If you fight privately or keep the abuse hidden, saving it for those tender moments when you're alone, it still affects everyone in the family, especially the children. Kids are like open lines, picking up everything that goes on around them, and they are affected whether they realize it or not.
During my research, I found this and would like to share it. Although it was written for Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA), it applies to anyone who lives or has lived in a dysfunctional home. Take the test. It's not pass or fail, but enlightenment.
The ACOA laundry list
Take this test. You may be an ACOA if you have any of these traits.
You don't have to have all the traits to be an ACOA. But this is the laundry list.
1. Guess at what normal is.
2. Have difficulty in following a project through from beginning to end.
3. Lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth.
4. Judge themselves without mercy.
5. Have difficulty having fun.
6. Take themselves very seriously.
7. Have difficulty with intimate relationships.
8. Overreact to changes over which they have no control.
9. Constantly seek approval and affirmation.
10. Feel that they are different from other people.
11. Are either super responsible or super irresponsible.
12. Are extremely loyal, even in the face of evidence that loyalty is undeserved.
If you'd like more information, check out Squidoo and the ACOA website. You don't have to be the child of an alcoholic, or drug addict, to fall within these guidelines. Dysfunction wears many masks.
That is all. Disperse.