Saturday, January 27, 2007

What is Functional?

What is functional? Functional is not perfect, I don't think. Functional is simply something, I feel, that in the larger picture works. I describe my family a lot as dysfunctional, but it had some working parts. For instance, the relationship between me and my grandmother, for me at least, was functional. I wish I had given her more of myself when I was younger. It took me awhile to realize that you could disagree with the beliefs of someone else, especially if they were open to you. My grandmother, always, in the end was open to me. I didn't realize that for a long time. So it came as a surprise to find out that my aunt didn't like her, and didn't have a good relationship with her. So as functional as she may have been to me, as far as her daughter was concerned, there was dysfunction there. I'm not really sure why that was, in so many ways they are alike . And then in some ways, they are not alike.

Would I not be someone I liked if I had a "functional" IMO father and mother situation? What is functional to me? I know that it would have been nice to have support for things. For instance, I wanted to play hockey not figure skate. My parents gave no heed to that, and made me figure skate (which I hated) because of the money for hockey equipment. I understand the money thing, but why make me do something I detest. First I didn't want to do music, they forced me. When I decided I loved playing the flute and wanted to do it for a career, instead of discussing that option with me, then they did not approve of that choice. I couldn't win. I could never be supported, there was always something wrong with what I was doing, at least by my father.

Functional to me, is supporting your child growing up. Being interested in their individuality, not just because they were developed from your seed, and therefore your property and a reflection of you. You know, my dad was not a good student in college. He got by, yet he was always touting the "gifted" children's programs, and always expecting the best from me. Not by supporting me, but by berating me most of our relationship. It wasn't until I was out on my own, that I excelled in school. In fact, when I graduated from college, I remember just making eye contact as I excepted the diploma with my husband. It was really "our" accomplishment. In no way were my parents involved in that at all, in fact I think I excelled because they were not such a big part of my life anymore. They had not earned it. I had figured all that out yet, but I know now that most of my life I have been seeking to pull away from their toxic influence. Even when I didn't know I was doing that, that is exactly what I was doing.

I wonder why my father expected of me, what he never accomplished himself. Why did he want me to have his life, when he's been so unsuccessful in most every aspect of it? Don't parents normally want better for their children? I have better, and I did it all myself. Thanks dad, but shove your advice you know where.

I don't think a "functional" relationship would affect most children or adult children that way.


crse said...

i referred you in my blog today. I hope thats ok. It was extremely cathartic.

winterskibunny said...

I loved your Thursday Thirteen. I also liked the alternate one as well (humor).

The next thing I am going to write about is those things we all hide behind when we are hurt. I missed Sunday just being lazy, and then I missed Monday being so very busy with the business and a particular dog that wanted a piece of me!!