Monday, September 13, 2010

Game Show Wednesday-Family Feud


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?

11 comments:

Ashley said...

Love the post pc, b/c clearly my family is retarded you've met them so i'm sure u can attest to this,lol!I don't think you can overcome family being apart of of a functional dysfunctional family(FDF). I do think there comes a point where you realize what you will and won't accept/emulate based on what you see from ur family. I kinda like being part of a FDF b/c life is never boring,lol!

Sukez said...

Out of 4 kids, I'm the middle child. How? My older sister was born January 1987, ME NOVEMBER 1989 (in CAPS cuz i think I rock a lil bit), younger sister May 1991, and little brother July 1995. (too lazy to do the math lol). SO when I say I'm the middle child, I don't count the lil bro.

As a fellow Nigerian, I couldn't agree more about all you said. Growing up in a functional dysfunctional household. Especially the family secrets one. My sister always tells me not to put shit on Twitter about the fam. Give people a brief "Things will be okay." and stfu.

Petty behaviors? OMFG! My mom can be SO ignorant and it sucks. I feel like I'm going to be like your mom & sister. I mean, if she keeps this kinda ignorance up, I dunno. She never listens to me. Not only am I the middle child, I'm the bad child AND the "quiet" one.

Questionable behavior? Like the family secrets thing hints, I don't know what the hell goes on. So my lips are sealed. Can't speak on something I know nothing of? lol

I love my parents to death but I HATE what they've done to me sometimes. The ass beats were terrible but my skin is definitely tougher. So thank you Mom & Dad.

And great post. I told you I was getting my comment together. I can't stress how much I appreciate these new posts :) Keep it up (twss)

LaBakir said...

Great Post....man, I think everybody needs to perhaps see someone to get sh*t off their chest. Family issues run deep. Everything with my mom is about taking sides. As you can imagine that doesn't make for much fun,lol. And our relationship isnt like it used to be...b/c she hasn't fully confronted her own issues.

Dad doesn't like drama, so he doesn't talk about alot of the family issues. Me and my bro are close...and I've gotten closer to my sis (5 years younger than me) although she's a source of DRAMA.

I honestly try to keep my distance and maintain some sort of balance though. I can't take on everyone's issues (which I will), so I kinda linger in the background. I can't let family stunt my growth as a person.

Tunde said...

@Ashley: yeah your fam is a little dysfunctional. j/k but i love your fam. y'all are cool and you're right. life is NEVER boring.

@Sukez: let's not talk about beatings. my parents definitely didn't spare the rod when it came to us. *shrug* i think we deserved like 84% of the beatings we got anyway.

@LaBakir: as far as distance i think it's been easier for me to remove myself from my family drama the last 7 years because i moved so far away. you best believe that my mom makes sure she keeps me up on all the latest. in my adulthood i've become something of confidant to her. i don't understand how i took on that role. not that i'm complaining though.

LaBakir said...

@Tu

Yeah, I can dig it. My fav aunt did the same. Moved out of state when she was 18 and never moved back. When I was younger, I didn't understand that...now I do.

My mom used to keep my posted about the goings on to the point of exhaustion. But b/c our relationship has been rocky, I don't get an earful anymore. Although when I visit, I'm fair game,lol.

Charlie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
outouch04 said...

So this post was sooo on point. Its funny cause even as I type I'm having an internal argument with myself about how much of my family's biz I wanna divulge since I, too, was raised under the "Don't tell other folk your fans biz" rule

My family was/is all types of dysfunctional. 3 sisters (one of whom is my twin), the other two have two different dads. We've never met them. Grandmother raised us cause our mother is just...*shrug*. Grandmother is really my aunt but raised my mother cause her real mother was...*shrug* And most of this we didn't know till we were older. Tons of secrets.

But ehh I guess we still made it work. It's like night and day with my sisters and I but I love them to death and my grandmother/aunt is the most wonderful person in the world.

The wonders of the functional dysfunctional family

SaneN85 said...

Great post! I wouldn't even know where to being with my family.

Anonymous said...

So my fam isn't quite as dysfunctional, in the way u described it, but that whole "keep it in-house" thing? Yup. Maybe its a Naija thing?
I have a good r/ship with my parents, and to an extent, my siblings. My sis is my BFF, but my brother is 8 yrs younger and we have a "touch and go" r/ship.
My mom gets all dramatic about it, but its whatever, at this point.
I don't know what I'd do if I found out I had an "extra" sib around.
I have enough, and I'm smack in the middle. #imgoody #andselfish
Family dynamics will always be a great topic because
sometimes you need to hear abt others to realize maybe yours weren't so bad :o) - Ms. Minx

chi said...

great post. as a first generation american in an african family, i deal with alot of the issues that you talked about. thanks for sharing.

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