The Addams Family as a Role Model

Amanda - Indianapolis, Indiana
Entered on May 2, 2008

Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family
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The last few years of my life have drastically changed my beliefs on family. Growing up, I was jealous of my friends with parents that were still married, and did not have to worry about the problems that divorce causes. They did not have to worry about which parent’s visiting weekend it was. My parents’ divorce opened the door for dysfunction to walk right into my life.

The years following my parent’s divorce, my family changed dramatically. My dad married a woman with many problems, including low self-esteem, an eating disorder, and a bratty daughter. Most importantly, she had a drinking problem that was soon to spiral out of control.

With the help of two new little sisters, I learned to appreciate my step-mother. Even my mom and step-mom became friends. I guess it was because they both shared an important factor in common: my father. In the spring and summer, my dad would come over to my house, his ex wife’s house, and mow the grass. My step-mom would weed the garden and plant flowers, while my mom babysat their children. Any outsider would think this is strange, but this became the normal way of life for my family.

My step-mom’s drinking steadily worsened and eventually tore their marriage apart. Her destructive path continued, until she was arrested for drinking and driving and child neglect. My dad was given custody of my little sisters, and my step-mom turned to my mother and me for help. We were there to make sure that she was going through treatment, encourage her, and make sure she got to visit her daughters. She has been sober now for four months.

Most people think of the Addams family as the ultimate dysfunctional family, but I consider my family to be even more dysfunctional. Most think they are weird, just because they are different. They had to worry about grandma trying to poison guests, but don’t we all have a crazy family member that gets out of control at every family event? Despite all of the craziness, they still function well together as one unit against the rest of the world. My family used to be at odds with one another, but now I believe that we have adopted the Addams family way of life. Working together, we have overcome our problems and formed a bond that will continue to help us grow.

I believe the idea of family has changed over the years, and the conventional family is evolving. Families now include step-mothers, fathers, and siblings. I believe that dysfunctional families can be just as functional as conventional ones. My family had to work even harder to become functional, and we are still doing it today. Some may think I am strange, but I can say now that I love dysfunction, and maybe I even live for it. I believe all families need a little dysfunction in their lives to thrive.