Quien es mas Crazy?
It’s Monday of a new week here in the CoupleDumb. This is the day when we introduce the theme for the week and give you all the theory and philosophy behind it. We’ve had some stuff happen this last week that made us think up this arrow to the heart topic and, of course, you will read about it within the week because we have no secrets from you. So, here is the topic for this week: What do you do when your family and friends are more f’d up then you?
Paul says: In case you haven’t been paying attention, CoupleDumb is a blog about relationships, all kinds of relationships. We’ve written about marriage, couples, same-sex and opposite sex, sex in general, parents, kids and friends. We’ve even talked about our relationship with God. Usually our writing is optimistic. Even when we wrote about divorce, it was with the tact of healthy breakup and maintaining a good relationship afterword.
Sometimes in life, that happy ending is not forthcoming. Sometimes there are people in our lives that are simply too fucked up to allow around us. When we use words like aloof or (this next phrase is foreshadowing of writing later in the week) a toxic bitch to describe a family member, this does not bode well for the relationship. So what do we do? The short answer is that we do the best that we can with no shame or regrets. The long answer is that we are in relationship with everyone and sometimes that relationship can only be described as bad.
When Lee was studying for her Marriage and Family Masters, I would go to some of her classes. Yes, I am a freak like that and really enjoyed sitting in and listening. One of the classes (and ultimately a main philosophy of all Marriage and Family Therapy) is Systems Theory. In a nutshell this says that a family is a interwoven system of people. You may have one person that is acting out but it is the whole family that is participating. Little Johnny may be surly with his adolescent ennui but mom, dad, the twins, and grandma all play their role.
As a little side note, systems theory has some heavy hitting science behind it. There are systems models used in quantum mechanics, sociology, economics and ecology. The interactions because of FaceBook are a new goldmine of Systems Theory data.
The reason that I am giving you all of this systems stuff is because we are really asking you to take care of yourself within the system that you exist. Try this. Bring to mind one of your relatives that is more screwed up then you. I know, the hard part is narrowing it down to just one. So now what? You can’t cut the person out of your life in a rage of yelling because that is unhealthy cutoff and dooms you to having an unresolved bad relationship with the person forever. You can’t get close because… well…crazy!!!! You can’t fix them because that is not your job and would be rescuing, which is bad.
What you do is get Zen. You know that this is the best that you are going to get right now and you proceed to make yourself healthy and happy within your system. You model health in your family and watch as everyone learns from you. That’s all. (They say that sarcasm does not translate in writing so I am going to point it out. This part is sarcasm.) It’s easy, right?
Lee says: Isn’t it cute when Paul gets talks all jargony? He mentioned cut-off, which is where you excise someone from your life. I liken it to a back alley amputation. I don’t think we have any rules or laws about that, do we? Anyways, cut-off can be just as unhealthy as being enmeshed (so close that you lose where you end and they begin) or the constant violence or chaos of a volatile relationship. Healthy closure and completion is important.
I’ll get more into this later on in the week. I am still processing what happened and will share with you on Friday. I promise to not amputate anything or runaway.