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Old 11-25-2014, 03:01 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,945 times
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Hello everyone. This summer I moved across the country to get some (literal and figurative) distance from my toxic family. While it's been an overwhelmingly positive change thus far, I am rather conflicted now that the holidays are here. Not that we ever did the happy family holidays thing, but it is uncomfortable to be alone when so many people will be getting together with large groups of family and friends.

For people in a similar situation, what do you do instead (I do not know anyone here well enough to attend their family's Thanksgiving, so that is not an option)? How do you deal with people's questions of what your plans are without having to reveal you are estranged from your family?
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Old 11-25-2014, 11:49 PM
 
4,787 posts, read 9,840,219 times
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If anyone asks why you're not going home, Tell them you just moved to where you are. Tell them it's too far and expensive to go home right now. There is no need to ever let anyone know you family business or involve them in family relationships. Deflect the questions.

As for what you could do. Volunteer at a homeless shelter. Volunteer at a church offering food to the community. . Volunteer at a nursing home. You don't have to be alone unless you want to. Give of yourself to other people who could use help or companionship.
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Old 11-26-2014, 02:37 AM
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,545 posts, read 18,413,482 times
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My own family is gone. My cousins live in Norcal but I haven't been able to contact them. My ex's family are family, but its... different. I used to go to their gathering on holidays and I enjoyed it, but the area, not necessarily people, had to many bad memories and I wanted away from them.

I have a problem with Thanksgiving since Mom died the day after. That night my aunt and uncle drove out again to wait with us at the hospital. I mostly think of how much I still miss her on Thanksgiving. I'll be at home with my four legged family. Hopefully my sil will not give me much turkey. I don't like it but she doesn't use seasoning. I can't cook without garlic and spices. Sharing dinner doesn't exactly work.

My son is still in California and married too. He's very busy with trying to work two jobs and go to college. I can't afford to go out there and with the weather this time of year don't really want to travel. Christmas is out off the list since its sure to be too cold.

Since I moved I think I've started to feel less a part of their family than I did and think much more often of my own family. I feel sad we won't have a gathering at my house with my son and his family, but then I was the one who chose, with good reasons, to move away and if he likes where he lives then he should live there.
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Old 11-26-2014, 03:17 AM
 
Location: Purgatory
6,322 posts, read 5,073,209 times
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I tell them straight up that I am estranged from my family. I did nothing wrong so i have no reason to lie. I also thinks there needs to be more awareness of this issue.

If i feel they are getting a judgmental tone or look, I will usually add, "because of x, y and z."

And then they get a look like this- - and are probably sorry they asked.



You may be surprised OP, a lot of people who are not really close "friends", hear that others have no plans and invite you.
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Old 11-27-2014, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Central Illinois -
23,876 posts, read 15,624,465 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Utopian Slums View Post

You may be surprised OP, a lot of people who are not really close "friends", hear that others have no plans and invite you.
That's true. I have no family of my own, and never really have had any family of my own, my parents died when I was young and my siblings are on both coasts. I have friends who do have families now, and one of them is as estranged from his own family as I am from mine. He and his wife invite me over every holiday season because he knows what's its like as much as I do.

If you are asked what you are doing, you can deflect the question, but you don't have to. You can also just tell the truth. There is so much dysfunction in this country that you won't be the only one in your situation, and you would be surprised at how many people would invite you over, and Thanksgiving is traditionally a holiday where anyone is welcome at the dinner table with no questions asked as to why they are there.

And I've also volunteered at homeless shelters and ran food to needy families in the past for a food bank, and it was a wonderful experience. Look for ways to be of service on Thanksgiving and you will truly enjoy the day.
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Old 11-27-2014, 09:50 AM
 
11,153 posts, read 10,048,576 times
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In many instances, not being with family is not the issue. The issue is worrying about what others may think about you if you're not spending the day with relatives.

In the final analysis, it shouldn't matter what anyone else thinks; and reasons or excuses are unnecessary.

Many choose to spend the day solo; and that's okay! Many others choose to spend it with friends or relatives....and that's okay too. What I'm getting at is this:

What's right, is what's right for each person.
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Old 11-27-2014, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Corona the I.E.
10,141 posts, read 14,811,085 times
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I will take that over the awkward interaction my dad and I have together ever since I cut him out of my life, but have to be cordial so I can enjoy the company of other relatives.

It was all I could do today to crack a half smile and a weak handshake, why can't some people get a clue. I just wish he would stop trying I have made it clear I have on interest.
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Old 11-29-2014, 04:32 AM
 
6,319 posts, read 6,067,310 times
Reputation: 11945
never ever ever go to peoples places who view you as a Charity case.

its just depressing and awkward.

have your own holiday, by doing Exactly what YOU want. Watch movies back to back, stay in your pjs, eat marshmallow, whatever, just create a NEW holiday tradition that's all yours.

Theres plenty of us doing it x
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Old 12-01-2014, 03:23 AM
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,545 posts, read 18,413,482 times
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My first thanksgiving with my inlaws was awkward. My ex and I had decided we wanted to get married. Actually I was the one who proposed so he took me out to dinner at this fancy place and reproposed. But we broke the news a few days earlier and I was invited to dinner but particularly my mil was not so sure about things. (I'm seven years older then him.)

It turned out nice though. We mentioned we would be looking for and apartment out of town next month and they'd pretty much surrendered. I got very close to them and still consider myself to be. But I liked having family again. I always wanted to have a thanksgiving like mom did though.
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:51 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
18,993 posts, read 22,739,352 times
Reputation: 26551
Plan a vacation, around Xmas/Thanksgiving, where you'll forget all about the holidays taking place!

Go to a country where Xmas is not celebrated, where there'll be no reminders, no Xmas songs, no Xmas lights!

Even coming to Las Vegas might do the trick!
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