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Anyone else have family drama that makes Christmas difficult?

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Old 12-12-2013, 10:43 PM   #1
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Default Anyone else have family drama that makes Christmas difficult?

I hate to sound like the grinch. I really do generally enjoy the holidays. The lights, the music, the snow, the happiness. etc. I just generally dislike spending the day with my family.

I wont go too far into the details. The gist of it is my mother is an emotionally abusive alcoholic (though may have recently stopped due to liver damage). She complains about her presents every year no matter what you get her. My parents gave me next to no money for my grad school graduation/moving away/birthday party but have been handing my train wreck brother money left and right. This brother is beyond obnoxious and did not get anyone presents last year. He is argumentative and has a severe attitude problem which is pretty much why he can't hold a job. I feel like everyone gangs up on me and brings up touchy subjects in a joking but not joking kind of way. I do my best to keep a calm head but it's tough. These family gatherings are just exhausting.

I now live 8-10 hours away from most of my family, which has been WONDERFUL. I speak to them about once every other month and keep the conversations super light. Friends keeps asking me if I'm looking forward to going home and I pretty much lie. Is anyone else in this boat? I know others have less than perfect families too.
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:56 PM   #2
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You don't HAVE to go home you know. You could always stay at home and have a holiday movie marathon or do something to make YOU happy. You do not have to put up with drama and being treated badly just because they are your family. If they are toxic you have every right to choose to keep yourself out of range of the poison (so to speak) if you want to.

If you don't want to tell them you don't want to come you can always say you have to work or some other such excuse.

*hugs* I'm sorry your family makes the holiday hard for you.
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Old 12-13-2013, 12:10 AM   #3
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I've really distanced myself in the last few years for those reasons. I did not go home for Thanksgiving. I'm only spending a few days at home, rather than my whole break. There are other reasons to go home. I have other family and friends that are nicer that I want to see. I also plan to spend a few days working at my old job for networking reasons (plus it gets me out of the house during the day).
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Old 12-13-2013, 12:31 AM   #4
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Oh my, Scarlett, that sounds tough. I know family can be complicated though so I'm sure you have your reasons for visiting during Christmas. May you find the strength and patience to handle all the drama this season.

The only holiday drama I have to deal with is my SIL and her jerk of a husband. They have a tumultuous relationship and every couple of years he'll leave her and my little niece around the holidays. He stays elsewhere and openly sleeps around town, telling my SIL that he'll come home when he feels like it. And she waits for him- I don't know if it's out of love, fear of being alone, or a fear of him (he's controlling and abusive). The family tries to support her and encourages her to leave him. Then they inevitably patch things up and start talking about having another baby.

So every Christmas we either listen to my SIL complain about what a huge jerk he's being or if they're together she brings him and we pretend like everything's great and listen to her talk about how amazing he is (so, so awkward). Either way, I just bite my tongue because there's nothing left to say to her. The person I feel the worst for is my niece; that poor kid has been through so much.
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Old 12-13-2013, 08:49 AM   #5
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You can't argue with a "toothache" or "car breakdowns" or "flood in the basement". This way only visit every other/third year.

The brother: I have step siblings who get all the $$$. Some professional somebody once said that that's because the parents honestly (HONESTLY!) think that they CAN'T make it on their own. That if you're struggling with no help to take that as a genuine compliment that they believe in you!

My sister had a rake for a husband. She was going to throw him a huge party and I said, "We won't be coming over to celebrate him." SHE gets mad at US. SHE would tell ME that he's HURT by my attitude (that I snubbed him after he cheated on her twice)!! I don't reward bad behavior, sorry. I love how the good guys are made into the bad guys.
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Old 12-13-2013, 08:09 PM   #6
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I feel the same!

My Mom in particular is a problem, her constant criticism of my weight led to my emotional eating and my sister's eating disorder. I have lost weight and she will notice, which isn't actually good. If I gain any weight back (or don't lose more) by next Christmas I will be tortured. What's worse is that I know she thinks these comments are helpful, we are all sort of emotionally held hostage by her criticism and her eventually victim meltdown when we call her out on her criticism.
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