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My best ever Thanksgiving.
Jim Broede
Posted: Saturday, November 24, 2018 12:36 AM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 5462

Used to be, we had family gatherings at Thanksgiving and Christmas. But I don’t miss them. Because I came from a dysfunctional family. At our family reunions, there’s too much arguing and bickering. Dredging up stuff. And playing the accusatory blame games. For everything that went wrong. Seldom was there a focus on what went right. Face it. Nothing is all bad. Anyway, I almost always walked away from Thanksgiving dinner table. In a funk. Wishing I had never come. I could find a better way to spend the holidays. Alone. In peace and solitude.  That’s been my practice. For many years now.   Except this Thanksgiving. I got a special invite. To a Thanksgiving with a four-generational family. Of an acquaintance. Who thought I shouldn’t be alone. And I’m so happy. That I accepted. It was the best Thanksgiving I’ve ever had. Yes, I learned something. There is a very functional family. And I felt a living part of it. --Jim
Jim Broede
Posted: Saturday, November 24, 2018 5:39 AM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 5462

I wonder. If dysfunctional is normal. And that the vast majority of families. Are dysfunctional. Often without knowing it. I didn’t think of my family. As dysfunctional. That is, when I was living in it. It wasn’t until years later. After I had left.  That I considered my family dysfunctional. Because growing up. I had no idea what dysfunctional meant. Everything seemed normal. At the time. Dysfunctional was my normal. Because I had nothing to contrast it with. Now I have a much better sense of it.  Turns out. Living as a 24/7 Alzheimer’s care-giver. Is more dysfunctional. Than what I experienced as a youth. But I coped with it. In what may be touted as a normal way. But who’s to say. What’s normal? All I know. With certainty. Is that life can be confusing. --Jim


Posted: Saturday, November 24, 2018 11:42 AM
Joined: 9/8/2017
Posts: 2315

I'm glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Jim.  I understand what you mean by solitude being more enjoyable, peaceful than around family.

One time someone told me all families are dysfunctional.  I'm not sure about that.  

Your post reminds me of when I was a blabbermouth kid, I told my mom, "This family is not normal...."

Well, she didn't like that one.  She got pissed and said, "What's normal to you?  You don't have a clue of what you have.  Don't say you don't have a normal family, when you don't know what it's like to not even have a family.  What more do you want?" and blah blah blah she went. 

But, she was right.  She tried her best to provide and keep the family stable, even if she wasn't happy.  Just to make sure we had what she never did. 

But, her angry and unhappy face is what bothered me.  

Choices, I guess.


Posted: Saturday, November 24, 2018 11:25 PM
Joined: 1/23/2017
Posts: 1219

Was dysfunctional even a word when we were kids ? I hear the story of Jim's family, and it sounds a lot like others I have been made aware of over the years. When I was growing up, all I remember were these huge family gatherings, with cousins I hardly knew, and card games going on, and food, food, food. As time has passed, I have come to understand that my parents weren't perfect, but I think that they were perfect for me. Life is dysfunctional, so there are bound to be ups and downs. Strengths and weaknesses. Tragedies and triumphs.

I didn't live the life of Theodore Cleaver, but by gum, I think it was close !