Tony A: Sick Families


1. A sick family has no active higher power, i.e., God.

2. A sick family lives in fear and teaches fear of others different from itself in race, religion, color, nationality, etc.

3. A sick family believes that you must “do for yourself,” since there is no God to guide you.

4. A sick family believes that to be happy and successful you must make, marry or have money.

5. A sick family believes that to have a worthwhile identity you must gain the approval of the outside world–and especially the approval of the family itself.

6. A sick family feels that the family should stick together and depend on each other to the exclusion of the outside world. The exception to this is when the family finds outsiders identical to themselves.

7. A sick family teaches that the authority figures in the family are right.

8. A sick family teaches that marriage completes the identity of the individual.

9. A sick family feels a glow of achievement when a family member does “well,” and feels let down when a family member does “badly.”

10. A sick family teaches each member to adapt to the emotional sickness of the group and feels threatened when a family member seeks outside help.

11. A sick family has fights, arguments, violence, hate, criticism, grief, lusts, resentment, jealousies, fantasies, anger, depression, euphoria, and teaches conditional love.

12. A sick family feels totally abandoned at the death or departure of a loved member of the group.

13. This type of family tries to hold itself together through guilt and pity, which it calls “love.” It also creates expectations regarding each other.

14. A sick family believes everyone within the group should like the same things and people.

15. A sick family is conditioned by the beliefs and experiences of the past and is unable to live a serene and peaceful present. This type of family perceives only a fearful future.

16. A sick family thrives on excitement and teaches through sick experience that if you are not excited you are not alive.

17. A sick family teaches that everything you see, hear, taste, touch and smell is the only reality and that there is nothing beyond the sense world or in the invisible.

18. A sick family does not know how to pray or meditate.

19. A sick family believes that strength is togetherness–when strength actually is in oneness with the higher power, God.

20. A sick family can be a person, a family, a community, a church, a Twelve-Step group, a state, a country, a therapy group, a world, and an entire universe.

from Tony A. – October 30, 1979

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