Dysfunctional Part 1: Changes


  1. not operating normally or properly.
    2. deviating from the norms of social behavior in a way regarded as bad.

Part 1 of 2. 

Dysfunctional Family Tree

Source: Cartoon Stock 


Bang. Bang. Bang. 

I rolled over and tried to ignore the sound.

Bang. Bang. Bang. 

I rolled onto my back and stared at the ceiling, trying to wake up.

Bang. Bang. Bang. 

“Alriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight!” I screamed!

Why my mother couldn’t walk up the stairs and gently wake us up like a normal mom, I didn’t know. She insisted on banging on the damn door like she’s a ghost.

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I started kicking the top bunk to wake up my sister. She could sleep through anything, unlike me.

“Get up,” I said, slapping her with my pillow before walking down stairs.

“Get up,” I said walking into my brother’s room — nicknamed the “boys room,” because my mom stuffed all four of her sons in there. I could hear the shower running and assumed my older sister, Monique, was in there.

“Hurry up!” I screamed banging on the door. “You do this every morning knowing it’s six other fucking people in this house that need to get ready for school!”

“Fuck off,” she yelled back.

If I didn’t get them out on time they missed the school bus. If they miss the school bus, that means I miss first hour walking them to school. If I missed first hour one more time I wasn’t going to pass the class. This used to be Monique’s job, but she was already barely graduating due to attendance, so it was my turn to step up and be “make believe mom” — even though our’s was alive and well in the next room.

“Just go brush your teeth in the kitchen sink, and hurry up,” I said to them.

“Y’all need to quiet down,” my mom yelled from her room.

“Naw, you need to get the fuck up and take care of your own kids,” I said under my breath, rolling my eyes.

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“Come on y’all before she starts yelling.”

“I’m hungry,” Anthony exclaimed, as I was trying to push him out of the door.

“If you hurry up you can eat at school,” I said throwing his shoes on.

The bus was due at any minute.

“But…” he said, obviously stalling.

“Boy if you don’t get up and get out of this door, I’m calling mama!” I said.

And with that, he ran up out of the door. He knew if my mom’s sleep was interrupted it was a wrap for all of us.

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Later that day…

“Fuck you looking at? You ham ass, broke ass, abusive ass, raggedy ass bitch,” I said in my head to my mother’s boyfriend as he played Madden on the couch.

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It was almost if my mother had a platinum lifetime membership to HeAintShit.com, because all of her boyfriends were of the “ain’t shit” variety, and this one was of no exception. Ten years her junior, broke, no goals, no direction, and abusive as hell — just her type.


He kept staring at me.

“Your eyes stuck or something?” I asked with an attitude.

“Watch your fucking mouth girl,” my mom chimed in, in his defense.

I smacked my lips at her.

“Smack ‘em again and I’mma smack your whole face,” she responded.

“Hey little cuz,” my cousin Mike said, interjecting.

I didn’t even notice him until he spoke.

“What are you doing here?” I asked.

My mom’s side of the family tended to be nothing but trouble.

“Excuse her. You know she’s rude as hell,” my mom said to Mike about me.

“I’m going to be staying here for a minute,” he replied.


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I glared at my mom, and she just shrugged her shoulders. There were already nine of us living in the house, including my mom’s bum-for-a-boyfriend. We didn’t have room for Mike, and despite being poor as fuck, my mom convinced herself she was Mother Theresa. Every couple of months, some aunt or cousin, or a combination of both, was coming to stay with us like we lived in a mansion and not a four-bedroom house in the hood of Detroit.

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I rolled my eyes and went upstairs in my room.

“Cousin Mike supposed to be staying here,” Asia said as I plopped down on the bottom bunk.

“So,” I replied. “Not our problem.”

“Maybe he’ll help us out around the house,” she said optimistically.

“Doubt it,” I said. “Just another grown motherfucker to clean up behind.”

 Later that night…

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It was a Friday night, so we were guaranteed not to see our mom for a few days. She’d rather chase behind her man, then to hang out with us. And honestly, we preferred it that way. She was constantly yelling or calling one of us out of our name. But since she had already passed her motherly duties on to Monique and I, she really wasn’t ever missed. Monique took this as her opportunity to invite all of her friends over. Something that would not be happening if our mom was home.

“Y’all already know the deal,” I said, busting in on Monique and her friends in my mom’s room.

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“Five dollars or I’m calling my mom right now,” I said passing around a hat to collect my cash.

Perks of my mom being an evil b-word was being able to blackmail my sister and her friends when they came over without permission.

“These kids don’t feed themselves,” I said, jokingly.


“Thank you all for your generous donations to keep “the beast” away, and feeding these very hungry children,” I said, laughing. “I’ll leave you older teens to do whatever it is you guys do, with no parental supervision. Condoms can also be purchased for $1 each,” I managed to spit out before Monique threw me out of the door.

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I made sure the kids ate, put on a movie, and went upstairs to watch TV in Monique’s room. I knew she would beat my ass if she caught me, but I didn’t understand why she not only got to have her own room in a house full of 20 people, but she also had a TV in said room. Perks of being the oldest child, I guess.

