UNITED STATES—Every family has some sort of dysfunction, but just because dysfunction exists, doesn’t mean it can’t be fixed. The one thing I’ve noticed about various people I know and their families is that we all have secrets or skeletons in our closet that we prefer not to divulge to the rest of the world. Why? Well shame, we don’t want people judging us or whispering behind closed doors. Guess what? Whatever dysfunction you have in your family, the person who might be whispering about you, have similar issues in their family.

This brings me to the big question of the hour: can one person fix a ton of dysfunction in one family? I’d like to think it’s possible. Just looking at my family there is a ton that I wish with the snap of a finger could make everything go back to normal. I have 5 siblings, and I rarely see some of my siblings for weeks maybe months. Yes, we all work, some of us have families, but that doesn’t mean we can’t connect via telephone or during holidays which happen every so often.

Oftentimes, I feel the separation is a direct result of specific dynamics I see with my parents and their siblings. I mean my mother and father both come from very large families, and they rarely interact with their siblings unless a family crisis takes place. Yes, it totally sucks that families come together in the face of tragedy, but I see that time and time again with my families.

I mean just this past summer, I got the opportunity to meet cousins, aunts and uncles that I hadn’t seen in years, and I mean YEARS! I mean I barely recognized some of the individuals, which was quite stunning to say the least. We made a pact to do our best to keep in touch with one another after the reunion concluded, but actions do indeed speak louder than words. Yeah, those first cousins that I grew up with, that I saw on a weekly basis, the distance is very much still there.

I echo that same sentiment with my brothers and sisters. It’s frustrating when you speak to all of your siblings, yet you have a brother and sister who don’t get along with one another and as a result, the mere idea of seeing them in the same room seems impossible. I mean my older brother and older sister went nearly 2 years, I mean 2 years without uttering or speaking a single word with one another because of some issues involving alcohol and he said she said mess. My mind was literally baffled with the madness, like I have to tip-toe around bringing the other siblings name into the conversation out of fear that it would lead to a bashing session of the other sibling, which frankly I refuse to partake in.

I’m a firm believer that when it comes to family, no matter how much one hurts you, there is this force (that is impossible to describe with words) that pushes you to forgive to make you a better person. Am I saying that it’s okay to allow your family to walk all over you and do horrid things and expect there to not be any consequences? No. There are always consequences for one’s actions, but when it’s something so PETTY that even a 4 year-old can realize that something is wrong that needs to be fixed.

Petty things should not lead to squabbles that can’t be overcome with a simple conversation. That’s all it takes sometimes to clear the air and really get to the root of the problem. Every family has a bit of dysfunction, but just because it exists doesn’t mean one has to allow that bad energy to continue to be part of their daily life.