What Were Your Family's Greatest Strengths?

Discussion in 'Family & Relationships' started by Ken Anderson, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    This topic can be viewed as asking two different questions, and the answers to either of both would be appropriate here.

    I could be asking about the family that you were born into, which is what I had in mind when I decided to approach the topic. But many of us have made families of our own and, quite likely, we would view the family that we created from a different perspective from that in which we were born into.

    Some of us are probably very thankful for the life that our parents have given us, and for the family in which we spent our childhood, and that might include our parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and others were part of our early life.

    Probably even if we have reason to believe that we grew up in a dysfunctional family, there were still strengths or things that helped to prepare us to become the people we became.

    What were your family's greatest strengths?
     
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  2. Jackie Stewart

    Jackie Stewart Well-Known Member
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    Simply put, just being there for each other.
     
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  3. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    Neither Mum nor Dad were 'down' people although Dad had those times like me, he could get out of it
    Mum was a hard worker she loved to work and that made me very aware of doing a good job.
    Mum was not maternal at all, which made me a very caring person
    Dad loved music and transferred that love to me.
    Neither could cope with each other, my Mother was a free spirit - should never have married.
    My grandmother was a remarkable woman and influenced my thinking
    Found meself a caring family and asked Mum to let me live with them, I did for a couple of wonderful years.
     
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  4. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    I was born into a very dysfunctional family.....

    If I was to choose only one thing it would be despite everything bad about him...my father was a hard worker.. he despised anyone who was healthy who didn't work hard, so that instilled a great work ethic into me.. ( mostly out of sheer terror as to what would happen if I didn't work)

    As for my mother she taught me to be afraid of taking medication... ( perhaps that's not a strength)... but she also suffered from M√ľnchhausen's by proxy and we as children were forever being taken to doctors and hospitals, for the smallest of reasons.. . ( not her fault but that's another story)


    So as it was a dysfunctional family there was no real strengths.... . I lived with several foster families and also in a children's home over the years of my childhood.. and also with my grandmother for 2 years as a very small child...

    Can't thing what the strengths were of any of those...although I loved my mum and my granny...

    Good question @Ken Anderson
     
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  5. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    My Family's greatest strengths are our:

    1. Mutual faith and spirituality.

    2. Our love and affection for each other.

    3. Our commitment and loyalty to each other.

    4. Our consistent communication with one another and making time to gather
    together for fun times and holidays, etc.

    5. Our willingness to do whatever it takes to be there when we need each other's help or support in whatever way we need it.
     
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  6. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    Bumping this thread because it's an interesting topic...
     
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  7. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
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    Actually lived with three different families/parents, until I graduated from high school and went in the Navy.

    Well, I had all three families written out and then decided to delete the history and simply put this:

    Only the third family (Guardians), distant older cousins (that I was told) showed me any kind of love. Unfortunately, they had never had kids and took me in when I was 14. To me, and other kids I knew, they were overly strict. Step-dad loved math and was pretty muscular. Tried to get me to be the same way, but it didn't work. Step-mom had me helping her do dishes at night and a few other "household" type jobs. A close friend/neighbor took me to each Class Dance. He was a good friend, but upper-classman. Only had one date in high school, to my Senior After-Prom Party. Done a lot of work on the small farm we lived on. I am totally grateful for then taking me in.

    Through the years, I've been able to show, like to my wife, that I can do household work as well as some harder work outside. Have to thank the step-parents for that.

    Being married to my wife has shown me what REAL love is, that I had really never known before. So, all-in-all, I didn't turn out so bad. LOL
     
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  8. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    Sounds like you had a pretty similar life to me Cody...
     
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  9. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
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    Well, I was kept of Foster Homes, which is a good thing. Actually, Holly, I thought my step-parents were strict, until I went in the Navy. The Navy showed me what "strict" really was. WOW!
     
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  10. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    Yep well my first husband was in the Navy, while we were married.. so I know all about that. he came from a happy home where he was worshipped by his parents and family...so it was a bit of a shock for him when he joined up, but he eventually came to love it.. and tbh Cody he went in a 'boy'' aged 19 and came out a "Man''...
     
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  11. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
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    Well, I didn't necessarily come out a "Man", but I was able to do fun things that I couldn't when I lived with the step-parents. Made my first cruise, out of San Diego, California, to Vietnam in Dec. 1968. Even have my graduation picture from NTC Great Lakes.
     
