Living in a home where parents quarreled every single night—mom’s crying, dad’s shouting, things thrown here and there—wasn’t easy. I had to deal with trauma and fears of being hurt with the future relationships that I am going to have. I have to deal with my trust issues, as well. And it wasn’t fun.
Growing up, I became aloof and was possessive with my friends. I tend to be a giver, a “give- it-all” kind to my ex-boyfriends. I do it so that I won’t have any regrets (or so I thought), thinking that “he’s the one who’s finally going to love me,” but I ended up wrong.
It’s never easy.
It’s never easy overcoming those feelings and emotional distress, those thoughts that kept on haunting me—that I wasn’t good enough, that I don’t deserve to be loved. It made me think of being alone, that no one cares for me. I feared I’ll also end up in a broken family. And I know that I am not really the only child who grew up in this kind of environment.
But, I was able to overcome these things. My colleagues and my spiritual family in college helped me a lot, and I eventually found healing.
The Irony Of A Dysfunctional, “Close-Knit” Filipino Family
In the past years, there has been quite an increase in the number of broken marriages in the Philippines. An article in Philippine Daily Inquirer stated that there are at least 100,000 broken marriages every year, not to mention that 10,000 of these marriages file for an annulment. A report shows that annulment cases in the Philippines increased by 40%.
These broken marriages may be due to several causes, such as lack of communication, high expectations, early marriage, and cheating. Furthermore, parents’ quarrels significantly affect the children psychologically, as well as their academic performances and behavior.
Effects of Broken Family to Child’s Well-being
In a case study conducted by Kassandra Tejada, she cited that children who are products of broken families encounter problems in personal adjustment and peer relations.
Effects further include a distorted view of marriage, custody of parents and unsettled legal issues, struggles of growing up with jealousy and sadness, insecurity, and being paranoid with other people and fearing abandonment.
According to Gordon Harold, Ph.D., “Children who are exposed to daily arguments between their parents—conflicts that are not violent but constant, severe, and poorly resolved—are at a heightened risk for mental health issues, despite considering bad parenting habits or genetic predisposition factors, something passed from the parents to children, in discussing the impact of hostile relationships and their effects on children.”
“Importantly, kids may not really be accountable for their parents’ marriage problems. Rather, they have to perceive or feel that they are accountable so that they will experience negative psychological results,” he added.
A Story Of Healing
When asked how they want their future families to be, one participant in Tejada’s case study responded, “Establish a godly and financially stable family.”
The process of healing and hoping for a better future doesn’t really happen overnight. To be honest, I myself am still in the process of healing. There are still many moments when I reminisce about all that has happened, and memories will bring back tears to my eyes.
But there’s healing, coping, and moving on. As the years passed, I realize that I am worthy of love. Whether I came from a happy or broken family does not matter when it comes to being accepted by my peers, colleagues, and friends.
My mom, close friends, churchmates, and workmates really helped me a lot in stepping forward, despite how hard it was. Their guidance really brought out the best in my disposition in life. Recent experiences led to favorable successes in studies, career, and finances.
Also, being part of a broken family doesn’t really define how an individual wants to build his or her future. Just like how the participant responded, committing to God in the future is also an important thing. As a product of a broken family, I realized how to be strong despite what happened, and I also recognized that these scars can serve as an inspiration to other wounded and hurting people.
With my failed relationships in the past, I also realized that true love is bound by God’s love for me. Establishing a God-centered family became one of my life goals.
Being a product of a broken family is one of the worst things that can happen in our lives. However, realizing that we are stronger than we think and overcoming this challenge is the best we can do for ourselves. When we are finally able to heal, we can build stronger relationships filled with trust, care, and love.