The 3HO Dysfunctional Family - How I Figured It Out
Living in a dysfunctional family is very chaotic. [Ever wonder why under the surface everyone in the Assembly was never really at peace, always on edge? Some were good at the illusion of being at peace and others we thought were at peace because we never got close enough to them to see below the surface. I have found that once you get past the exterior, no one was ever truly happy and at peace in their life, while in the Assembly. They usually blame themselves to excuse the discrepancies between what is preached as the outcome of the Assembly lifestyle and what is the honest truth inside them. The favorites excuses are they don’t have peace because they need to constantly repent of a "besetting sin’ and that they feel they are not careful enough to make sure at every moment that "Christ is at the center." If they could just get victory in those areas, be always "yielded to Christ" they would have peace. They are convinced that it is not the Assembly that is flawed but rather themselves. They are seeing the "old hag" and not the "beautiful woman".] ….
The main trait of [the addict] is that you never know what this person is going to do next. Are they going to praise you or blame you, empower you or humiliate you? [Sounds suspiciously like George Geftakys.] It is the fundamental dynamic of the dysfunctional family that everyone cares deeply about the opinion and approval of the addict [Ultimately George Geftakys but may also be personally the leading brother or discipler "working" with you. They have convinced you that their approval = God’s approval]. After all, the addict is usually Daddy or Mommy, but even beyond that, addict-types often generate a strong aura of power and magnetism.
Many alcoholics, for instance, are convinced and convince those around them that their drinking is caused by others failing to come up to their high standards. Children of alcoholics, therefore, spend our lives trying to improve ourselves.
"If I just got better grades, or if I could be nicer, or if I could serve better, then maybe Daddy would like me and not drink so much." This can easily translate later in our lives as Sikhs [saints] to: "If I could just do a better sadhana, [give better ministry, quote more scripture, be more joyful, or be more encouraging] or if I could just manage to read my Banis, [Bible for longer time periods or more often] or if I could just serve better, then maybe Yogi Bhajan [George Geftakys, or a leading brother and worker] would notice and appreciate me." [Once again, we believe that approval from leadership = approval from God]
Unfortunately the addict keeps changing the rules for gaining his or her approval. This fluctuation and unpredictability creates a constant state of chaos in the home [Assembly or personal life].
A fairly typical example of the type of chaos common in dysfunctional families and how we, as children, desperately try to make sense out of that chaos can be seen in a story that a 3HO friend once told me.
One day while walking home from elementary school with her friend, she found that her alcoholic father had thrown all the living room furniture out into the front yard. Thinking fast, she explained to her startled companion that the sofa, chair, end tables and lamps had been put there because the "furniture cleaners" were on their way over to pick them up. And later she asked her Mother why the "furniture cleaners" had failed to come.