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  12. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    Oh I never got to do anything with my parents ...nor foster parents. if it wasn't for my grandmother who used to take me to the theatre occasionally or the seaside when I was small , I would have learned nothing about the arts or anything geographical, but my grandmother had no access to us kids when we were fostered out..she wasn't permitted to know where were..

    My oster parents were kind bu strict too...they have to be I suppose.. but ultimately when you grow up in conditions like that shunted from one forster home to another.. then back to parents for a year or 2 then away again, and no-one explains why...you grow up with very little self esteem
     
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  13. Tex Dennis

    Tex Dennis Active Member
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    My family well my uncle let me do so much more than mother and dad did, we hunted, fished & rode horses everywhere anytime we could. Mother and dad were strict but dad and I hunted and fished all the time, being inside was punishment to me as it still is now. I rarely ever got in any trouble as I would have to stay inside so that was a huge deterrent to do right, when most friends were on bicycles I was off on my horse in the woods somewhere, I did learn at an early age girls love to ride horses! I always usually had more wanting to ride than could go unless they had a horse. My parents said it kept me out of trouble! My uncle just laughed.

    My parents and I got along great.
     
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  14. Tim Burr

    Tim Burr Very Well-Known Member
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    My family's strength was adapting.

    Not sure about my brothers, but I attended 4 elementry schools, 2 Jr. Highs and 3 High Schools.
    All of these in different states or countries.

    When you move from the Southern US to Scotland, you adapt.
    Move from Scotland to Hawaii, you adapt.

    We moved alot as a family and learned to rely on each other.
    You moved and lost friends, so family was your anchor.

    No matter where we wound up, my Mom's Southern cooking stayed the same!!! :D
     
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  15. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    WoW Scotland to Hawaii...what a huge Culture shock @Tim Burr ...what most Scots wouldn't do to move there, but I understand what you mean, it must have been difficult for a while each time you moved...

    As a child growing up in Scotland, we moved house so many times I can barely count, and each time it was a new school.. sometimes to a different part of Scotland inot foster parents and a new family and new school.. so I stood out not only because my accent was different but I was always the newbie, and never made life long friends.. sadly our family was never an anchor..
     
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  16. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    I too am listed among those who was raised in a totally dysfunctional surrounding. Whilst my dad and step-mother had their own strengths, as a pair involved in a marriage of convenience, they were like oil and water and not only polluted their would be family but the outside environment as well.
    It took me a while later in life to figure out that PTSD did not come from going through Vietnam but from trying to survive spontaneous name calling and frequent assaults of the belt or stick.

    Dad was an amazing craftsman with wood who had a penchant for the ladies other than the singular one he was married to and a propensity for finding the nearest bar after a hard day's work. But work he did and work he taught for that was apparently the plight of mankind and he was more than willing to insist I learn that as soon as I was able to comprehend what sandpaper was used for.

    My stepmother also worked very hard in the legal field but hated housework hence teaching her son and my dad's two sons how to keep our abode clean and tidy and the laundry washed, dried and folded. She taught me how to cook since I was the eldest and was responsible for the family's nightly rations by the age of 7 and received instructions via the telephone from my stepmother each day after school as to those preparations.

    Throughout my younger life I thought I was indeed stupid and identified with much different names than that indicated on my birth certificate and in truth, did not find out that I was extremely well gifted until the start of high school when I was well on my own and living on my own whilst also doing college level school work in the sciences and math.
    It is still amazing to me what perceived love and concern from a total stranger called a high school councilor can do to encourage excellence from a would be social failure. It wasn't that I couldn't do the work in school in the prior years, it's just that I didn't really care.

    No one can say that they did not learn anything from failing parents because in fact, I learned a lot from them as individual people. Eventually I learned that all knowledge and experience is noteworthy and serves as a teaching instrument much harsher than the belt or stick whilst at the same time is as soft and embraceable as the grandest lover.
    I found that I could curse those who raised me in a horrid environment and live accordingly or glean the best of what each of them had to offer and add that to my arsenal of life's lessons.

    There are perhaps volumes that I could write on the subject but to what end? My life is not yet over and I am still going through the rubble as well as an archeologist goes through a find. I pick up a piece here and there that I did not see before which adds to understanding and with understanding comes wisdom and with wisdom comes hope for the successes of tomorrow.
     
