Growing up, I was pretty sure that my family was abnormal. I have read the books, and know for a fact that I fall into the dysfunctional category. Denial is pointless. The truth is that even the ones who seemed to have perfect functioning families were only illusionist. They knew how to put on an amazing performance. Those in my family are not entertainers, they are the real thing.
When I was a teenager, a friend encouraged me to go through counseling. She said, “You don’t know how dysfunctional you are until you see a counselor.” For some odd reason, that didn’t sound appealing. I did understand I had some issues, but counseling would not have changed the family I was born into.
What are some characteristics of the dysfunctional person? You’re impatient, you judge yourself and others harshly, you fear failure, sabotage your own success, have low self-esteem, are afraid to trust and unable to let go, play or have fun. You take yourself very seriously, you’re a perfectionist and crave validation from others. As you know by now, these are some of my strongest qualities.
So, to stereotype, I am dysfunctional! My family is dysfunctional! You would see our photos on the recall list at Wal-Mart if it were a possibility. We have impaired function, but we have adapted. As the body will compensate in times of injury, so has my family.
What they lack, they will make for up in other areas. They are far from perfect, but I now realize they are normal. They are just like 99.9% of all other families. There still may be a handful who fall into the “functional” category, but I have never met them. So if you have been given the “dysfunctional” label, pat yourself on the back. It’s a big accomplishment. If you haven’t, you are either a small minority or are in complete denial.