Hard holidays

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Hard holidays

Postby brave-girl-living » April 17th, 2014, 8:05 am

Just giving hugs and a "you are not alone" to everyone else that struggles during holidays also.

I've been shunned and rejected by my family, and replaced by my ex-husband and his girlfriend. That is who my family will be spending their Easter with. I've gone to therapy with my mother and had two therapists tell me "it's not you, it's her." She knows that this behavior is hurtful because I've told her, but it continues anyway. Anyhow, I'm working on keeping my chin up. I keep reminding myself they are not the kind of people I want in my life and I'm working on finding other connection opportunities, especially this weekend. I'm building a new family and trying to find radical acceptance and peace in the situation. Instead of lonilness, anger and resentment.

I hope EVERYONE can find connection and support this weekend.

Hugs. :)
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Re: Hard holidays

Postby manuel_moe_g » April 17th, 2014, 3:47 pm

Thanks for the hugs and the warm encouragement. Please take care, you deserve it, we here are all cheering for you and for your greatest today and tomorrow! :D
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Re: Hard holidays

Postby littlebirds » April 20th, 2014, 10:10 pm

hugs.

i absolutely loathe holidays and go out of my way to not think about them. i spent my night, after forcing myself to see my family (thinking it would be healthy for me... more about that in a sec) focusing on myself and setting my goals for the next couple months. I think that feeling shitty about myself just compounds my disappointment with my own family.

i forced myself to see my family today because i alienated myself from them when I was in a 5 year old unhealthy relationship. I had sublimated myself into him to avoid thinking about (and fixing) all the shortcomings in my life. His family was amazing and I spent quite a bit of the day today wondering how they weren't and not being able to help but think about him being there with his girlfriend. It's hard for me to separate the happiness I felt being included in a family, from feeling happy with him. I think the only times I was actually 100% happy with him were on holidays with his family.

I have to tell myself that it's important for me to see my family, because even if my mom is just drunk the whole time and it hurts my feelings immensely, at least I'm putting in face time and doing some kind of bonding. Even if it's totally dysfunctional. It's really sad for me to see the woman she has become. Sometimes I wonder if maybe she always was this person and I was just too young or self obsessed to see it before. She's gone from the woman sipping chardonnay and getting her hair done in Beverly Hills to sitting on the couch all day in her sweats and hiding every glass she pours. Talking in a sing song baby voice and throwing around hateful slurs about people on TV and other strangers. If nothing else, these interacts just strengthen my thirst for sobriety even more. I was at the store getting a few last minute things, contemplating a bottle of wine, and I just had to imagine the scene that would be and if I want to risk being the person she was at that moment.

I feel awful saying that, but I only have so much contempt because I know she's probably just really fucking unhappy.
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Re: Hard holidays

Postby brave-girl-living » April 21st, 2014, 5:37 pm

Thanks for your reply guys!

I didn't hear a thing from my family this holiday and especially since I just had my last "please hear me" effort with my mom a month ago in therapy (she said she would not do anymore and she has only done two) I feel like I really need to re-think my approach to the situation and discuss with my therapist about how to better protect myself from the constant shunning, rejection and pain.

I'd really love to find some other people who have had family turn their backs on them despite all efforts to be included. It's a unique and horrible situation that many don't understand. And yes, religion (on their part) is involved. Shocking. I know. ;)
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Re: Hard holidays

Postby Cinnamon » April 22nd, 2014, 9:33 pm

Hey, holidays are tough even in loving close families, add dysfunction and the intensity good and bad goes higher.
these people who reject you are biological but not family.
This is a real power play - whether it is your mother using the holiday and your ex to make some statement to you about measuring up, "failing in marriage" etc.
But, what is your ex's issue here? So your mom invites him, he is the one walking in the door. Where is his family? he is rejecting them to be there? and what of the new gal? I bet she is smiling thru her awkardness and humiliation that he is not at her family with her.
In other words, there are so many layers of agendas here this is less a holiday than a war game.

there are people out there looking to enlarge their family of friends and I am sure you will find them. Figure out the real issue of the holiday and make it happen - if it is food/decorations/ spiritual/ being connected.

I admit my partner's ex wife manipulated the holidays to alienate him from his family ( she had custody and would invite his relatives to see the grandkids for Christmas dinner, etc, meaning he not only did not have the kids, but didn't have his family and they felt they had to be there for kids, who understood so little...very successful corporate VP, can you see why? she has office power politics down flat...but I always had to wonder, what was his mother and others thinking to go along with it?) so I am a bit emotional on this coz I saw his pain. And yes, it is easy to say, find a new tradition but being excluded is painful and when its family, so hard. I saw firsthand. It is not easy but it is doable.
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Re: Hard holidays

Postby brave-girl-living » April 23rd, 2014, 5:03 am

Well said Cinnamon, and a lot of good points in there for me to keep considering, thank you for your insight!

Yes, for me it is simply connection that I desire at the holidays (and ALL the time lol), and I focus now on growing my true family. Because regardless of the phrase "blood is thicker than water", it is not always the case. My family is making it easy for me to make healthier relationship choices, and I ought to seize that opportunity. :)
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Re: Hard holidays

Postby claudine19 » May 31st, 2014, 2:14 pm

Brave Girl, I have a hard time at holidays as well. My parents are deceased (a mixed blessing), and my brother is, well, kind of a jerk when it comes to me. (I'm his younger sister.)

I just wanted to chime in to say that my friends treat me far better than my family, and I hope you find some people with whom (with which?) you can create better bonds for yourself. Having pets really helps too, both as sources of affection, and as a great excuse to get away when family becomes too much: "Time for walkies! Gotta go!"

(Tomorrow is my nephew's graduation, to which I have been disinvited. Whoever said "There's nothing like family" was right.)
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