In Ethan’s childhood home, it was as if all his family members fought for centre stage as they played out their struggles. He needed to grow up quickly to meet the high emotional needs, but there was no room for his own.
When Macy’s dad left, her mom changed. Her dad had been physically abusive and critical to Macy as a small child, but when he left, it did not get much easier. Angry, disappointed and overworked, her mom barely spoke to her except to yell.
Amy came from a quiet, middle-class neighbourhood, and she did well in school and gymnastics. But her parents fought constantly and they were both very critical of her. When she didn’t feel ignored in the chaos, she felt there was nothing she could do to please them.
Josh’s mom worked hard to provide for her three kids on her own, but there was love and understanding in their house. When she met her future husband, everything changed. He was a bully to her kids and her, but she could not find the strength to leave.
Since a young age, Nadia was forced to work in her father’s Toronto bakery every day until late in the evening while he hurled insults and commands. Her confidence was shattered by his constant putdowns, and she had no time for friends or homework.