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  17. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    Oh so literate, I wish I had the ability to express as you @Bobby Cole , the same and similar upbringing...that belt, the boots and kicking, the broom handles over my back ( a broken back in fact) The poverty, the mental abuse ..all became oh so familiar and ultimately expected and accepted , from both parents but more so the father.. and many who know much of the story in my personal life, urge me to write a book. ..to what end.I ask ?.. what would it serve but to just open the deepest wounds in me, I couldn't do it, it would all be too, too..painful..

    if I could say I learned anything from them, it was how not to raise my own child... that's their legacy to me..
     
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  18. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    Ah but you give me too much honor for I have often enjoyed the soft like eloquence of your own ability to write.
    And as to the rest, when experienced with the effects of fire by being burned, we automatically learn how to teach others how to experience warmth without touching them with a torch.:)
     
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  19. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    you're too, too kind.:).. ...and your last sentence, is so wonderfully expressed, I will never forget those words . They entirely convey the intention of those of us who wished to break any historical abusive cycle and who accomplished that aim..


    With regard to the PTSD..yes I suffered too , I didn't know it's name, I just knew I went through hell post childhood..well into adulthood, I thought there was something wrong with everyone else, not me...but why was I so angry all the time, why?... I know now of course, but I healed myself, perhaps I should have sought help from outsiders, but anyone whomever I'd sought help from in my childhood always let me down so I kept it locked up..only my husband and a best friend knew, and then I realised that some would be too much for them to bear so still some locked up inside me, to save them, to save their feelings and shock.. .... but hey it's on the back stoop now, somehow I managed to achieve eventually enough to stop the anger at the world , .. it's not gone away, but it's out there..leaving me alone, I shut the door on it, and it only becomes real when I leave the door ajar..


    Anyway...I realise this is also very depressing for others to read..but @Bobby Cole I thank you for putting everything into perspective and understanding in only the way another survivor can... .

    I do wish however that none of us had to express such sorrow from our childhoods, and or suffer, but may be, just may be we're the stronger for it..
     
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  20. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    Navy family maybe?
     
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  21. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    \
    @Bobby Cole
    How mightily revealing your post is! Having always marvelled earlier at your ability to convey things, ideas perhaps, which are difficult by nature, this post finalizes my opinion. It's almost as though you topologically inverted the hidden inside surface to the outside, and vice versa.

    Now, regarding the OP, my own familial strengths......mostly might be thought of rather as weaknesses; strengths could only be counted by the negative aspects, I think. My folks struggled through the Depression; my sister had been born in 1930, twelve years before me. My Mother never worked, nor drove a car. My sister's life beginning in high school was not one to be envied. She was married and divorced after a year, my nephew having been born when I was five. She worked, while my Mother raised both nephew and his uncle. By the time that was happening, my sister had run away from home at 15, winding up in jail in Oklahoma, from which place my Dad dragged her back home to the Chicago area. I realized early-on that I had better try hard to avoid the pitfalls my sister had experienced growing up, but, alas, such really turned out not to be the case. Probably one of the few strengths worthy of mention was my consistently good grades in school. But the other shenanigans already known to the Forum deeply overshadow that one. Frank
     
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  22. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    I can not speak to strengths; I do know some weaknesses. I was the weak link in the chain
     
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  23. Tim Burr

    Tim Burr Very Well-Known Member
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    Yes, my Dad was in the Marines during WWII and switched over to finish out his career in the Navy.
    Guess all that traveling rubbed off on me, as I joined the USAF and retired in 1994.
     
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  24. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    Your story can be enlightening to others, too. I also have anger issues that I have to keep bottled up. I read some psychology stuff somewhere that bottled up anger is what leads to depression. Anyway, I have it all under control. As you said, don't leave the door ajar. I may not be healthy to let it out, but allowing "it" to run your life is even worse...and yes, I believe you are stronger for your ordeal.
     
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  25. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    Perhaps you might be correct but I believe the strength is in the area of adaptability.
    Having spent a few years in the homeless ministry, many ladies in particular who have had bad childhoods seem to go forward wishing to be loved so badly they accept whatever from whomever and whenever they can get it whether it is the real thing or not.

    Men, on the other hand deal with things a bit differently. We, in general, have a tendency to carry our childhood teachings forward into the next generation, aping that of what we despised the most.
     
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