Growing Up With A Dysfunctional Or Abusive Parent


Growing up with a dysfunctional or abusive parent has long lasting negative impacts on a person’s life.

If you are struggling with your adult life now and had a parent with a personality disorder, substance abuse or other serious condition, you might have some of these symptoms:

  • Second guessing everything you do.
  • Fearful of personal attacks or criticism (the fear that any modern accuser is automatically right about you).
  • Fear of romantic relationships (the fear of being hurt).
  • Engaging in recreating past painful relationships with others (picking negative people like your parent(s) for romances or friendships…that almost always end in disappointment and pain).
  • Feelings of general and personal anxiety.
  • Feeling easily defeated, or as if the world always seems to be against you.
  • Bottled up anger that seems to come out too strong at the wrong times (loss of self-control).
  • Ruminating endlessly about past hurts with a strong urge to fantasize about how to get justice.
  • Feeling no one really hears you, needing to feel heard.

Were you the designated scapegoat in a narcissistic family?

In families where one or both parents are Narcissists, the children are cast into roles which are the projections of the narcissist's self-image (golden child, lost child, mascot, scapegoat).

If you were the designated scapegoat child, you will likely remember feeling like everybody in your family was mad at you all the time. This is because the narcissistic parent will make them believe you are the reason they are angry.  You will unquestioningly know who you are already if this has been your life. 

There are other symptoms and signs to be sure, but if you recognize yourself in this list then it is important to get help.

You want to feel better, you want to change your life and let your old self go.

I understand these issues from the inside because I grew up with abusive parents in a dysfunctional family. I know the pain and heart-break that go with it. I learned to live my life with more freedom, higher self-esteem and increased confidence. I learned that I could go after my dreams and make them into reality (a good and meaningful career, a loving wife, a home to call my own).

I would like to help you on your journey from hurt to healing. Together we can find the ways to learn to set boundaries, treat yourself positively and develop the kinds of relationships and life experiences you have always wanted.

There is a path forward. Call me now and we can get started right away.


Bernard Ball, LMSW


Bernard Ball & Associates

41800 Hayes
Suite 138
Clinton Township, MI 48038

FAX: 586-362-8803

LifeStance Health

Taylor Office
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Taylor, Michigan 48180

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LifeStance Health

St. Clair Shores Office
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St. Clair Shores, Michigan 48080

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