How many people have at least one seriously messed up family member

I mean, alcoholic, compulsive shoplifter, majorly depressed, bipolar, chronically unemployed, etc etc etc. This can include aunts and uncles or cousins and grandparents. I’m just curious to see how common it is. Both of my parents are pretty messed up. You can include examples. I will give specifics of my own parents after the first few posts most likely.

Does it count if the crazy aunt is no longer alive?

On a positive note - a crazy relative creates drama and excitement and gives everyone a chuckle and someone to talk about at family get togethers.

Ever been a family get together where everyone was quiet and to themselves?

My father was a total deadbeat, and my mother was on hard drugs.

If I started about my extended family, this post would go way too long.

Both my uncle and (to a lesser extent) my father are hardcore rightwing Republicans, which, to me, is exceedingly fucked up.

My mom: Hypochondriac, compulsive liar, compulsive shoplifter, drama queen
Dad: Not as bad but very mean at times and very controlling, often indifferent, sometimes… actually quite nice

Nope. Everyone has minor areas of fuckedupitude or foolishness or drama or all of the above, but no one is seriously, life-alteringly messed up. Touch wood.

My nuclear family is fine, I feel very lucky. My geographically close family is also fine, and I’m grateful for that, too. But my mom’s side of the family has some addiction issues. Grandpa and two uncles died from their alcoholism, and one cousin has been on every drug you can think of with the missing teeth to prove it, and has been in and out of jail since he was a teen. His mom (my aunt) is a sweet, heart of gold headcase, and my youngest uncle (only 10 years older than me) and his wife are functional alcoholics. All dear to my heart and loving people, but I’m glad they’re 2,000 miles away. Family get togethers are always memorable!

Immediate family, nothing major. When you extend out, you have the person who dumped her family to run off with an ex-con and became a massive druggie/alcoholic, the extremely racist relative that is not welcomed here, one that cannot stay out of jail for anything (I swear, he could find a pot of gold and be arrested for theft in 5 seconds), one (now deceased) who was schtupping his half sister (related to me by marriage only), and a ton of alcoholics.

Mom struggled with depression

Oldest sister also had depression issues and wound up killing herself.

One nephew had issues with drug abuse and depression. Suddenly died one afternoon, the autopsy revealed no obvious cause, no drugs in his systems, etc he just… died.

Another nephew has a severe traumatic brain injury and will require supervision the rest of his life.

A niece got a dishonorable discharge from the army for drugs and fucking her CO (in more than one sense of the word, as he got the same discharge), has children by several fathers, and drug issues. For awhile was living out of her car and had a warrant out for her arrest in at least one state.

Yeah, we got a few…

My brother.

Back when we were kids, he was considered (and rightly so I think) the brightest and most resourceful of us two.

He started having psychological issues as a teenager. By the time ha was 17, he had a whole regimen of antidepressants and sleeping pills.

As far as relationships are concerned, I’m aware of none. It seems that he was madly in love with a girl twenty years ago but it wasn’t reciprocated. Our mother still forbids anyone from mentioning her in his presence lest he gets mad. Twenty. Years. Later. Apart from that, nothing.

He’s now nearing forty and has never had a job that was up to his abilities. It’s due to both arrogance and laziness: he expects the perfect offer to fall into his lap. Until this happens, he’ll do the bare minimum alternating between various entry-level jobs, part-time jobs and stretches of unemployment. Basically, he’s striving to find a balance between working as little as possible while doing only what he accepts to do and getting enough money to buy things he likes.

While he used to be incredibly funny, he’s now spending his wit on being as mean as possible to anyone that comes near. My mother used to be his favourite target but from what I’ve heard, he’s started having the same attitude with my dad.

If you don’t recognize a family member as being “seriously messed up” it’s likely that you are the one.

Younger brother, bipolar. Basically a walking, talking vial of nitroglycerin that could go off at the slightest jolt. Pretty much everyone who’s ever been around him for an extended period has eventually drifted away from exhaustion.

I have a cousin who can’t seem to get their life together- several drug convictions, a couple of stints in prison, repeated attempts to get clean, etc… I’m fairly convinced it’s a mental illness self-medication thing.

But the rest of us (my cousin’s 3 kids, 3 siblings + spouses, dozen nieces and nephews, parents, aunts uncles, etc…) have our acts together. My cousin’s kids aren’t necessarily going to end up super-successful due to upbringing, but they’re not messed up.

My grandma was bipolar, and my cousin caught the genes. She’s a drug addict with a very long rap sheet, currently living with her illegal-alien husband (who was illegal, got married, could have qualified for amnesty or whatever, committed some kind of felony, got deported and is now back extremely illegally) and kid. And baby on the way. Praise Jesus.

In my family, I’m the fucked up one.

Me too. Well, I was for a very long time, but I’m more better now :slight_smile:

My 50 year old cousin is an interesting case.

She was an only child, and her parents are prosperous and wonderful.

There were very high hopes for her when she graduated high school in 1984, as she seemed very bright and mature. But then she became a “party girl” and got addicted to alcohol and painkillers. She even stole some prescription medicine from our medicine cabinet one evening.

In the early 1990s she was doing sales work for a computer company and got fired. Since then she has never held a job for more than three months (gets fired from each). It’s “never her fault” she’s fired, and lies about the situation. On a couple occasions she sued her former employer for “wrongful firing.”

In the late 1990s she married an ex-con, had a baby with him, but then cheated on him and had a baby via her boyfriend. Hubby robbed a Dairy Queen and went back to jail. She eventually divorced him.

For the last 20 years she has only been sporadically employed and is completely dependent on her parents for financial support. (Her 76 year old father still works, but only to earn money to support her.) She and her two teen children live in a very nice apartment, have a new car, and lots of toys and luxuries, all courtesy of mommy and daddy. She’s very obese, and I suspect she’s still addicted to alcohol and painkillers. She spends most of her time ferrying her children to extracurricular activities.

At a family party a few years ago she said she was “unable to work,” and has tried to get on disability. She also said she was diagnosed as being “bipolar.”

But I don’t think she has any mental problems. She is simply a bad person; she is extremely manipulative and a compulsive liar, and has taken advantages of her parents most of her adult life.

I think every family has “that” relative, the black sheep as they say.

I used to know a family that seemed perfect. Husband, wife, two young adult kids boy and girl. They were nice and affectionate and the kids were downright sweet to each other. Then out of the blue the dad informed the family that an ex-girlfriend of his had tracked him down and told him he had a son he wasn’t aware of - now also a young adult. Yeah, sure, you think. When we met the previously unknown son there was no doubt - he looked so much like the dad he could have been a younger fraternal twin. Same cleft in the chin, same bone structure, same eyes, freaky levels of same appearance. The story was that before the mom and dad dated, he dated this other woman. Her mom wanted them broken up so when he went into the military overseas she told her daughter he died in the line of duty. Didn’t know at the time that her daughter was already pregnant.

So pretty good drama, right? Well, they were a perfect family like I said, so they tried to welcome the new son into the family and got to know his other family. But the mom (of the perfect family) realized she couldn’t hack it for whatever reason and split and filed for divorce. No more perfect family!

Teen-age daughter clinically depressed.

I have an uncle (dad’s brother) in prison for anally raping at least three of his kids.