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A Challenging Family Christmas? Make yourself at home here

(313 Posts)
Hissy Thu 20-Nov-14 14:48:44

While some have the christmas experiences shown in the adverts, others are starting to feel the impending doom of family festivities.

For some the pressure may have already started to build and this is a thread to support anyone who identifies with this sentiment.

This is a thread for you to come and just be, come and talk to us about it, we'll hear you and listen and understand.

Ongoing support for those of us with Problem Families, or family dynamics that make us feel sad/bad/mad is available as ever on the Stately Homes Thread

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 20-Nov-14 14:59:47

I'm not looking forward to it because DM's Alzheimer/MH problems have got worse this year and we'll all be on pins waiting for her to do something irrational.

Larrytheleprechaun Thu 20-Nov-14 15:22:41

I belong here. Will post more later.

Lottapianos Thu 20-Nov-14 15:32:18

Thank you for this thread Hissy. I have started a similar one for anyone who is dreading Xmas for any reason. So many people just don't understand that its a desperately sad and lonely time of year for lots of us.

I'm struggling a bit at the moment. I have decided not to visit my parents this year. They are both toxic narcs and I have been in therapy, battling serious depression and anxiety, for the past 5 years coming to terms with their behaviour. I have made great progress with detaching from them and I know its the right decision not to visit them - I would be feeling sick about it already if I was planning to visit them. And yet, how I wish things were different. There is still a huge void in my life which I wish could be filled with a 'normal' family. And DP and I have pretty much decided not to have our own children, which again feels very much like the right decision, but its a hard one to live with at times sad

So instead, we will be spending Xmas with his emotionally manipulative parents hmm DP just isn't at the point where he can tell them to sod off, which I understand completely. MIL's response when DP told her we would be with them for Xmas - 'oh wonderful, I can look forward to Xmas this year!' hmm

So I loathe the whole damn thing (apart from Christmas cake, mince pies and champagne!) and am looking forward to January smile

Darkesteyes Thu 20-Nov-14 16:36:48

Im going to my parents on my own this Christmas. DH doesnt want to go. Hes gone with me every year for 22 years and he doesnt actually like Christmas or my parents that much. Funny thing is they think the sun shines out of his arse. My mum started moaning when i told her and started on at me to bring my crockery over there so he didnt miss out on dinner. So i was being expected to lug that over there as well as presents. DH did say however that this is ridiculous.

And i also know my mum will spend the entire day sighing and saying at regular intervals "Isnt it funny without Mr Darkesteyes here" trying to make me feel that the fact he has emphysema and doesnt actually like Christmas is my fault. Ive decided i will let one comment go. But if she does it a second time Im walking out.

Lottapianos Thu 20-Nov-14 16:49:14

Darkest, hello again! I think that having a boundary or 'red line' in your head is a good idea. You may be spending Christmas with your parents but that doesn't mean that you have to listen to endless amounts of shit. Your poor DH, and poor you that he won't be there to support you.

Darkesteyes Thu 20-Nov-14 17:07:34

Lotta thanks

I completely understand why you have decided not to visit your parents. Im sorry that you have the stress of his parents though.

I also decided not to have children. One of the reasons for that is that my DM is too bossy and controlling e.g. when my niece was born my DB and his then girlfriend were staying with the baby at my parents. One night my DM came home from work and went straight upstairs accusing my DBs girlfriend of putting a damp blanket in the cot and picking a fight with her about it. She had done no such thing and dm shouldnt have been interfering anyway. She likes her own way far too much.

bananamilkshake1 Thu 20-Nov-14 17:12:51

I can relate to this thread I always loved the magic of Christmas & when I was married, would spend it mostly with family then go on hols over the New Year. Although my ex wasn't that into Christmas, he would indulge me my sparkly times. There were spats over which set of parents we would spend Christmas Day with (mostly from my mother!) but on the whole it was a happy experience.

I'm now in a relationship with a man who would really rather go out of the country/sleep to escape the whole thing. To him, Christmas means family & friends and it just makes him even more aware of what he doesn't have. Neither of us had children - sad but there you are. Whilst I have (mostly) come to terms with this, he seems to think on it too much which isn't helpful to either of us. He has few close friends and is estranged from his half siblings.

I try to make things positive for him & try to encourage him to enjoy the time we have together, but I know he hates the whole Christmas thing. He gets down as soon as the nights start drawing in & Christmas is the worst time! It can be pretty draining to be honest!

