Toxic households and generational curses. These two topics are linked in more ways than one and can be seen in many households across the country.
What are toxic households? Toxic households e.g. dysfunctional families, “are created through harmful behavior patterns that don’t respect the individuality of every member. It is common for children in these families to be the target of psychological and physical aggression. This harms the development and healthy growth of their affective relationships.” according to Exploring Your Mind.
Shaniya Woolridge, a second-year double majoring in Anthropology and Psychology, was asked, “When your mom texts you or calls you, do you get nervous and/or anxious?” Shaniya answered “Yes,” expressing her realization of the extent of her trauma.
This exemplifies how a toxic home environment can remain persistent even once one leaves the house. According to E.B. Johnson, recognizing that you are a part of a dysfunctional family is the first step in healing. If you do not heal from the trauma, you were forced to partake in as a child. The trauma will continue to affect you into your adult life.
There are fifteen signs that indicate being raised in a toxic household, according to IdeaPod. One sign is not having any privacy in your home. Other signs include the dominant family member playing the victim to gain and keep power and the siblings set against each other by the parents. Lastly, the children are sometimes judged and criticized ,while the drama and disagreements in the household seem to be on a never-ending loop.
The first sign is not having privacy in your home. Examples of this include not being able to shut your bedroom door, not being able to spend too much time in the bathroom and always having your phone searched. You have to monitor everything you do to keep the dominant family member, usually one or both parents, off your back.
The second sign is the dominant family member playing victim to gain and keep power. Examples include the dominant parent saying one thing to the children but another to their spouse. Another example is the dominant parent always being concerned about their image when someone else is hurt mentally, emotionally or physically. Lastly, when the submissive parent tries to check the dominant parent but the dominant parent blames the children, knowing the children can’t speak up for themselves. For the children, they can never win because they are children. Correcting the dominant parent can be seen as disrespectful and will blow up in the child’s face.
The third sign is when siblings are pitted against each other by their guardian(s). Examples include saying one sibling is prettier than the other, lying to the children about their siblings to get the children on the parents’ side or favoring one sibling over the others. This causes a rift between the siblings. Feelings of competition, betrayal, and jealousy can also run rampant within the household.
The fourth sign includes the dominant parent who is constantly judging and criticizing the children. Examples include judging what the child wears, criticizing the child for showing “weak” emotions, e.g. tears, and looking at the children in disgust as if they are the dominant parents competition. This causes the children to be anxious whenever they are with the dominant parent.
The fifth and final sign includes the dominant parent causing drama and disagreements within the household. Examples include the dominant parent fussing about the smallest things and blowing drama out of proportion. This causes the children not to want to be in the household and prefer not to speak to their parents.
Living in a toxic home environment causes a host of mental and self-esteem issues. Living in such an environment can cause low self-esteem, low self-worth, depression, anxiety and feelings of helplessness and anger, according to StressTherapist. Living in a toxic environment for too long can become detrimental to your mental health.
What are generational curses? Generational curses are believed to be related to religion. Generational curses are sowing and reaping believed to be passed down from one generation to another, according to Christianity.com and Bible Study Tools. This includes divorce, incest, poverty, anger and living in a toxic home environment.
Generational curses, just like toxic households, have signs. These signs include fear, emotional instability, family struggles and divorce, according to The Prayer Warrior. These signs can be seen passed down through generations and can negatively affect children. A family who is suffering from a generational curse is also suffering from “faulty mindsets and destructive behaviors.”
An example of this is alcohol abuse. Many people are afraid to drink alcohol because their family members from past generations abused the drink. Some people exercise in place of drinking alcohol because they would rather be addicted to working out than drinking alcohol, according to Alcohol Rehab.
The lines between toxic households and generational curses cross. Toxic home environments are a form of a generational curse, according to The Prayer Warrior. Parents accidentally or intentionally allow their childhood trauma to carry over into their households causing their children to experience the same childhood trauma that they experienced.
For instance, a grandmother who mentally abuses the mother. In turn, the mother will play mental games on her daughter, mentally abusing her as well. The trauma the mother experienced from her mother is passed down to the daughter. They have experienced the same trauma, just in different generations. Hence, the toxic household that the daughter grew up in is now the same household that the mother grew up in.
According to Bible-Knowledge.com, the first step to stopping a generational curse is recognizing it. The next step is to notice slips and correct your errors. Forgiving the dominant parent, or both of your parents, is the last step.
Overall, to stop the generational curse of a toxic household, you have to forgive the wrongdoer(s) and take steps to insure that you do not create a toxic living environment for the next generation.