It’s almost Christmas and the dread is overtaking me. The dread of our once or twice a year family dinners. Everybody is expected to attend. It’s nice to be with my folks and to see my nieces and nephews but my siblings are boring. All they could talk about is their acquisitions, be it new home, new car, new this or that and all their accomplishments. My parents, like any parents bask in their accomplishment. I usually do not have much to contribute to these discussions except talking about my ex-husband and whether the child support payments he owes me will ever be paids. I had a nervous breakdown after my separation four years ago and since then I have not been able to hold on to any job for any amount of time. My siblings think that I am just plain lazy and don’t want to work. I am wallowing in self-pity and I have to pull up my bootstraps. They make sure they give me practical gifts and money because I am always short. I feel awful for myself and my children because they feel kindda bad too because they are not involved in the extra curricular activities like my nephews and nieces. They have to work to help make ends meet in our home. I am thinking of increasing my medication just to prepare for Christmas. I feel like such a failure to myself and my children especially.
When we are not with my siblings we have a great time together. There is a lot of love and care among us by ourselves but I can’t keep them away from their family. I like the fact of having a large extended family. I have two sisters and a brother. They have four children each. But God oh God, sometimes I can’t stand them. They make me feel bluesy.
Families are good but sometimes they can be a pain in the neck. It is true holiday times bring out the best and the worst in them. It is a time of sharing and celebrating. It is obviously hard on you and I wonder why are you choosing to go to these events that leave you feeling so badly. Sometimes we have to grow up and leave toxic situation. Perhaps you can form your own family of close friends and people who support and appreciate where you are at and who make you feel good about yourself. Perhaps if you take a stand your family will sit down and listen to how to feel and be a little more considerate. If you can swing it try doing something different this year with just you and your children and see what happens. Good luck. Families are something we can’t live with or without.