Hissy Thu 20-Nov-14 21:39:12

the additional angst of answering the 'where are you spending christmas' when there isn't anyone, the sadness of not having the family you should have.

you do save on presents/cards etc though

independentfriend Thu 20-Nov-14 21:56:02

Don't like Christmas and haven't for years. Feels like obligation after obligation with no consideration for what I might want. Nowadays it makes me want to be pregnant. There aren't any children within my family at the moment and won't be until either my sister or I have children.

I can never do anything 'right'; I spend 'too much' on Christmas presents or I decorate the tree 'wrong' or I wrap Christmas presents 'badly'. I have an assigned family role; the repository for all the complicated emotions, the facilitator/peacemaker.

I'd love a Christmas alone, but that's so counter-cultural friends would try to dissuade me from it.

chamade Thu 20-Nov-14 22:02:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Paddlingduck Thu 20-Nov-14 22:50:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Leakingwellies Thu 20-Nov-14 22:51:27

My first Christmas as a widow, single mum of three and without my mum who also died this year. Remembering this time last year and all our festive traditions and family times. Just feel so sad and cheated. Wish it was all over with.

Thinking of everyone else who is struggling xv

Hissy Thu 20-Nov-14 23:02:03

oh chamade that's tough! poor thing. do YOU have support? do you have friends to support you? it would really help you I think.

Paddling (((hug))) this year won't be like the last, it'll be better, if nothing else, you have that thought.

Leaking i'm so sorry, that's such a lot to have happen in one year. is there something different you and the children could do to break away from old traditions? or would you find them comforting?

for you too love a (((hug))) and a promise that life won't always feel this raw.

Darkesteyes Thu 20-Nov-14 23:18:14

So sad that its going to be so hard for so many of you thanks thanks

BlackeyedSusan Thu 20-Nov-14 23:59:01

independent, sod friends, do an independent christmas. just for you if it is going to be better than the family scape goat.

leaking (()) hoping htat you manage to survive the christmas season. flowers

Hissy Fri 21-Nov-14 07:02:22

I agree, independant take yourself away somewhere if you have to, but don't feel you have to do what you are told.

it's just me and ds this year again, and that's fine. we did it last year, and at least this year we'll not be reeling from having to get the police to insist my mother and her vile H leave my home due to terrorising me and my ds. so there's improvement right there! just hope I don't cock the turkey up this year! smile

this thread will be a good place to hang out and hand hold if need be.

GamoraStarlord Fri 21-Nov-14 07:23:00

Cogito I was just coming to post the same. My mum has hit a really mean stage now and picks on my dad and I in turn. There will be 7 of us to spread it over on the day and we do not have to walk over until 2pm at least. She is only 59 it is a total waste.

chamade Fri 21-Nov-14 07:25:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hissy Fri 21-Nov-14 07:44:19

chamade soundds like your relationship was very difficult.

know that when you're finally apart, you'll feel soooooo much better than you do now.

and your children will bloom too.

hang in there.

ultimately, your H has no right to bar you from getting support, and it's better to be honest and open with the children, in dribs and drabs so they can be prepared.

he's controlling you and your children. that's not on. the minute you're divorcing, your life becomes your own love.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 21-Nov-14 07:46:56

chamade,

Who died and made him king?. His demands, and that is what they are really, are completely unreasonable and is yet another way to control you. This is yet more abuse from him. He absolutely has no right at all to tell you whom you cannot tell. He is likely as well only being pleasant because you are currently both compliant and cowered.

I am certain your own children know all too well how unhappy you are and also likely wonder why you are still with him. They may well be relieved that you and he are divorcing. I sincerely hope you have sharp legal advice because such a man is never going to be reasonable and is not going to make any of this process at all easy for you.

chamade Fri 21-Nov-14 07:52:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

chamade Fri 21-Nov-14 07:53:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 21-Nov-14 08:04:23

He's done a right number on you over the years hasn't he and I am so glad for you that this will soon come to an end. This sham being performed here cannot end soon enough.

I would still consider telling your children now because they will not thank you for leaving it until the last minute. Apart from anything else children are very perceptive and likely know far more than you realise re their home situation. They know all too well that things are not good at home and pick up on all the parents vibes.

I would also consider talking to their school/college because they likely have seen this type of scenario many times before. They can also be discreetly supported there too.

chamade Fri 21-Nov-14 08:20:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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