Our last family group took at look at what defines a "dysfunctional" family as compared to a healthy, nurturing one. Active addiction takes a toil on all families and often the family unit becomes fragmented, characterized by dishonesty, denial, and a general lack of respect and trust placing the family into turmoil.
In recovery, we seek to gain back a nurturing family where positive communication is the hub of the wheel. Families are free to talk about feelings, or any subject, in a relaxed atmosphere that promotes growth and encourages individual differences.
The reality is that most families face addiction without the knowledge and understanding that we gain through recovery. Therefore, reactions are generally from a place of misunderstanding, but most are out of concern, love, and usually desperation, which can easily be viewed as dysfunctional. Dysfunctional can have a negative connotation, so our group consensus is that generally speaking, families do the best they can at the time, on the information they have.
In recovery, we can let go of that label of dysfunctional, and give credit for the many things that we all try to constantly improve in order to be healthier, whole, and nurturing families again!