This week I’m going to discuss a show that I loved watching growing up. Actually I still love watching this show. Family Feud was the first computer game that I owned. This was before Window’95, back when I was still running MS-DOS. If you don’t remember MS-DOS then you might be too young to be reading my blog. I had a book of command prompts. That shit was more complicated than memorizing HTML command prompts.
Getting back on tangent, I always wanted my family to go on Family Feud. The only problem was I didn’t grow up in the type of household that would EVER be invited on that type of show. Sure I grew up in a two parent household with 5 children but I think we would have been more suited competing against each other than we were competing against other families. As a tribute to my family, this post will be dedicated to functioning dysfunctional families.
What is a functional dysfunctional family? Glad you asked.
Functional dysfunctional family- a family which maintains status quo and existing conditions despite conflict, misbehavior and often abuse on the part of individual members of the family leading other members of the family to accommodate such actions.
First let me give you a little background on my family. My parents have 5 children between the two of them. I am the second to oldest child. I have an older sister who is 8 1/2 years my senior. I have two younger brothers (twins) who are 20 months my junior and my youngest brother is 9 years my junior.
One of my favorite sayings growing up was “you can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family”. I found it a lot better than my dad’s favorite saying was to me and my brothers, “blood is thicker than water”. I’m a first generation American. Both of my parents were born and raised in Nigeria. We were raised with Nigerian values and cultures. That being said my father believed that since I had 3 brothers that’s all the friends that I needed.
Looking back at my childhood I really don’t regret anything about it but what are some signs of a functional dysfunctional family.
Family Secrets & Problems
Like most Black and African households keeping family business within the family was always stressed. No matter how bad things got at home it was understood that we were to never talk to anyone outside of the family about our issues. It was looked upon as betrayal. What happens when you keep so many secrets and you can’t find anyone to talk to about it? Depression and resentment that’s what.
Petty Behaviors by Parents
Parents are humans too. Humans can be petty. A lot of times the adult doesn’t always act like an adult. Often times children can take on the role of the adult. My mom and my sister haven’t spoken to or seen each other in close to 5 years. You would think as the only two women in my immediate family they would put whatever differences they have/had aside but they are too much alike. Both of them are extremely stubborn and prideful. I learned early on that the concept “Do as I say, not as I do” is a load of sh*t.
Questionable Behavior Outside of Marriage
“My parents have 5 children between the two of them.”
I wrote this earlier in this post. The reason is because I’m about 98.6% that I have a another sister that’s maybe a couple months older than me. My mom pointed her out to me at PG Plaza when I was about 5 or 6 years old. Children are like sponges. They remember so much more than we give them credit for. At this point in my life I have enough siblings that I’m not that interested in getting to know more. I often times do wonder what it would be like to grow up in a household with a sister around my age.
Growing up in any of the aforementioned enviornments can be emotional destructive if not dealt with. It is especially hard for a child to know if they should love or hate their parents. They still love their parents but they hate the pain their parent’s issues have caused them. Some children will develop the attitude that their parent’s issues have nothing to do with them so they will love their parents regardless (this is my case). However, that attitude is another symptom of a dysfunctional environment. This does not mean that you won’t be able to live a healthy life nor does it mean that you or any family members are dysfunctional. What it does mean is the elements that make up the family unit are dysfunctional.
So the question becomes how can one overcome growing up in functional dysfunctional household?