“Would be a shame if she went missing,” I said out loud to myself, imagining how great it would be to have my own room in a house where there were so many people, and you were required to share everything.

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I would soon find out.

“Get the fuck out of my room!” I heard Monique say, as I started getting dragged across the floor.

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I must have dozed off — bad decision. But in hindsight, she usually slept in my mother’s room when she went on her “vacations” from us.

“It’s not even that serious,” I said, standing up and pushing her.

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I knew she would beat my ass, just like she knew I wouldn’t back down from her.

“Stay out my room Andrea!” Monique yelled.

“Make me,” I quipped back, taunting her.

She blew my shit out, and we preceded to fight.

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Note* Im the one in the red getting beat up*

“Now stay the fuck out,” Monique said as she released me from a headlock.

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Note* Im the black kitten*

“I’m not staying out of nowhere,” I said under my breath fixing my clothes.

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I went downstairs and found out just why she was back in her room so soon. My mom came back home, and she brought her bum back with her.


 The next day…

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It was Saturday, and you’d think we’d be able to sleep in — nope! Momzilla was home, so Saturdays meant old school jams, getting yelled at, and cleaning. My mom’s rule was “If I’m up, everyone has to be up.” So we had to be up early like there was school, even on days there was none.

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“Hurry up and clean my house!” my mom started yelling.


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“Damn, how about you get up and help,” Dre said under his breath.

My mom while we cleaned:

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“What you say?” She said, yelling at him.

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She always did have supersonic hearing.

“Nothing ma’am,” Dre responded quickly.

“He said why you not helping,” Anthony’s ol’ tattle-tale-ass blurted out.

How the rest of us was looking at him because whatever you do, you dont snitch:


“Because this is my house. And I pay the bills, so I make the rules.” she spat out.

“This is why I had you,” she continued. “Now you better move those hands and clean, and stop moving those lips before you dont have any,” she finished, plopping down on the couch.


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“We are not your slaves,” I said to myself, much quieter than Dre had been prior.


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But also me:

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Because I wasnt trying to get my ass beat.

After cleaning, if it was nice weather, we had to go outside. If it was cold, we had to play in the basement. But since it was kind of chilly, it was a basement type of day — which meant playing “school,” having rap battles, playing lava, freeze tag, hide and seek in the dark — you name it, we played it.

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“Yo, yo, mama trapped us in this basement talking ‘bout play. Dre got on the same drawers as yesterday, and Drew got on the same clothes, so they both stank. Kolby? Nah mama shoulda named you ‘Kay’ ‘cause you act real gay. Asia? Interesting name for a girl whose black, and I won’t address Anthony ‘cause we know all his rhymes are whack. Ayeeee!” I rhymed, passing the invisible mic to Drew.


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“Andrea passed the mic, so my time is here. Turn her skinny ass sideways, and I bet she disappears. Dre hella black, hella whack. Kolby fat. Anthony sucks. Asia’s a bum. And I’mma pass the mic before I burn this bitch up, ayeee,” he said, laughing as he passed the invisible mic to Anthony.

Drew when he finished:

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“Yo, yo, yo daddy is doe-doe head. Y’all just mad I’m out here getting bread. Sometimes I get popped upside my head,” Anthony rapped, barely finishing before Kolby swiped the pretend mic from out of his hands.


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“Mannnnn, you always killing the vibe with that weak shit,” Kolby said.

All of a sudden, we heard a loud “bitch” and a thump, as if things were being moved around upstairs.

Everyone got quiet for a moment. We knew what was going on. We heard it one too many times before.

“See your raps so bad, mama getting her ass beat just for bringing you into the world,” Dre said joking, trying to lighten the mood.

I went upstairs to investigate. Monique was in the living room braiding her friend’s hair.

“Stupid ass bitch! Stop going through my fucking phone!” My mother’s boyfriend shouted at her.

Things were being thrown all over the place. They didn’t care that my sister had company, at all.

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“Akwarddddddddd,” I said, looking at them.

“I really don’t understand why she even wants to be with his dusty ass,” I said angrily. “I’m tired of him putting his hands on her.”

I had always only heard it, and never saw it with my own two eyes — until today.

“Well, a person will only do what you allow them to,” Monique responded. “As long as he don’t put his hands on us, I’m good,” she added, starting a new braid.

All of a sudden, they burst out of my mother’s room, and into the hall in full combat mode. First, my mom was getting back with him, but he started to get the best of her and slammed her on the ground. He leaned over her, and with no mercy, repeatedly punched her in the face. It was like Ike and Tina minus the talent, the money, and add 20 more kids.

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I couldn’t believe that he was doing that her. Before I could stop myself, I ran over, grabbed him by the hair, and proceeded to punch him in the face.

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He had me fucked up!

I got a couple of licks in before he flicked me off like I was a fly disturbing a picnic.


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And it was at that moment that all hell broke loose.

To be continued….. 

Discussion: Do you come from a “dysfunctional family”? If so, tell me about a really fun time you guys had. For me, some of my best memories are the rap battles I had with my siblings. Or all the times we played “school” together. 

Id love to hear from you!

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