Some people just don't have healthy relationships with their family members, making it tough for them, especially during the holidays.
“The Whole Holiday Season Makes Me Emotionally Wrecked”
“My mother was a narcissist. She got remarried when I was 10 or so and her new man was everything. She had always been a bad mother, but she was always just mean. After his unwavering acquiescence of her meanness, he came to agree with it wholeheartedly.
When I was eleven, his three boys came to stay with us over Christmas break from school. They were showered with gifts. I received none. Their explanation was that I was not a good child like his three. The eldest of his children, who was around twelve at the time, took pity on me and gave me an RC car that had been gifted to him.
When I was caught playing with it, it was taken from me. When the eldest explained he had given it to me for Christmas my step-jerk lightly reprimanded him. I was told to stand still and watch as he ran the RC toy over with his big truck.
I then had to sleep on the cold cement basement floor for ‘taking’ presents from his children.
I’ve never celebrated Christmas since. The whole holiday season makes me very emotionally wrecked with bitter intermittent flashbacks of the way I grew up.”
Her Mom Told Her She Ruined Christmas
“I don’t spend Christmas with my mother anymore because when I was between the ages of 15-17, my parents were in the process of a nasty divorce.
So I spent Christmas Eve and morning with my father and then went to my Mum’s side of the family for Christmas dinner. She was so upset that I had spent half of my time on Christmas with my dad, that during dinner she didn’t sit or speak to me.
Later that night, as we were getting ready for bed in a room we shared, she was typing on her computer still not having said a word to me up to this point. I asked her to be a little quieter because I was trying to sleep, and then she blew up at me with no warning. It ended with her telling me I ruined Christmas, and my grandpa driving me out to meet my dad at 1 am that night. I am forever grateful to my grandfather for taking me out of that horrible situation.
My mum and I have always had a rocky relationship since I was small, and I’ve always had a better relationship with my father growing up.
Currently, I am 22 been living on my own since the ripe age of 18 because of another blow out my mother had for the same reasons. My parents are still in the process of trying to get a divorce to this day. My mother is an extremely narcissistic person, and it took me a long time to realize that just because of she’s my mum, this doesn’t mean she’s not a toxic person to my being.”
Her Monster Of A Brother…
“My brother is a monster. When I was growing up my father wasn’t around and our mother just let us do whatever with little to no consequences. So he was a bad kid.
My mother ‘tried’ to stop this but he was the perfect child of the family. My grandmother spoiled him, buying him whatever he wanted and I was just a slave to her. I did all of her housework/yard work when my mom dropped us off over there to ‘spend time’ with her. My brother would just go play games on the big TV she had, while I cleaned the whole house and grabbed everything she needed while she watched TV in the kitchen, doing nothing most of the day.
At home, when I was younger, I had one of those hotel locks on my door that I bought, borrowing money from a friend, so he couldn’t come in my room in the middle of the night and attack me anymore.
They still spoiled him when I was 15, bought him with whatever he wanted. They even took him out of school to be homeschooled so he could play video games 24/7 it took him 3-4 years more to graduate than if he had stayed in high school.
He is 28 now. He has worked a whopping total of fewer than 2 years since he was 18. He lives off of my grandmother while manipulating women to live with him at my grandmother’s house so they can go to work and financially support him to buy video games and go out to eat. He is still very rude and obnoxious to everyone in my family. Meanwhile, they all refuse to do anything about it. They constantly call me and tell me I need to stop holding grudges and be nice to him and be a good brother. Last year I went over there and he started a fight with me because I wouldn’t do something he wanted. While this happened, my family said they were gonna call the police on ME, so I’m done with them!”
They Arrived In The United States In The Nick Of Time!
“The reason I won’t go home for the holidays or ever for that matter is: My sister and I left home together when I married my husband.
In my country, an unwed woman just doesn’t leave the home, but there was no way I was going to leave my sister behind without me there to protect her. My father was humiliated and angry, he called the police on me and reported MY car stolen. If I had been in Mexico I would have been arrested, because my parents have a lot of pull with the government and the police.
Lucky for me, I had already crossed into the United States when they realized I had actually taken my sister. My dad kind of figure out that we would be in the United States, so he went to a United States police station to report my car stolen.
I have to say that I’ve never loved the United States more than when I was pulled over and asked for my license and registration. The police officer said that this car was reported stolen, but he said it was a malicious claim since the car is under my name. I would have paid a million dollars to be a fly on the wall of that police station when they told my father to get out.
I did get a batch of emails from him and my mother calling me every name in the book. They even emailed my sister demanding she come home. I wish I could say my sister and I laughed at their emails and made fun of them. The truth is the first emails did scare my sister and me so much. It got to the point that opening my email made me shake or vomit. I was worried about their next threat/move. I would have nightmares that they’d find us and hurt us.
But then it hit me, they wouldn’t dare touch us in the United States. I rested easier and became more and more relaxed. It took a few months but we did get to the point where we would laugh at their empty threats.”
Why They Stay Away From His Father…
“I hauled my wife and kids 3,500 miles to visit my family.
We spent 20 days there, hanging out with my mother and stepfather, my brother and his wife and kids, my stepbrothers and their families, and had a wonderful time with them all.
