Troubled Teen or Broken System?
Good morning. My name is Tony Rhoton, and I have a question I want to ask you. Do you have a broken family system?
I have been helping so many people for many years, and one of the things that I’ve realized is so many people don’t recognize or identify what they want. Even myself, when I started this journey, it began with a desire to help youth.
What’s interesting is as I was going down this journey to help teens and young adults, and I’m still in this adventure because it’s not over. It’s a commitment. It’s a longterm adventure. I had all my marketing materials targeting teens, there were edgier, more cutting edge, abstract and a lot more playful. Then I received some inspiration to help the women, specifically mothers.
This is how it came about, the inspiration was,
“if you want to help the youth, you have to help their mothers feel worthy and validated themselves. If a mom is struggling with depression, anxiety, suicide, etc., they cannot help their child.”
Help the Mothers
The inspiration I received was to help the mothers become well. If the mother is well she can help her child.
I immediately changed my website, everything I had to target women precisely. As I’ve been going down this path, abused and neglected men have started to come into my life asking for help. Whether you’re a man or a woman, the principles are the same.
This is what I’m realizing, “no matter what we do, life is a journey; however, it’s a family journey and you’ll be guided as you desire to be your best.”
Now, it may not be like a traditional family like a mother, father, and a child, It could be a grandparent and a child, or it could be friends and associations that form your family. Your family system needs to be well for you to be well. If your system is sick, even if you start feeling better, a lot of times you begin to feel sick again. What we have to do is get ourselves in a position that we are so well that you are not affected by your system anymore. You have taken the time to build up your emotional, mental and spiritual barriers. You’re not going to allow negative influences to make you sick anymore.
Children Repeating Negative Behaviors
I have seen so many children go to residential treatment. Residential treatment costs you $30,000 on average, some are more and some are less. Parents and loved ones spend $30,000 a month to help a child get well. Unfortunately, within six months they will most likely relapse. The relapse will be so severe that several of them end up back in the hospital or regretfully, don’t make it out.
Several of these young boys and girls feel worthless. They feel like, my family, just spent a lot of money on me and here I am again, I’m useless. The cycle of going to a rehab facility repeats.
Step back a moment and look at other things, this repeated negative behavior is telling you that there’s something wrong. Something is not working within the system. They have a broken family system, not the person, the system.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up!
Don’t beat yourself up. Every system is broken in some way or another. There is not a perfect system that is also part of the journey but realize that if our child is repeating the same behaviors over and over and over again, there’s something wrong within the system. It could be that the system is refusing to listen to them. Maybe they’ve been struggling for a long time, and family is refusing to listen to how bad it is.
The system could be abusive or there was a divorce, and the child has never processed it well. There are all kinds of things that can break our system. Media can break the system, video games, social media, acquaintances, friends, and family. You have to be conscious and aware of what is going on within your system.
You need to improve yourself first if you want to repair systems. We all have broken systems in some way. We have gaps and these gaps, are part of the greater system, i.e. family, friends, co-workers, children, spouse, etc…
You are one of these gaps. If you are feeling suicidal, depressed, and anxious, the list of emotions could go on. You are part of the broken system and you can’t remove your self and think that everything will be well. If you take your life thinking that you’re going to be able to fix the system, this thinking is incorrect. You do not fix a system by leaving an empty gap. You fix the system by starting with you first.
When you fix you, there’s a ripple effect both ways and you benefit the whole. You may have friends that are struggling with drugs, depression, anxiety and refuse to get help. You’ll need to tell that person, “I have a person I would like you to talk to.” Refer them to a therapist or a life coach who has the skills and abilities to help take them to get to the next level. However, if they are not wanting help that doesn’t mean that you need to stay connected to them. They don’t need to be part of your full system until they become better.
As you become well you can help others.
Your broken family system starts to become whole, and you see a powerful overarching influence making it stronger; Everything becomes so much stronger, so much better and complete. So now your system is complete. It is strong. It is whole. But it starts with you.
Until you are feeling better and stronger, you can’t help others as much. Once you strengthen yourself, improve your mental health, overall confidence, self-esteem, that’s when you can change the life of your children, spouse, and your family. You will start to feel a difference and begin to see the repercussions of positivity in your family.
Your system is full. It is strong, full of love, caring, and support. Your influence will start to radiate out more and more and more. People will start coming to you wanting to know what you’re doing? Why you’re so happy? The questions and comments will keep coming.
