Statistics prove that 80% of all families live with some form of family dysfunction and abusive behaviour. WHY? Because they believe it is “NORMAL”!
Since the launch of my book, “Parents with Price Tags”, I’ve had the opportunity to do book signings and speak directly to people about their family lives. When I asked them about the state of their family relationships, this was the common response…
“What family doesn’t have problems?” “No family is perfect!” “Family dysfunction is normal!”
I am literally shocked by how many of people believe the false misconception that it is “normal” for families to be dysfunctional! If you believe that, then you also believe this…
“The definition of a dysfunctional family is a family in which conflict, misbehavior, and often child neglect or abuse on the part of individual parents occur continually and regularly, leading other members to accommodate such actions.”
I may not know you well enough yet, but I’m going to guess that you DO NOT believe that child neglect or child abuse – is NORMAL, do you?? I didn’t think so…
I absolutely agree with the first two beliefs. None of us are perfect. So it would be virtually impossible to create a perfect family from imperfect family members. I’m sure God did this on purpose so we could learn from each other and grow as individuals. Besides, life would be pretty boring if we never had any challenges to overcome and help us discover our true potential as human beings.
After observing this from a healing perspective, I realize there are four main reasons why these people hold onto these unhealthy beliefs:
- They are afraid to confront family members with their unhappiness.
- They recognize their family is dysfunctional but have no idea what to do about it and might be too fearful or shameful to talk to a professional about it.
- They KNOW their family is dysfunctional but chose to stay in denial because they are not willing to do the healing work to fix it.
- They are afraid their family will disown them and they will be alone. They believe a dysfunctional family is better then no family at all!
Unfortunately, when we continue to believe that family dysfunction is normal, this gives automatically excuses us from having to put any skin in the game in order to “fix” and heal from it. Strangely, many people have even become addicted to the family drama so have no intention of wanting to change things – using “normal” as an excuse to keep the drama flowing!
You can’t have it both ways!
If you want healthy relationships – family or otherwise, you need to do 2 things. FIRST, heal yourself and get happy. SECOND, be ready and willing to do the “relationship” work.
Have you heard the old saying…”anything worth having doesn’t come without a fight”. Simply put, in order to have something worth while, you must be prepared to do “the work” in order to get it and keep it healthy.
Get involved with your family members – have real (not virtual) conversations with them. Get to know each unique individual in your tribe and allow them to get to know and understand who you authentically are too.
Instead, we have become a society that is lazy and refuses to do the required work. Aside from the fact, that our flesh is naturally lazy, we have also been “brainwashed” by society to think that things will just automatically fix themselves over time. WRONG! They will only get worse…
Let’s take a look…
- Synthetic drugs that offer a “quick fix” to our health
- Lottery gambling to wipe away our debt and our fear of never having enough of the things we want and need
- Cars that start up themselves, talk to you and distract our children while driving
- Technology that has eliminated the need to have a real conversations with live people.
- Instant food eliminating the need to do the work to cook our own meals.
- Drive-thru bank machines so you never have to leave our cars
- Diet pills that eliminate having to exercise or eat well.
Get the picture?
….the truth is “All” relationships – family, spouses, friends, pets, even plants – require the time, dedication and quality bonding time in order for them to thrive and remain happy.
If you continue to believe that family dysfunction is normal rather than taking healthy ownership of what’s truly happening in your family…then also realize that you are literally choosing to play “Russian Roulette” with your family relationships…!
If you continue to believe that you do not have to do any of the work to fix the dysfunction and believe that your family will stay together just because you are genetically intertwined ….unfortunately, you may be in for a disappointing surprise. Other family members may not feel the same way and may choose to disconnect. I know the truth can often be a harsh reality, but awareness is the beginning of the healing process. Denial is nothing more than a very dangerous option that will only keep you firmly planted in worry and fear.
STOP believing family dysfunction is normal and acceptable!
STOP supporting emotional neglect!
Here’s a new belief…
I am not perfect nor is my family but we choose to be together through mutual unconditional love and respect for each other.
Remember, it was love that brought the family together in the first place – the promise of marriage, the birth or adoption of a child – therefore, it will be love (not fear) that will keep it together too!