Family and the holiday struggle


I am struggling today.

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I was so very excited to spend my daughter’s first Thanksgiving with my sister and by Saturday morning I wished I had just stayed home.

I’m trying to understand the personal attack that my sister thinks was placed on her but I’m really not getting it. I know that my husband and I more than appreciated her cooking and putting everything together.

Here’s what happen. Due to eating the hor d’oeuvres and mimosas my husband got heartburn and was unable to eat during dinner but did take a plate to go. Is that really disrespectful? She felt he should have tried to eat or to take the Tums she offered, despite us telling her that they don’t work for him and usually just make it worse. He still sat at the table, helped me with the baby and interacted with everyone.

Does that really constitute the proclamation that she will no longer be inviting us for family functions anymore and that you don’t plan to attend any either? I’m feeling at this point that no matter what there would have been some criticism and that nothing short of being perfect will ever be good enough.

I’ve been told to let it blow over but I’m tired of doing that with so many things! My thought process is that it’s fine that we won’t be invited to any functions anymore. I don’t want my daughter or my husband to be treated as 2nd class or looked down upon by the perfect people of this world when I have a say in the matter. Remember though, that’s a two way street and we won’t be the ones missing 1st birthdays, sports events and recitals.

The more I think about it, the more the anger boils inside me. I feel rage at my immediate family being treated like shit by a family member! WE ARE FAMILY! That should mean something!

I had to write this down, it’s been sitting in my mind and festering. What was supposed to be a wonderful holiday and possibly a new tradition is now gone. Hurt feelings, on both sides, and negative thoughts now cloud what I consider to be the best holiday of the year.

I’m full of doubt and pain as to whether I should post this or not. I’m not trying to keep the animosity going but I sincerely doubt my sister would ever read this, she probably doesn’t even know I have a blog. I also don’t want to have to get into any argument with her about it should she happen to read it. She was more than clear with her feelings and I made the choice to not respond. That has always been my role. I’m tired of feeling like I should defend my husband and my life to anyone.

As I put my thoughts to paper (MS Word) I feel the weight of this issue leave me and for that I am grateful. I am interested in hearing what you think on the matter. Am I being narrow-minded in not seeing it as my sister does? Is she being narrow-minded in her expectations?

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9 thoughts on “Family and the holiday struggle

  1. Oh man… what a way for a family gathering to end, huh? Holidays (and family gatherings in general) are so stressful, and the tiniest spark can ignite the flames. I understand why you are so angry (and hurt, I’m sure) over this. No one wants to feel like their spouse/significant other is being wronged or unjustly accused of something by anyone, especially not a family member. I don’t think it was disrespectful of your husband to decline eating when he didn’t feel well, nor was it so when he turned down the offer of Tums. (Those things never worked for me, either.) Heartburn can linger for days on end, so the LAST thing you want to do is aggravate it further.

    For your sister, I’m sure it probably hurt her feelings that he didn’t eat with everyone, after she worked hard at preparing the meal and hosting the family. It’s a natural reaction that can’t be helped… I get that. She was probably offended by it, as well. But I do feel she overreacted in saying she wouldn’t invite your family to future gatherings, etc. because of it. I’m no stranger to family drama, but honestly… if it were *my* family in that situation, I’d have been mad as hell to be told that. What was needed was a little understanding and empathy… to put herself in your husband’s place, and imagine how badly he must have felt to HAVE to do what he did, rather than follow through with a knee-jerk reaction that is hurtful and divisive.

    All that said, I hope you and your sister are able to work it out. I wish you weren’t having to deal with all this crap.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, I try… 🙂 Like I said, I’m no stranger to family drama. I’ve been on the receiving end of stuff kind of like that myself; made out to be the ‘bad guy’ over nothing, and it sucks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly how it feels. That I’m the person that is less because she is upset. I do understand how she feels but I also feel like she’s making it more than it needs to be. Isn’t the point of a holiday to just be together?

      I know she’s upset with me for not living close enough and a time we were supposed to come over a few months back and didn’t but my life gets hectic and I told her I live where I can afford lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hear ya… I get grief for not doing this or that all the time. (Well, it feels like ALL the time, anyway.) It annoys me that I’m expected to drop everything and attend gatherings regardless of what’s going on in my life at the time.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. So sorry that your first Thanksgiving with your little one turned out like this. I’ve experienced things like this in the past and honestly, sometimes there is just no understanding why the person overreacted the way they did. Yes, I do think your sister overreacted. Maybe she was just stressed, but you have to take a breath and think before saying things that could cause a rift for a long time. It’s not like your husband said “Your food is so bad it’s causing me to feel sick.”

    It’s sad that things that people do or say to family members are often things they would never, ever consider doing to or saying to friends. Maybe we should stop to think how we’d treat a friend in such a situation before reacting. Not just your sister, I’m saying in general.

    Sadly I have a brother and sister-in-law that refuse to speak to me period. They wouldn’t friend me on FB and when I asked my sister why she said “I don’t know, but they said they aren’t speaking to you.” We live nowhere near each other and haven’t seen each other in 15 years so I’m not sure how I could have offended them. How sad is that? I reached out via snail mail, apologizing for whatever it was I had done and asking to be forgiven and enlightened so it didn’t happen again. Not. a. word. Not one.

    I hope your sister will rethink her stance on this and you can come to some sort of truce because I’d hate for others to experience what I did. Good luck and no, don’t just let it go. You can only let go of so much before you can’t swallow it any longer.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing that, you really touched me. I do hope my sister and I can try again but sometimes I fear it’s just a pattern that’s destined to repeat itself.

      I have apologized many times over the years about many things regarding her and I’ve decided that I’m tired of apologizing. Not just to her but to everyone. I’m always the one to beg for forgiveness but it’s never the other way around.

      I do hope for my daughter’s sake that she can reflect and see that she blew it out of proportion and maybe she is dealing with things that I’m not privy to but I wish she tell me. She’s very blunt and honest with everything else.

      Liked by 1 person

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