Estrangement & The Holidays

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The holidays are quickly coming upon us. I have found that with an estranged family, the holidays are the worst time of year. This year will be a little different, a little better, since the wedding and since my steps towards healing. The problem is that holidays are all about family. Yes, I have my husband and my step-son, which I am very thankful for, but I just feel lonely during the holidays.

It’s not that I miss my family – I don’t miss that drama at all! I just miss having family in general – the feeling of having family gathering around, of going down memory lane, of laughter at old stories, of catching up. There is none of that for me. My husband’s family is far away and in bad health so they can’t travel and it seems like it is never the right time for us to travel to see them. Watching holiday movies hits me hard sometimes, simply because I want what those families have. Even the movies with screwed up families still find ways to stay a family, still love each other (Home For The Holidays with Holly Hunter for example). It bugs me sometimes that my family is not able to do that.

I have come so far. Hell, I have even forgiven my sisters – not their actions but them as individuals, knowing they carry their own demons that caused them to act out. I guess I had hoped that after all these years, they could have found it within themselves to drop the act, end the drama, and just be themselves. Imagine if they could have done that? Imagine what the future could look like?  A brighter and lighter one, for sure. I wish that for them. I have found it and I wish they could as well. The wedding, however, proved that they are still so very stuck in whatever it is making them act out.

And so, I have this splintered family once again as the holidays approach. I am making the best of it though. I am making the best of my husband, step-son and me. I am enjoying decorating and look forward to the baking. We have a couple awesome Christmas parties to go to. I do have some very wonderful people in my life and I will take a few of them anyday over a ton of fake and insincere ones. But still, the holidays just lack something without family gathered all around. I try every year to make the most of what I do have but a part of me still reminisces and my heart still feels a little lonely. I somehow don’t think that will ever pass.

For those of you out there who are in the same or similar situation, please know that you are not alone. Let’s get through the holidays together. Family is not always blood and friendships are not always traditional. I am here for you!

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6 thoughts on “Estrangement & The Holidays

  1. I think the majority of people wish that their families were something they aren’t. I too am going to be estranged from part of my family this year, and honestly, I’m going to embrace it. My brother was my main abuser and I have forgiven him and became best friends with his wife, but she can be a little dramatic and got upset over something that wasn’t my fault, but she took it to the extreme and won’t talk to me anymore, not that I have made an attempt either. (cause I’m not apologizing for that stupid crap I didn’t do). But honestly, I’m thankful for it. I’m thankful I don’t have to smile and act like I’m okay, because I’m not since my breakdown a month ago. Now I don’t have to smile and laugh and act like a normal family while my brother is sitting at the table. I did enough of that growing up. I’m embracing that God is cutting them off from me right now, because he knows thats what I need. Recently I had to attend a birthday party for my nephew and I avoided my brother at all costs because my recent meltdown has me so f-ed up in the head, that even though our relationship is better and I’ve moved on, in my head, that little girl is just now dealing with her brother raping her. – This is what lead to my breakdown a month ago. I avoid him at all costs, now I won’t have to. They certainly won’t be inviting me to Thanksgiving or Christmas. And I’m grateful.
    But I understand what you mean, I think. I wish I could have that normalcy of a family. I wish I could be around my family and be all laughs and smiles. I wish I could have that Kodak moment with them, but I can’t. I’ve always hoped my brother would be more like a brother than a vulture. I wish my parents were less hurtful. I always hope for the best and want to see the best in others, but I can’t will it into existence. I can just be happy with my husband and my children and make our own traditions without the normal traditions of my family. And I will embrace those siblings of mine that I will see this year. The ones who want to see me, and the ones I want to be around. hugs. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a wonderful reply! you have taken it to a positive place and that takes courage. I know that feeling of not wanting to be around your brother. Since the estrangements, it’s actually been nice – like you wrote perfectly – to not have to be fake and pretend that everything is ok and always has been. I don’t miss my family holidays – it was always everyone being fake all the while trying to one-up each other. It always drove me nuts!

      I commend you for coming so far after your breakdown! I hope you know the strength that takes. I so understand and get what you mean by being healed in YOUR head but the little girl is still dealing with the trauma. I see myself as two people, well three really – the little girl, the young adult in denial and then finally the healing adult I am now. i have a feeling you undertand it too. HUGS!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I understand completely what you are writing. I always wish for the happiness I experienced as a child, that magical feeling.
    I also try to be blessed, happy with who and what I have in life. I love my spouse and cats very much. But I miss that magical moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! The magical feeling we had as children. I know that as adults, we can’t feel that but I think we get a piece of it when our loved ones are around. I guess especially after the estrangements, I miss the innocence and wonder of childhood, at least what little innocence I was allowed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am estranged from my family this year, we are barely communicating since my dads death. It is sad. Life is to short for all this drama but my siblings do not seem to get that.
        I dislike the holidays as I feel so lonely and sad.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Amazing how some of us are capable of getting past drama and others aren’t. What you just wrote hit my in the heart a little – too close to home with the siblings and your father’s death. Please know that I understand and am here for you if you need me. HUGS!

        Like

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