top of page

WISE UP: Step Two

Describing The Family

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 to gain clarity on the behavior of the

adults who raised us. Take your time. There’s no rush.

The miracles are waiting.



In attempting to understand our parent’s problems, here’s a link to further information about the types of problems dysfunctional adults typically face. Read these before answering the questions below:

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 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 say the right thing.

12. What did you lose in your childhood as a result of this?

13. How were you powerless over your parents’ 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?

Here's a link to some further information:

bottom of page