Family Puts the Fun In Dysfunction

Or It’s a Miracle That I Didn’t Turn Out Crazier Than This…

My family is…..interesting. That’s what my mother would say. It’s the polite thing to say and my mother always likes to be proper and polite. People are usually quite shocked by her sense of humor once they really get to know her. She seems very prim and proper on the outside but she’s got a seriously twisted sense of humor- which I inherited- on the inside. Most of my mom’s family is like that. Quiet until you really know them. Kind of stoic. They take after my German grandmother very much. I love the crazy bastards. They make me laugh. I love anyone who can make me laugh.

My father’s side is more emotional and outgoing. They are Russian, but were exiled to the Middle East and picked up a lot of Arabian habits and behaviors. Like chauvinism. You can imagine how that chafes. That side of the family is all about spoiling children, especially pretty little princesses. Yeah, I didn’t fit in. I didn’t want to be a princess. I wanted to be a pirate or a mad scientist. My father always said that I was the son he never wanted. To say we didn’t get along would be a massive understatement. Most of my life has been one long drawn out fight with him, verbally, emotionally, and physically. I talked back too much and didn’t know my place. I told him where he could shove my place. You get the picture… The rest of my cousins were very well behaved and did as they were told. I was the black sheep.

Actually, I’m the black sheep on both sides of the family. Neither really knows what to make of me but my mother’s side is more accepting of me. My father’s side is slowly coming around. I guess they figured after nearly 40 years it wasn’t just a phase. And they’ve seen that I’ve done a pretty damn good job raising my kids, even if it wasn’t the way they would have done it. I’m not into being overly controlling and micromanaging everything they do. I also like to talk about things openly with my kids because I respect them as human beings, but I do make it clear that I am the parent and I make the rules.

It’s I told my parents. I get they tried their best. Even if, in some cases, it wasn’t enough and was damaging. It was their best. That’s all a person can do. I took what was good from it, learned from the bad and adapted it, and made my own thing up. And, maybe, my best isn’t great. I tell my kids that I’m not perfect. I love them and try to do what is right but that sometimes I will disappoint them. It is what it is. I don’t want to disappoint them, but life isn’t always fair. But they can trust that I will always love them and will always be there for them.

And there’s always therapy.

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