Sara Niles on a Mission:

Using narrative, case studies, and psychological summaries, The Face of Dysfunction examines the patterns and behaviors created by dysfunction.

I write to make a difference, therefore my writing is mission oriented and imbued with a deeper purpose because of my traumatic life experiences. I write primarily nonfiction that exemplifies mans inhumanity to man, focusing of the triumphant human spirit within us all.

The Effects of Dysfunction and Domestic Violence are both primary, and secondary in nature, and for many, last a lifetime.
The internal pain caused by childhood abuse, becomes externalized through the triple threats of mental illness, trauma issues, and damaging addictions. I call this triple effect the ‘Three Headed Monster’.

Patterns and Dysfunction

I spent thousands of hours examining people’s lives under the microscope of counseling and I continue to see repetitions of the same underlying themes in almost every family. Healthy families beget healthy families and sick families beget families with many of the same sick dysfunctions that they experienced as children. Young boys and girls whose family role models were womanizers or man-users usually womanize or abuse and dispose of men, those whose models drank, usually have a substance abuse problem and those who grew up with hurt, pain and abuse usually inflict it upon their families in the same measure, over fifty percent of the time, or they may invariably find a partner who inflicts pain upon them. There are a rare few who escape this repetitive cycle, even though they were raised in it, but they are the exception. Many will marry the negative image of their parent or their opposite in an attempt to recreate what ‘love’ felt like and looked like to them as a child.
No matter how the child interprets it, when the family model is corrupted then the copy is corrupted. A very wise man that I greatly admired and who was a teacher and trainer once said there was a grandmother who baked a turkey with the edges cut off and both her daughters and granddaughters also baked their turkeys with the edges cut off. When someone asked the granddaughter why she baked her turkey with the edges cut off, she replied because her mother did it that way. When the mother was asked, she replied ‘because my mother did it that way’ and when the grandmother was asked, she said that she always had a pan that was too small for the turkey so she started trimming the edges so it would fit into the pan.

Dysfunction only needs to operate the first time, the rest will follow. We need to stop dysfunction where it starts in the first family, with the first children. If dysfunction by chance escapes detection, then stop it where you find it.

The collateral damage created by surviving family dysfunction is usually more dysfunction. Many of the dysfunctional patterns and behaviors become a part of a new family dynamic. The enormous amount of guilt suffered by survivors often result in repressed shame and a sense of permanent powerlessness, that lends itself to emotional triggers that release hidden hurt and anger. The unexplained outbursts that well up inside and find release as ‘road rage’ or as a screaming fit, or passive aggressive periods of cold shouldering toward loved ones, create new hurt feelings and a sense of inadequacy in dysfunctional adults.

Many of the stories explore elements of the dysfunctional dynamic through the behavior of abuse victims, and abusers, in the context of the role of the advocates involved in their lives.Filled with stories that are sometimes tragic and occasionally humorous, the Face of Dysfunction is set against the backdrop of daily life at a domestic violence agency in a small town.

The Face of Dysfunction

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