Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Functional Dysfunctional Family

How many times have you heard an excuse for bad behavior: I came from a dysfunctional family? As a person who grew up in the fifties and sixties, I want to know what planet those people came from that didn’t grow up in a dysfunctional family.

Isn’t every family dysfunctional? What the heck is dysfunctional anyway? According to my trusty Oxford American Dictionary dysfunctional means a failure to function normally. Following that train of thought further, I checked out the definition of normal. Now there’s a word that reeks of impossible for a boomer. Normal means conforming to what is standard or usual.

Weren’t we baby boomers proud of being nonconformists? Didn’t we strive to be free-thinking unique individuals? So why would we have a problem with a dysfunctional family? How can a group of individuals from different generations mold into a completely normal functional unit?

If you came from a functional/normal family, how would you ever deal with the dysfunctional world? There just aren’t that many completely “normal” people around—besides what is normal for one person isn’t normal for everyone.

I’m pretty sure my cat and I make up a dysfunctional family. If you still insist you don’t come from a dysfunctional family—take a good look around at your next family get-together. Would you consider all of them to be normal?

Just be thankful that growing up in your dysfunctional family gave you the skills you needed to function in the dysfunctional world.

copyright (c) May 2010 L. S. Fisher
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  1. Honestly I didn't think I came from a dysfunctional family until many many years later. Growing up in a extremely small family and not talking to my friends about their families I actually thought everyone's family operated like ours. Boy was I surprised when I found out how the real world was...My family went beyond dysfunction...

  2. It all seems normal when that's all you know. :)