To say my family was dysfunctional is quite possibly the understatement of the year. Here are some of the clues that let me know we were:
*My dad loves babies until they become old enough to wiggle and squirm and want down. He can hold a newborn for hours. (He was very handy for much-needed showers when my girls were little.) My mom kept having babies to make him happy. The problem?? My dad does not enjoy children. Just newborns. Small children annoy him and he wants them to just sit still and be quiet. They divorced when I was about 4, and I was number 4.
*My mom thinks that all men are philanderers because my dad was and her dad was. She also thinks most women are too. My dad thinks this too. (They both believed men were incapable of not cheating. They also believed a pretty large percentage of women were unable to be faithful as well.) They both had this confirmed in their lives 9 times out of ten. They took this as a fact of life instead of the faulty logic it is.
I am gonna stop at that because, really, those two seal the dysfunction. The one hundred other things are really just icing on the dysfunctional cake.
I am exhausted after a night of very honest and open dialog with my two oldest sisters. Too much togetherness and strolling down memory lane. I can't take the memories. They aren't warm and fuzzy like family memories are supposed to be. We have a few warm fuzzies, but mostly we have, "Oh my goodness, I do remember the night Mom broke that beer bottle over Daddy's head when she caught him at the bar with that other woman! He ran out after her but she hopped in the car and took us all back home" One of my sisters in particular seems to believe everyone grew up with the complex immoral upbringing that we grew up with. I say NO! We were not the norm. We had parents that were not good role models. My mom was so hopelessly in love with my dad that she overlooked everything until the day came when she just could no longer overlook everything. The everythings had become too much for her to take while in the throes of raising 4 little girls.
The divorce set in motion exposure to lives and people that we would not have been exposed to in a normal stable home. My mom lived in impoverished desperation for about 2 years and had a stubborn pride and grit to make life work out somehow. My older siblings were our babysitters. They were 12 and 13. They were previously sheltered and supervised hormonal roller coasters given total freedom and absolutely no supervision or guidance. It did not go as well as planned. We youngers learned a lot from them and my mom suffered from depression from then until now. She lived in a fog of what should have been and got bitter not better. She did give us God and church which was the saving grace of 3 of us and eventually, I know the fourth is coming around.
The four of us made many mistakes and by the saving grace of Christ, we made it. We have normal stable home environments and are breaking a cycle with our families. We are different. I shudder to say normal because it is such a vague concept. Isn't normal just what "normally" happens in the day to day? That could encompass alot of abnormal. We are doing the best we know how, and I firmly believe our children will do even better. I believe my mom was the first in the beginning of generational blessing for our family. This means our families are second and so on and so on up to 100 generations. Praise the Lord!!
As I listened and discussed with my sisters some of the hells we have gone through and some of the baggage we have carried, I was exhausted and disgusted that they are still carrying it. One of my sisters was still trying to get me to pick up some of the bags I checked years ago. NO THANK YOU!! Jesus paid it all. I am who he says I am and I am no longer that girl with those bags. I am so blessed and flattered that when I share bits and pieces of my past, people can't quite believe. I can't either. I remember, but I am so different now. It is as though that girl in my past is a young girl I pity for her miserable choices and praise because she learned better and did better. She reached a hand up and let God pull her out of the pit and then she walked as far from that pit as she could. I remember her, but I am not her anymore.
I wish the same for my mom and sister, and yes, even my dad. They are carrying bags that Jesus means for them to let loose. Those bags are Satan's trap to keep you weighed down in the doldrums. They help him say, "You are that and you always will be." LIES!
If you are hanging on to your old mistakes and letting them define who you are-stop it!! All have sinned and come short of the Glory of God. It is His will that you check those bags at the door to a new plan. His plan for your life. The one where you will never be perfect, but you will be treated like you are. You will gradually be sanctified and morph into a new being in Christ. One day you look back over the chapters of your life and think, "Wow, I hardly recognize me. Thanks, God."