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Old 12-04-2011, 04:38 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,983 times
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I searched for similar posts, but did not find any, but can't imagine this problem is unique, but I welcome support/suggestions. My mother and I were very close but she passed away several years ago. My father and I have never been close - he's not an affectionate guy, has no ability to show emotions, has never supported me or my brother, and never attended any of my events when I was growing up (did not watch/attend sports, college graduation, etc.) I've typically traveled to see my family during holidays (I left home at 18 to attend college and have not lived in my hometown since then) but will not travel to my hometown this year. I have decided that the holidays are too depressing with my dad because we have almost no past history and no common interests. So, I'm feeling sad that my family is so uncaring but am also feeling bad that I allow my family to make me feel guilty about not visiting, when I should be way beyond feeling guilty. My brother and father are very similar in personality, my mom and I are very similar so I'm feeling very much the odd one out in my family (and have felt that way ever since my mother passed.)

Part of me is proud of myself for not forcing myself to spend a holiday in an unpleasant environment, part of me feels very sad that my family is so less than ideal...

If your first reaction is "You are depressed" that may be true right now, but 11/12 months out of the year, I'm a fairly well adjusted happy person. But, this is a tough time of year for those of us who do not have strong family ties. Does anyone have any advice? Thanks!
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Old 12-04-2011, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,270 posts, read 88,302,020 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by city49 View Post
I searched for similar posts, but did not find any, but can't imagine this problem is unique, but I welcome support/suggestions. My mother and I were very close but she passed away several years ago. My father and I have never been close - he's not an affectionate guy, has no ability to show emotions, has never supported me or my brother, and never attended any of my events when I was growing up (did not watch/attend sports, college graduation, etc.) I've typically traveled to see my family during holidays (I left home at 18 to attend college and have not lived in my hometown since then) but will not travel to my hometown this year. I have decided that the holidays are too depressing with my dad because we have almost no past history and no common interests. So, I'm feeling sad that my family is so uncaring but am also feeling bad that I allow my family to make me feel guilty about not visiting, when I should be way beyond feeling guilty. My brother and father are very similar in personality, my mom and I are very similar so I'm feeling very much the odd one out in my family (and have felt that way ever since my mother passed.)

Part of me is proud of myself for not forcing myself to spend a holiday in an unpleasant environment, part of me feels very sad that my family is so less than ideal...

If your first reaction is "You are depressed" that may be true right now, but 11/12 months out of the year, I'm a fairly well adjusted happy person. But, this is a tough time of year for those of us who do not have strong family ties. Does anyone have any advice? Thanks!
This is more common than you know, so don't feel like you are the only one

I think you've made a wise choice for yourself, though I do hope you'll plan to visit your dad and brother at another time of the year.

Maybe 4th of July or Labor day when there is not emotional sentiment attached to the holiday for you.

What I would recommend you do is find a way to be involved with people and activities right where you live now.

Volunteer to help serve Christmas dinner at the homeless shelter, or sign up to help deliver Santa presents to kids.

This time of year there are ALL KINDS of opportunities to be involved in helping others or just celebrating the "reason for the season".

Check out your local newspaper for ideas.

And, have a Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Florida
2,291 posts, read 4,927,666 times
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I personally do not see it as you being depressed. I see it as a matter of choice, you, as an adult have made the best decision for you.

One thing I have never understood in most child/parent relationship is when does the child growup and become on the same level as their parents, two people on the same level, one to one as adults? I feel that I am my parents equal, they deserve respect, as do I in return.

If I do not want to do something with my parents, I don't, it is my choice, just as they have the option to say NO, we are all adults.
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,813 posts, read 55,771,747 times
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I used to invite friends to Christmas dinner after my divorce, anyone who had no family locally or whose family was out of town. We always had a great potluck dinner; I cooked the turkey, they brought everything else.

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Last edited by SouthernBelleInUtah; 12-04-2011 at 10:49 PM..
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:09 PM
 
2,495 posts, read 3,610,420 times
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Wow, this post hit me hard because i am very close to my mom and i cant imagine what the holidays will be like when she is gone. Anyway, here is what came to mind after reading...please do what your mother would have expected of you. Staying away is fine as well, but i'd probably still go to visit whats left of the family. The fact that your dad and brother are incapable of showing emotions does not mean that they dont miss and love you and your mom. So if you could spare 24-72hrs of your time to bond with your relatives....I am pretty sure, it'll put a big smile on your mothers face...wherever she is....

Merry Xmas
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
36,944 posts, read 45,385,657 times
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I would tell your father and brother how you feel. "Dad, I don't want to spend Christmas there, because it hurts me that Mom isn't there. I'll look forward to visiting later, and maybe in a year or so I'll be up to coming for Christmas". That way you are not letting on that they are upsetting to you, but making it seem like it's just your feelings about your mother.
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Mammoth Lakes, CA
3,138 posts, read 6,908,643 times
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You owe your father nothing. Stop feeling guilty and be happy you don't have to waste a holiday (or any day, for that matter) with a man who don't like and don't want to be around. Don't allow anyone to make you feel guilty about this, there's nothing that you're doing wrong.

People here who are close to their parents haven't a clue about those who had terrible parents or uncaring parents and will likely chastise you. They don't have your experience.
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:49 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,983 times
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Thanks so much for your responses. You've given me some things to think about and I TRULY appreciate your kindness and advice. I particularly like the suggestion to volunteer/help others (even more than usual) at this time of year, as I find it rewarding to help others and take my mind off of my own troubles and instead realize how fortunate I am in many ways.

Last edited by city49; 12-04-2011 at 08:07 PM..
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,270 posts, read 88,302,020 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by city49 View Post
Thanks so much for your responses. You've given me some things to think about and I TRULY appreciate your kindness and advice. I particularly like the suggestion to volunteer/help others (even more than usual) at this time of year, as I find it rewarding to help others and take my mind off of my own troubles and instead realize how fortunate I am in many ways.
Good for you
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