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Mon Dec 9, 2013, 09:13 PM

This is going to be an awkward Christmas...

By now my family at large, aunts, uncles, cousins etc largely know that I dropped school again. They know I have "issues" but I've never come out and really told anyone anything in detail. They know how many times I've dropped school of course and the fact that I still live at home, they know a little about me having depression, but not much more than that. A couple know more than others do. I know a few of my cousins and other relatives would just not, DO not, understand. One cousin has always been particularly condescending towards me ever since my problems have become more widely known. She means well I guess but she treats me like a 6 year old and wants to "fix me". That family has always been about success success success anyway and every time I meet them they want to know "what are you doing, what have you done" obviously nothing or very little but they always make a point of asking. Then they go on to wallow in their own achievements. I remember talking to said cousin when I was working 7-11 way back, a time I was doing MUCH better emotionally than now, and she actually said "I couldn't do that, I guess I'm always just focused on the 'bigger picture'" blah blah blah. Anyway as always we will be having everyone over for Christmas dinner and going over to their houses. I'm used to feeling like a failure in their presence but I've been particularly beaten down these past few months. So yeah these family dinners are going to be awkward for me. I'm actually still looking forward to Christmas otherwise. I really wish I could just skip them and have dinner with my immediate family but that would just look worse, they would enquire about what's wrong, why I'm not there etc.

How do you handle these types of things?

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Reply This is going to be an awkward Christmas... (Original post)
Locut0s Dec 2013 OP
HereSince1628 Dec 2013 #1
Locut0s Dec 2013 #3
enough Dec 2013 #2
polly7 Dec 2013 #4
De Leonist Dec 2013 #5
Locut0s Dec 2013 #7
Locut0s Dec 2013 #6

Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 09:25 PM

1. I handle them by not being in attendance

That has consequences, of course.

I learned of my father's death 3 years after it happened from a grade school friend who happened on my fb page.

But, I guess it worked out ok, because I didn't have to deal with anyone at that funeral either.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 09:34 PM

3. Yeah that's not really an option yet...

If I were off living on my own I could make up some excuse and do that. But they all know I live with my parents 24/7. I need to fix that soon of course but it's not happening before Christmas. I suspect once I finally DO set out on my own and live as a real adult I will cut off ties with the rest of my family more, not like you did entirely but I have little interest in communicating with anyone but my immediate parents.

But I'm probably just going to have to grin and bear it.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 09:34 PM

2. Over many years of life, I have decided not to allow holidays to cause too much suffering.

Why not do just what you say you really want to do this year: "skip them and have dinner with my immediate family."

You say that "would just look worse." But at some point we have to live our real lives, not live for the way things "look" to others.

The fact is, nobody outside your immediate family cares that much what you do, and you really have to ask yourself why you make yourself do things you don't want to do because you think other people in your family will judge you. There is absolutely no hope of finding a stable path in life until you give up worrying about what outsiders may or may not think of you.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Dec 9, 2013, 09:45 PM

4. I'm sorry Locut0s

I know how hard it is to deal with family that doesn't understand. I went through a really, horrible time after my Dad's suicide, and finding him, and my family just couldn't understand why I was doing so poorly with it after so long. It was me who took him to doctors, specialists, helped him daily and watched him become more and more depressed, as he'd never been sick in his life until this new blood disease. I knew he was afraid and didn't want to put the rest of us through watching him suffer. Anyway ... I handled it, at first, by completely isolating ... I was in no state, really, to even care I had family.

They all had someone to turn to ... I was alone. But then, as you say .... the questions started .... so, when are you getting back to work, what have you been up to, etc. etc. I couldn't go back to the ambulance then on emergency calls as I was getting absolutely no sleep d/t anxiety and depression, so I just started back to taking transfers back and forth to the city. Then I began making dolls ...... of all things! I never had, or played with a doll in my life, but have always been artistic, so painting, baking and making these dolls was somewhat of a time-filler and therapy for me. And at least I could tell them I was busy, busy! (exaggerating, I wasn't all that busy) making dolls to sell. I also started doing books again for a small oil company which mostly doesn't take too much time, but they don't have to know that.

I guess, really ...... I have no advice other than to try not to let what they say bother you and DO NOT EVER FEEL GUILTY for not achieving what they say they have. It's sad there's such a stigma still attached to depression and ptsd, etc. because it's no different than having any other illness that needs treated, and your family would do well to educate themselves on it, because it can happen to their own children, or even themselves. I hope others have good advice.

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Response to polly7 (Reply #4)

Tue Dec 10, 2013, 10:36 AM

5. I gotta echo this

Most people who've never had endure to these struggles have no fucking right to judge you. Nor should you feel obligated to take their feelings into account. Locutos, aside from that the only advice I can say is this. Tell them that you have been dealing with deep depression and that they have no right to judge you. If this bothers them tell them the truth, they are idiots.

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Response to De Leonist (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 16, 2013, 07:23 PM

7. Lol thanks De Leonist...

One side of the family I could do this with. And they would be supportive I imagine. But the other side I would not want to. They would only be condescending and overly annoying in their reactions. I don't want to be pitied and treated like some fragile doll in the presence of "their success", I know very well that's the reaction I would get out of them. Thanks for the support though!

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Response to polly7 (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 16, 2013, 07:20 PM

6. Thank you polly, sorry for the late reply...

Indeed I'm going to try and not let it get to me. Actually I've learned that the cousin I dislike the most will not be in attendance at these parties so things should be a little easier. There's just that one nosy aunt to deal with

I'm sorry to hear about what you went though. I can completely understand the dolls thing. When we have few to turn to in real life for support we find ourselves seeking out those hobbies and passions that allow us to escape our own internal mental landscape of hell, even if it's only for a few hours at a time. It is indeed therapeutic.

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