Yes, my family is a functionally dysfunctioning mess. But I love them dearly and wouldn’t want anyone else as a part of my family. See currently my family is made up of three different families. We have three from one last name, one from another name, and my four from another name. We have united as a functioning family. No, we aren’t perfect, yes, there is a lot of chaos and confusion, hurt, frustrations, but at the same time it produces memories that you won’t get anywhere else and I wouldn’t trade those times for anything. They bring times of contentedness, satisfaction, and joy. But you see here is the problem: we are clashing as a family, it seems more so lately than we have before and I will admit that I am probably a majority of the problem.
I’ve always had a close relationship with my mom. We’ve spent years protecting each other and my two younger sisters from her now ex husbands verbal abuse and his neglectful and narcissistic personality. Now we have a 4, 6, 9, 10, and 16 year old, me and dad, who all want mom’s attention with dad getting the majority of it – don’t get me wrong as husband and wife I believe that they do have a priority to each other but really, I’ve never had to “share” my mom – and see in my mind not only do I feel like I’ve lost mom, but I also have lost the only true father I’ve ever known. So with that and several other problems, even though I know they both love me, I still have an annoying tendency to act out. Along with EVERYONE else. But mostly me.. and I do aim to change that (I’m not a problem child, never have been and I refuse to start now.) Anyhow, with a family of 8 trying to figure things out and clashing as we have been here is where I was going with this.
The song by Casting Crowns “City on a Hill.”
Did you hear of the city on a hill?
Said one old man to the other
It once shined bright and it would be shining still
But they all started turning on each other
You see the poets thought the dancers were shallow
And the soldiers thought the poets were weak
And the elders saw the young ones as foolish
And the rich man never heard the poor man speak.
And one by one they ran away
With their made up minds to leave it all behind
And the light began to fade in the city on a hill
Each one thought that they knew better
But there were different by design
Instead of standing strong together
They let their differences divide
It is the rhythm of the dancers that gives the poets life
It is the spirit of the poets that gives the soldiers strength to fight
It is the fire of the young ones, it is the wisdom of the old
It is the story of the poor man that’s needing to be told
With that being said, we all have a place in a family, whether it’s a broken family or a nearly perfect family, whether your family is made up of adopted kids, or like us, you have a few that are related to you, a few that belong to the step-mom or dad, and another who was taken in because of a cruddy home life.
Question is; will you let your difficulties, your differences, your frustrations, or whatever else divide you? As a teenager speaking a lot of our support and stability comes from our parents. If you take the time to listen to the stories that your parents tell of their childhood it can give you hope that maybe one day you will grow up to be a little bit like them, as strong as them, as spirited as them. Or in some cases it may show you where you need to support your parents a little more, because I find there is no one with an easy problem free life. I have met more people that were/are abused, physically or verbally. So it may show you why your parents handle things the way they do whether it’s right or not and how you can help them. On the same note the kids/teens can give the parents hope and joy. The proud mommy moments or the proud daddy moments, the help that the children can offer. Then you have the siblings who should band together to help each other out. Protect each other, play with each other. We all have a part, moms, dads, sisters, brothers, we all have an essential part and if we are all bickering and clashing we can’t operate as a happy, healthy, functioning family. So even if so and so isn’t doing something right. Each individual should be doing their part and supporting those who are struggling.
We need to stick strong as a family, turning on each other shouldn’t be an option. For those of us who don’t like kids, try not to see the miniature devils that should be exorcised from their bodies, because as much as I don’t like to admit it kids really aren’t that bad. Try to see the disturbingly sweet smiles that make you wonder what they did wrong as a good thing not always assuming they are doing something wrong. Or learn to feed off their crazy energetic personality when they come squealing and bouncing up to you because they did something they hope makes you proud of them. For those of you who have problems with your parents, try, I know it is hard, but try to see the good in them, their try’s, maybe even listen to and watch them and try to understand their struggles. Learning to stand as a family if everyone is involved great if not learn to stand with those who will stand with you, even if it is just mom, or just dad, or just a sibling. You can still support each other. Even if you are alone find someone who will help you stand up and be an example. Every member in a family is essential. With each being different and having their own part in a family, we are different for a reason but we are all equal. Build each other up, encourage the small steps, and don’t look over the most diminutive changes. It’s easier said than done, trust me I know. But I will get better and I know I can do it. And for those of you who my have trouble with it right there are your words of encouragement. You can do it.
Don’t run away, don’t get discouraged, be patient, don’t give up on each other, stand strong, you can do it.