One person in the family that the generational dysfunction expresses through.
You will find that every member of that family is living a life of dysfunction in some area, they just make it look better or are “good on paper”. But they are definitely all suffering.
One crazy uncle. One sibling with a (visible, diagnose-able) mental illness. Somebody with chronic body problems or an addiction of some type (food, shopping, sex, drama, drugs).
So easy to write them off as a strange, randomly black sheep. Trouble maker. Odd man out.
When in reality they are the most sensitive one, manifesting generations of pain. They are the brave ones, going it alone, refusing to conform any further and breaking the cycle of denial. They face devastating levels of rejection for this.
This realization usually comes after hitting rock bottom… and then the rock bottom of bottom…. maybe more than once and is the point at which they either remove themselves from the dysfunction and start to build themselves back from the bottom up, replacing their foundation and becoming something elegantly unshakable. Though still troubled (they always will be, somewhat) they become testaments to self love and the consistent act of putting one foot in front of the other. (See Oprah, Wayne Dyer and Maya Angelou)
Or they become wrecked on the shore of life. Another one lost.
I’ve seen far too many examples of the latter, including my own mother, whose life was (if we are being brutally honest) a disaster.
I dangerously teeter between the two extremes myself still to this day.
What keeps me going are pictures of myself as a child. There is such inspiration to be found in the bravery of children before they become adults with jobs they hate and layers of emotional armor, denial and manipulations for surviving the world around them.
They are burning bright with the purpose of life. When I see that in myself, I am reminded that I am so much stronger than the pain, loss, illness and emotional violence that tried to shut my eyes forever.