Don’t Surrender Your Joy: The Eight Ways to Reclaim the FUN of Your DysFUNctional Family.
The DysFUNctional Manifesto
This is a manifesto, not a manual. We are not telling you how to live your lives. Heck, we are just trying to keep ourselves sane, we don’t have time to tell you what to do. This manifesto is about a family with teenagers, trying to regain some sanity. We admit that we are messed up and still in need of grace.
There is Dysfunctional and there is DysFUNctional
Some families can be dysfunctional and that is destructive. A DysFUNcitonal family accepts it’s craziness and learns to love each other. Acceptance flows like the ketchup on our Kraft dinner. We are not always pretty, we wear pajamas and slippers, and we can go days without showers. We have learned to love the differences in each other and how we are stronger because of each person.
Eight Ways to Reclaim Your DysFUNctional Family
1.Addiction to drugs or alcohol is way in our past. We put that behind us. Okay, sometimes we binge watch the Walking Dead, we can use the internet too much or spend too much time on our cell phones. But let’s admit it; cell phones are so cool! We embrace our past and how sometimes we can over do things. We love each and heal at our own pace. We love our teenagers who communicate poorly, grunting and moaning like Chewbacca.
DysFUNctional families sometimes over do things and get side tracked. We admit it and get back to what we are all about. We try not to take ourselves too seriously and we live by this manifesto.
2. Control is not as big an issue since Darth Vader went to Rehab. Now, we each take turns with the remote control. Mom and dad control the car and the budget but we each get our own remote control and allowance. After Vader left, we learned to speak our minds. We are free to live a little. We don’t all wear the same stuff or listen to the same music. Sometimes just for fun, we even wear nail polish that matches our light sabers.
Freedom to live outside of the Vader box is a hallmark of a DysFUNctional family. We rock the freedom by changing it up and being flexible whenever we can. We even go crazy and have dinner at different times and let people sit wherever they want. #liveontheedge
3. Unpredictability can be a gift. Admit it. Some families can be too organized and over-structured. Sometimes it is more fun to go with things and not always have a plan. Chaos is not okay, but a little organized chaos is entertaining when it is combined with love and acceptance. We don’t communicate our plans because sometimes we genuinely have no idea what to have for supper or what to do on the weekend.
DysFUNctional families learn to love a little creative chaos. Our favorite Saint is Saint Jude, The Patron Saint of Lost Causes (see video by Florence and the Machine).
4. Conflict happens and it can create distance. We have learned that it takes grace and forgiveness to heal. Some families don’t talk and some families talk too much. We have learned to talk while the TV is on, but we really do try to listen to each other. Some talking over each other is to be expected. Conflicts are not allowed to become corrosive… that is behind us. We fight fair and we fight for a fare. If we are upset, we take it to pay per view and let the UFC fighters duke it out. We’re too tired to fight anymore.
DysFUNctional families are unique because of our imperfections and the ways that we love each other.
5. Abuse of processed sugar, flour, wheat, salt and carbohydrates is common in our family. We continue to work on all of our shit, but some days, food can sure feel like love. And we know how to bring down the love. No more food fights because we have grown through the unhealthy use of food. Food is our therapy now. We spend time choosing, making and enjoying our food.
Weirdness happens when dad experiments with supper, so now he uses the cook book mom gave him. Being together is unpredictable and a little insane, but we love each other and make our DysFUNction work for us.
6. Perfectionism still happens in our family, but we have kept it contained in our living room. Guests come in and are impressed by our neat living room. The kitchen is okay but it still has that pile of papers in the corner. We are a little messy, so go ahead and sue us. We admit that we are powerless over our messiness and we surrender to our Higher Power, the Dyson vacuum.
Being DysFUNctional, we have learned to appreciate each other’s strengths and the value of having a clean room once in a while. We accept help without feeling put down or needing to lecture each other. We see the gifts that creative mess can give.
7. Poor Communication – Okay, sometimes our communication sucks. We accept it. The US Government has a communications team that issues a press release every time their communication sucks. When we realized that it is okay for the US government to have communication issues, we finally accepted ourselves and gave each other some slack. Wants and needs are written on lists: The Christmas list, the grocery list, the Saturday project list, the Chore list and the Dad-don’t-forget-list.
In a DysFUNctional family, self expression is encouraged but door slamming is not okay. We talk or we go for a walk.
8. Diversity – Our family is a university of diversity. For now we are all the same color, but we are learning and growing. Our kids are free to marry whoever they want. We give space and celebrate dad’s weird sense of humor and his hats of many colors. We enjoy mom’s cooking and how she is trying to expand our range of foods so that we are more inclusive. We celebrate our son’s love of heavy metal music and our daughter’s laser beam glares and her creative genius. It’s slow, but we are getting it.
DysFUNctional families have unique interests and needs. We talk about our needs and we sometimes we disagree, but we love each other. We like to rhyme some of the time and we are free to disagree.
If you can identify with the DysFUNctional Manifesto, you need to read The 12 Steps of Taking Ourselves Less Seriously. You also should share this post and sign up for the blog so that you don’t miss the awesomeness.
Keep It Real
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