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How to avoid your family at Christmas

N

notrealname

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May 4, 2009
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766
This is the first year I've really attempted it, although I half-tried last year. This year I really don't want to be near them, but I don't hate them (I'm not entirely sure I love them, but I don't hate them) and I don't want to actually upset them. I just never want to see them again and I would like to walk away quietly.

Should I just be honest with them and tell them I would prefer to spend Christmas alone from now on? Or should I try to find an excuse? I feel like the excuse would save them pain, but it will be difficult to find an excuse every year.

Also, I had agreed - out of guilt - to meet my Dad for dinner when he comes down to visit next weekend. I actually really, really don't want to go and I'm really dreading it. I decided at the start of the year he was no longer in my life and I was happy with that decision. I'm really not comfortable with reneging on it when my life has been better without any contact with him.

If I pull out last minute I feel like I'll actually have to explain that I would prefer not to include him in my life anymore. Do you think it's worth it? Or should I just buck up and get through one dinner? I think it's probably possible for me to turn up for dinner and then leave afterwards and not see him after that.
 
SomersetScorpio

SomersetScorpio

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I'm not entirely sure if I can recall you saying much about what's lead you to make the decision to keep your family out of your life.
Not that it's important really - the crucial thing is you've decided to make a decision and to put these boundaries in place.
I would suggest that yes, you probably say that you feel you don't want to make plans for Christmas any more because you'd like to be free to celebrate it in your own way.
That way, this time next year, you won't find yourself needing to find another excuse.

Personally, i'd be inclined to meet your Dad for the dinner you arranged. Though as I said, i'm not sure why you don't want to see him over Christmas. If it's something really serious and you think it's going to be dishonouring to yourself to go to dinner with him, then don't do it. x
 
N

notrealname

Well-known member
Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
766
I'm not entirely sure if I can recall you saying much about what's lead you to make the decision to keep your family out of your life.
Not that it's important really - the crucial thing is you've decided to make a decision and to put these boundaries in place.
I would suggest that yes, you probably say that you feel you don't want to make plans for Christmas any more because you'd like to be free to celebrate it in your own way.
That way, this time next year, you won't find yourself needing to find another excuse.

Personally, i'd be inclined to meet your Dad for the dinner you arranged. Though as I said, i'm not sure why you don't want to see him over Christmas. If it's something really serious and you think it's going to be dishonouring to yourself to go to dinner with him, then don't do it. x
Thank you, I was coming to a similar kind of decision myself. I think I'd really like to take myself out to dinner at Christmas. There's a lovely restaurant down the road and I think I'd really enjoy it.

The reason I'm distancing myself from them is because I'm tired, really. Two of them don't treat me well (dad and brother), although they're not exactly terribly abusive, just so endlessly and needlessly unkind and critical that I don't gain anything from being in a relationship with them. My Mam, I think, does try, but unfortunately she had a traumatic childhood and it has left a mark on her. I feel I have tried with her, but she tends to emotionally manipulate and to be quite critical, blaming and rejecting without even knowing she's doing it. I spent last Christmas with her but found the entire experience so stressful I ended up with such bad stomach acid I was in bed doubled-over in pain for two days! I'm not really angry at them, I know they just have problems and they can't cope. I don't think they're actually going out of their way to upset me. It's more that I've gradually realised that my only motivation to be around them was to protect their feelings - i.e. not induce them to feel shame or grief by abandoning or rejecting them - but if these people were not related to me I frankly would have nothing to do with them at all. It just feels like a mark of respect to myself to go my own way and it means I get to have a pleasant Christmas for once. I don't know if all of that sounds a bit selfish - I mean, it's only a day - but you only get so much time off work and I've had a difficult year so I just want to have a nice time. Perhaps I will feel differently next year or the year after, but there's no telling right now.
 
SomersetScorpio

SomersetScorpio

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Location
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Just want to add that I don't think what you've said sounds selfish at all.
You need to do what's right for you, and as you said, you've only got a certain amount of time off.
 
Bittersweet54

Bittersweet54

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Oct 25, 2014
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39
I don't have that problem. My parents have gone to Florida for the last 40 years so there's no love lost
 
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