Difficult family members making the holidays more stressful

Posted on: Fri, 12/20/2019 - 5:44pm
digby's picture
Joined: 08/09/2019 - 15:38

I have several difficult family members that make the holidays so much more stressful. They always argue over who's hosting and even after they decide then they all argue about who's making what food. That's the beginning of it. Once we hit the day of they all seems to nit pick one another and try to tear each other down not pick one another up. This has been going on for years. I cringe the morning of but the weeks prior give me lots of anxiety because of how stressful it all is. I am at the point now where I don't even want to go but I force myself to go. My therapist told me that I need to start my own traditions so as to avoid the stressful family ones. And my friends told me the same, they said that I should start traveling over the holidays. Being with the whole fam isn't enjoyable at all, it's actually depressing and stressful. Aren't the holidays with family supposed to be joyous? At least that's what I hear.

Posted on: Sun, 12/29/2019 - 6:45pm
JustJules's picture
Joined: 08/09/2019 - 09:13

digby i totally get it. i have two sisters and two brothers. i'm super close to my brothers but haven't gotten along with my sisters for years. about 5 years ago i made the decision to totally distance myself from them and my life since then has been so peaceful. i am still close to my parents and brothers and i spend time with them away from my sisters. if there's a big family get together or event then i'm cordial to them but keep my distance. at first it made me sad but then i came to tems with it. when you have two such negative people in your life constantly bringing you down there's no choice but to walk away. you can choose to stay but have to endure that and i couldn't do it any longer. my turning point was when i said that it wasn't worth my health any longer. my anxiety and panic were at an all time high. i searched and searched for the reasons but they were right in front of me in the form of my own sisters. sad but true. i've started my own holiday traditions which bring me so much happiness. i usually try to get out of town so that i don't have to make excuses to the family and it works better that way because it's drama-free. then i'll always do something with my parents and brothers when i get back in town. my parents and brothers get it, they're supportive of my decision.

Posted on: Thu, 01/02/2020 - 12:32pm
Parisian Chic's picture
Joined: 11/26/2019 - 15:15

I can relate to you Digby, the holidays are so stressful and exhausting especially when dealing with family drama. I put myself in the middle of it every year and every year I swear I won't do it again but then low and behold I do it again. Why? Why do I do it to myself? I like JustJules' strategy of keeping out and away from it and doing something separately with the family members that she gets along with. That's such a good idea. I may start taking a vacation through over the holidays and then visit my parents at another time. I know that will cause drama but I can't keep putting my health through it.

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