My father who has the spinal cord injury (10 years now) won't have anyone with him for thanksgiving. My mom (they are divorced) won't have anyone with her. My gma wants me to come claiming i spent it with my fiance' last year. My mom and gma have said do what's best for you but i also know feeling will be hurt. Next year we are going to try and have it at our home but my dad can't ever come b/c of his wheelchair and b/c he blames my mom for so many things that went wrong. I see my gma many time through the year. I see my mom lots through the year. I go out to my dads once a week at least. I'd rather be at work then deal with the holidays. No matter what i leave someone alone on a holiday and that makes me sad.
The sucker for punishment that I am, I served the food / drink, catered to just about their every whim (except finding a liquor store within 10 miles & putting it on my credit card), and cleaned the hurricane of debris they left behind.
I had stashed 2 turkey necks & organs in the back of the fridge so I could treat myself afterwards. ... Those suckers ate them too, and little by little slipped out of the house while I ran all over the place, with the occasional 30-second bathroom pitstop.
Never again. ... Now I only celebrate Halloween. Get a chance to dress up, scare the crap out of kids with my expensive, freakish constumes. This year was a satyr complete with life-like horns; last year it was H__ker Barbie on a Harley. Barbie girl won me $500 at a contest in Manhattan's West Village.
My point? ... Even though most people think the Holidays are to be spent with family, nobody said they all had to be blood-related. To be honest, every time I see mine here in the Bronx I want a transfusion. ... They make me want to pick up a bottle just to block it all out. So now I paint the town with people who really care about me. They don't use me, they don't abuse me. It's great to realize I do have choices for the Holidays.
What a good person you are, after all you have been through yourself to be the care taker of your mom. I was the care giver for my mom, but I was essentially healthy and I know it is a very challenging job.
God bless you for being so good to your mom! I hope you are taking good care of yourself and finding a way for have joy and happiness in your life. You are an inspiration to those of us who find our roles challenging at times.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
My mothers birthday is on Christmas day and I don't even want to send her a card because she has emotionally and verbally abused me all my life, and I am now at the point of not caring at all anymore about her feelings.
We are fortunate in our blended family that ex's remain civil. More than once I have hosted a family gathering attended by my ex and his 4th wife and well as my husband's ex, and all of our children. My husband's ex has come to all of our Christmas parties for the 39 years we've been married. Very obviously that would NOT be a good solution in many families, but it works for us.
Another thing we do is be flexible with the dates. This year our "thanksgiving" party is not on Thursday but on Sunday. If applicable, everyone can go to their in-laws on the actual holiday.
Also, we tend to make our own traditional events. We celebrate Chinese New Year -- decorations, Asian cuisine, music, the works. People have asked if we have some Chinese heritage. Nope. We just like parties! Mardi Gras and Cinco de Mayo are other events we've celebrated.
Often you cannot be with all the people you'd like to be with on a specific date. I don't let that spoil the celebrations I can have.
Harder, when one knows their parent units cannot get along, even for a dinner.
It shows their own limits.
Their limits prevail, when they hold events on their own turf.
How about you holding events on your own turf?
You are at liberty to invite whoever you wish.
You could invite not only family, but friends too, and do it as a potluck
It can be at your place, or neutral territory--some families rent a hall or other space for large dinners; sometimes churches allow a family to hold their larger dinner event at their social room, given enough lead-time making the date..
Some hold it in a group meeting room in a restaurant, or even at a public park.
Whoever comes, does.
Because others are present, behaviors are more controlled, usually.
Please do not hold up on inviting people to events, because of how they have behaved in the past. You might be pleasantly surprised--they may just then be allowed to be their "better selves".
As a child, I grew up with split families.
ALL of them said and did nasty stuff.
ALL of that programmed me to avoid family gatherings that involved all sides of all the divorces--I simply wanted to avoid conflict.
I wanted to avoid conflict so badly, I eloped, instead of having a wedding: I wanted everyone to come, or none.
It seemed "none" was the only rational answer.
On top of that, I was let to feel that I had already taken up too much of their collective resources, so I had no right to expect them to give us a wedding--if I had a wedding, my next sibling down the line might not get the wedding she wanted.
See how that goes?
45 years later....
I know that was a terribly dysfunctional thing I allowed dysfunctional family to program me with.
IF I had it to "do-over", knowing then what I know now, I would have a wedding....or at very least, somehow found the guts to tell family involved, how I felt & why I chose to elope, instead of having a wedding.
You may think those divisive relations cannot get along:
I am here telling you, MAYBE they can.
MAYBE it is your own inner sensitivity holding you back, based on pain felt from surviving past events, not their issues.
'Course, I could be wrong...there really are =some= family members who should NEVER ever come together in the same room!
Only you can choose whether or not to try doing a T-day event at a neutral spot, and invite all of them, as well as supportive friends.
Try looking on the possible outcomes from a perspective based on what things might look like 40 years from now.
Who might get hurt?
Is it so big that it should ruin having a great dinner with some who show up?
If it worked well, would it make happy memories for YOU to live with, & let YOU know you did the best you could to make it great?
Pleeaase let us know how it comes out!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
We are trying to do the best we can, with our dysfunctional family, & friends who care about us. I am thankful we have the opportunity;
I do not want to miss any more of those, due to what I =think= others might say or do, but based on what I think I want from this Day..
Having famliy on the east coast while I consider the west coast-california home
its very diffcult to not visit with family and sometimes I am terribly homesick.
Funny thing is they are just fine!
At times I can reflect on holidays past other times the memory of those holiday meals, conversations are better not remembered. Strange realtions with famliy dont go away-thank god!!!
ALL & ALL make a decison and have no regrets-there will be another holiday and god willing more celebrations.
Just to see the white of the eyes is an expression Ive been told time and time again-and boy does the guilt get me too-and this passes with time.
Divorced families are a reality of modern times. Come to terms with the new family circumstances. Can you thrive inspite of not pleasing others this holiday season? When paying a visit because you truely dont want to but have to -to whom is the real benefit &/or pay off?
Just thinking about your Dad and his feelings... Some times resentments, even though they may well be justified, isolate us. I think someone said that forgiveness is what you do for yourself. I hope some day he can find a way to let it go and live in peace, surrounded by love.
I guess when someone hurts you, it is wise to step away so you are not hurt again. That seems smart to me, but too much stepping away and personally, I find myself locked carefully away in a dark lonesome closet...I'm safe, but its no fun.
Best wishes to you for a very thankful Thanksgiving. I hope we can all figure out this complicated question. Thank you for asking it.
Try to sort out the best way for you to deal with this, but be honest with everyone, you don't need any more guilt on top of what you are going through.