It starts with you, and it will radiate out from there. It will radiate to your right. It will shine to your left, and it will begin to heal the whole system. You won’t be sending your youth to residential treatment. They might still need some therapy but you’ll be able to support whatever the guidance and counsel that they receive. Your child will no longer be looking outward for help because they will recognize they have what they need at home, a strong family system.
Open Communication with a Healthy System
Frequently, when children start participating in negative behaviors, it’s because they’re trying to cope with something that’s not working. It’s because they’re trying to cope with something that happened to them and then they’ve never shared with somebody; maybe, an anxiety that they might have, and they feel like they can’t talk to mom or dad. They can’t speak to somebody else because everybody else seems so healthy and whole and they don’t want to be the drawdown. Or maybe it’s they don’t feel like they could talk to you because they’ve always been such a good child. They’ve always done everything you’ve asked, and have been responsible. Maybe your child has been very athletic, strong, capable, and a shining light. With this kind of pressure, your child may feel like I can’t let mom and dad know. If they find out what’s on it’s going to hurt my relationship with them. Your child may fear that the big shiny bright light they have been may go down to a little pin light and they can’t handle that rejection.
If you have a strong, whole, healthy system, then your family and friends are willing to come to you and say, “I screwed up.” You will be able to respond in a positive way with something like this, “welcome to the club. Come on in What’s going on? How can I help?”
Responsibility and Consequences
That doesn’t mean you take away their responsibility to grow or their consequences. That doesn’t mean that we don’t allow them to suffer, but they can know that they are loved. A strong system has love, care and is supportive.
A family is a group that supports, cares, and loves, and it may not be the traditional family. You may come from an abusive father and mother and removed yourself because every time you get around them it is still abusive. Find friends, associates, and coworkers that are supportive, and encouraging, but encouraging and supportive helping you be better.
You want to find people that are saying things like, “you got this. I know it’s hard, but you’ve got this, and I’ve seen you do some difficult things. You can do this too. I’m here for you. I love you. I support you. I want to do whatever I can to help you, but realize you are healthy and you can do this.”
This does NOT mean we do it alone. We use our system to help. We use the people around us to fuel us, to keep going in the right way and to not beat ourselves up.
A healthy system does not use shame. A broken family system will say negative things like: you’re dumb, stupid, ugly, retarded, etc. They might say, “That was a poor choice.” However, that does NOT mean you’re a bad person. A healthy system will say things like: you’re amazing, keep going, don’t give up, you’ve got this.
I know some amazing individuals who have done some awful things, awful things, because of their childhood and not having a proper role model. I realize that a person isn’t broken by themselves. A person is broken because the family system is broken. However, the individual is amazing!
I hope this doesn’t create any shame. This is not to say you’re wrong or you’re not good, or your system is broke. This is to help bring awareness and a conscious, mindful approach to your life right now.
It takes a bunch of stars and planets to form the galaxy. It’s not one star it’s a cumulation of stars and planets. We have our own galaxy. Each of our systems is like a star or a planet which forms our galaxy.
Please look at each of your individual planets today. Identify what systems are doing really well and those that need some work. Recognize anybody who you feel may be struggling, including yourself. Identify any high emotions, frustrations or resentment that may exist.
It Starts with You!
First, start healing the broken family system by apologizing. It doesn’t matter if you feel you are right, or you feel you were wronged. It doesn’t matter! What matters is you healing you, and it starts with forgiveness. You’ve got to reach out and say,
“I’m sorry. You know this struggle we’ve had in the family? You know, I, was definitely part of that and I’m sorry for the part that I had will you forgive me?”
Look at each of the smaller systems that you have. Family, friends, associates, hobbies, which ones encourage support, love, and care which ones hold the values that you espouse, and are not demanding of anything from you? What system accepts you as you?
If you don’t feel like you’re truly loved and accepted, you need to evaluate if it’s something that you need to care about or if it’s something that you need to let go. If it’s a friend offering you drugs every time you see them, you may need to say,
“I can’t be around you anymore. I’m sorry. I am trying to be my best self, and I’m removing drugs from my life so I can’t be around you anymore.”
You never know, they may respond in a positive way, and because you’re working on yourself, you have helped this friend to start their healing journey. It starts with you and then it radiates out the healthier you are, the more and more influential you are.
Look at your systems today, identify the broken areas, and then start working within yourself; heal yourself so that then you can help heal the broken areas.
You are amazing. You right there, you, I’m pointing to you right now. Believe it.
Have a wonderful day.