Holidays

This Holiday Season, Leave Your Emotionally Abusive Relatives Off The Guest List

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bad-relative

It’s two days before Thanksgiving — are you one of those people who is filled with dread at the thought of what you’ll have to endure while seated at that table? There’s not enough pumpkin pie in the world to excuse some of the horrible emotional abuse some of us endure on family holidays. I know — my past is littered with one too many holidays spent with a very emotionally abusive father.

Holidays suck for many of us because we’ve convinced ourselves we have to be subjected to emotionally abusive relatives. I want to let you in on a little secret today: we don’t. Angry father? Passive-aggressive mother? Horribly racist grandmother? Fuck ’em. You don’t have to be around them. I don’t care how few days they have left on this earth, or how this is the only day this year you will subject yourself to the torture. I’m here to remind you that you are an adult and one of the benefits of being an adult is deciding where you would like to spend your time. Even on holidays.

If you’ve spent years allowing an abusive relative to turn your holidays to shit, it will be really hard to break the cycle. But you can. It takes one mantra, and that mantra is I am not putting myself through this anymore. Or you can try, I’m an adult and I don’t have to do this. Or maybe, Fuck you, you’ve made me feel shitty on holidays long enough. Whatever gets you to the place where you are ready to reclaim your right to a mellow, joyful day — that’s what you need to be doing.

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