There are lots of serviceable words in our language that have been overused and misused into verbal mush. Dysfunctional is one of them. Anyone who talks about their dysfunctional family as if they're unique should be smacked hard out of their egocentric little world.
That said, most people find their own family's brand of dysfunction understandably fascinating. Recognizing that mine is neither the worst nor the most entertaining in the world does not prevent me from declaring that in my little corner of the universe, I am Queen for the Day in the my-family-is-more-fucked-up-than-yours contest.
I just finished reading In the Time of Butterflies by
Maria Julia Alvarez. A compelling historical novel, set in the Dominican Republic, about four sisters who lived under the regime of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. The real life dictator. His 30 years in power, to Dominicans known as the Trujillo Era, is considered one of the bloodiest ever in the Americas...(source)
After I finished the book, I called my father, who is also named Rafael Leonidas.
Me: Dad, did your mother name you after the brutal Dominican fascist, Trujillo?Oh, yeah. My abuela named one of her sons after a Dominican tyrant and the other after one of the most evil men who ever lived.
Me: What the hell? Seriously, what could she have been thinking?
Dad: Well, it could have been worse.
Dad: Yeah, she could have named me after Hitler like your Uncle Adolf.
Queen for the Day in the Dysfunctional Family Relay.