Most of us believe that our families-of-origin were a little dysfunctional; it seems that there really is no true “normal” for how a family should look or behave, beyond “more normal” than your own. The only true measure of a family’s functionality, though, usually is revealed once the children grow up and begin having families of their own.
One truth is certain, however. A family in which an alcoholic, or other addict, is actively engaged in chasing the substance of choice almost always fall into the authentically dysfunctional category no matter what the measurement tool might be.
Addictions are like illicit love affairs. A person often knows that what she is doing is wrong. She may try to hide the evidence of her trysts – receipts from the liquor store instead of the motel; empty bottles instead of sexy lingerie and new perfume; or dilated eyes and flushed cheeks instead of smudged lipstick or love bites on her neck.
Just like the illicit love affair, active addictions take on a life of their own. Addicts find reasons to get out of the house, to arrange time on their own, and become practiced and sometimes not-so-skilled liars who make up excuses and denials, even if the evidence is every bit as clear as finding them naked in the bed with a lover.
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