Today is Dysfunctional Families Day, September 21.
It’s the day we put those members of our community first who were always given last place in their families’ consideration. It’s the day we celebrate the presence in our community of the people who were unwelcome in their homes. We rejoice in the people who were resented, believe the people who were dismissed, and listen to the people who were perpetually shushed.
And the people whose parents resented them for being takers, and burdens, and nuisances? The people who were told that they were worthless and useless, failures and good-for-nothings? Today we get to thank them for the great gift that they have given all of us on Making Light over the last four years. Who else could have created the resources that these threads have become, not just for one another, but for otherwise-troubled folks? If that’s failure, I don’t ever want to be a success.
And those threads really are a treasure. Even I, who am not rightfully one of the community, have gained a great deal from them. They make me a better parent, a better daughter (now I can parse my mother’s stories from her childhood), a better friend and colleague, a better moderator. I’ve heard the same from many people who don’t post in the threads (that I know of—I don’t track which pseudonyms map to which regular commenters.)
Those people—you people, as it were—are a joy to this community every day, but today we get an excuse to say it. Thank you for your presence here. Thank you for your courage and your openness, your generosity and your wisdom. We are immeasurably richer for you being here.
If you want to participate but don’t want your posts linked to your contributions to the rest of Making Light, feel free to choose a pseudonym. But please keep it consistent within these threads, because people do care. You can create a separate (view all by) history for your pseudonym by changing your email address. And if you blow it and cross identities, give me a shout and I’ll come along and tidy it up.