear Of Commitment.
I believe so many of us are familiar with this fear. This crippling fear of committing to someone. At times it is not because you want to be promiscuous or you are heartless, It could be because you feel you do not have what it takes to sustain a solid relationship. Another habit of some people who grew up in a broken home, Is to try and run away from their past or what they grew up around. It will be scary learning to love someone unconditionally without fearing rejection, feeling unworthy or not being good enough. Healing, learning and unlearning certain aspects of life has to happen. It is not something easy but it is not Impossible.
The reason for this series is to help people like me heal and realise their is a brighter and positive road ahead.
What’s a habit you have because you grew up in a “broken” home? Join the conversation below.