~ notes from an uncommon journey ~

"Well, Every Family's Dysfunctional!"

dysfunction: abnormal or unhealthy interpersonal behavior or interaction within a group. (source: m-w.com)

This post is inspired by a conversation I had with Cassie, one of my widow sisters. 

Cassie and I have a lot in common, not the least of which is the fact that we both lost our significant other and experienced significant trauma in childhood. (I'll write about experiencing multiple traumas in a future post.) We were talking about our backgrounds, and at some point she pointed out that many people, when you relate that your family of origin was dysfunctional, are fond of saying, "Well, every family's dysfunctional." 

But here's the thing: I know people who grew up in homes where grace ruled the day. Where there was no impossibly perfect standard to live up to. Where the children were allowed to be themselves, to develop and grow naturally. You might even call it...functional.

We have conflated dysfunctional with imperfect. Yes, every family is imperfect. But when the whole dynamic is abnormal or unhealthy, that's another thing altogether. And to tell someone who's experienced true dysfunction, "well, every family's dysfunctional" is to--in effect--minimize their experience. Don't do it.

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