But my dad and stepmom basically made themselves unavailable. My dad refused to leave his house, even to go out into the garden or the park across the road where my kids could run around, insisting that if we visited we would have to be inside their home…where they both smoke. My youngest suffers from asthma so this put a major roadblock in our path but no amount of explanation could persuade them otherwise. So, inhalers and medicines on standby, I made an effort to arrange visits anyway.
They said they would only be available from late morning because my dad likes to sleep late ’til early afternoon because he gets tired, leaving us a window of about an hour and a half. We were staying an hour’s drive away from them so this seemed a fair amount of effort for little reward but, you know, they’re family and, hey, we can go do something else in their town after, right? So, OK, let’s go with that.
So we asked what days they were available and they said: ‘Well, you’ll have to take it on a day by day basis. We might not feel up to a visit, so get in touch with us in the mornings you want to visit us and we’ll see if we can do it.’ This hurt but, hey, he’s never been the best dad, I’ll roll with it. Thought they might be excited to meet a grandchild they’d never met though.
So when we were there I sent emails, texts, and left voicemails to see if we could come visit. Days later, I’d get a voicemail back saying: ‘Maybe tomorrow,’ but then they wouldn’t respond to the call we made the following morning.
20 days went by, we never even made direct contact despite me arranging multiple lines of communication and windows of opportunity, they just never responded within those windows.
We got home, jetlagged bad, one of the kids sick, and we bunkered down for the weekend to recover. I went to work on Monday morning, waiting for a break to email them again and apologize, but he emailed first and accused me of being weak, of lying to him and my entire life, and that my wife was obviously to blame for us failing to visit, that she had planned this all along. I responded saying he better not contact me or any of my family ever again, he sent another email and I deleted it without opening it. I think he might be dead now. I don’t know and I don’t really care. It was the last straw of many.”
Opening Presents Without Them
“Our first daughter turned 1 shortly before Christmas in 1995. At that time, my in-laws lived in a town that was approximately a 2-hour drive from us. My mother-in-law asked if we’d be staying at their place on Christmas Eve, and we said: ‘No – it’s kind of difficult with a baby. We’ll drive out to join you on Christmas Day.’ She wasn’t happy, but she said: ‘Fine – but you have to be here by 10:00 a.m. That’s when we’ll be opening presents.’
So, we got up bright and early on Christmas morning, gulped down breakfast, got the baby ready, and got on the road by 6:30 a.m. Driving was a bit slow due to some snow and ice, but we arrived at the in-laws’ house at 9:50 a.m. We grinned at each other with relief – we did it!
We entered the house – only to stare in dismay and consternation. There was torn wrapping paper everywhere. They’d all opened their gifts without us.
My husband isn’t one for confrontations normally, but he couldn’t help it this time. He cornered his mother in the kitchen and said, angrily: ‘Why didn’t you wait for us? We got here on time!’ She said, sweetly: ‘Oh, the kids didn’t want to wait.’ Said ‘kids’ were my husband’s younger sister and brother, who were 26 and 21 at the time.
To this day, I’m convinced that she decided not to wait because she was punishing us for not staying overnight on Christmas Eve. Whatever. That told us how much we mattered to her, and after a couple more similar experiences, we put our collective feet down and have been celebrating Christmas Day in our own house ever since.
Also, after we’d been doing the ‘celebrate in our own house’ thing for a couple of years, my mother-in-law called on Christmas Day and berated my husband, calling him a ‘bad son’ who’d ‘turned his back on his family’. She made him cry. I’ll never forgive her for that.”
Guilt-Tripping Psycho Parents
“My wife and her parents have been going at it for years. They’re very controlling and do all these passive aggressive things which have driven her away. They’ve even attempted to sabotage relationships with other members of the family, including her dying grandparents. It’s been tough for her, but she started cutting them out of her life and ultimately has not seen or really even talked to them in quite a few years.
Her mom would get upset and send her nasty messages like: ‘You’re not my daughter anymore don’t you dare even think of getting me anything for Mother’s day. I’m not your mother anymore,’ sort of messages. Followed by her dad lecturing my wife for not even saying, ‘Happy Mother’s day.’ Real dumb and petty stuff.
Well, my wife hasn’t come home for the holidays in quite a few years and her Dad constantly texts her things and said: ‘I sent you a package let me know when you get it.’ My wife thought maybe after all these years they were willing to maybe start making amends and he wrote a letter or something to start the healing process, but no, it was some gift cards. So my wife said thanks for the gift but that she would not be coming home to see them for the holidays. So her dad threw a tantrum and insisted she sends back the gift cards and how awful of a daughter she is. My wife obliged but was heartbroken.
The worst part is her dad will text her with just small talk, ‘How about that football game?’ or ‘Dang, those Yankees,’ which she ignores and isn’t above using anything to try and guilt her into responding back. The latest was a truck attack in NYC. He sends some heartfelt message about ‘days like today it would be nice to hear from you’ but otherwise won’t take any responsibility to try and actually mend the relationship.
Shame, if it keeps up they may never get to meet their grandchild or have a relationship with their daughter. Oh well, I prefer to keep things lowkey for the holidays and negative forces in your life aren’t worth it.”
Her Parents And Their Hoarding Problem…
“My parents are hoarders, so while I do still see them, I refuse to be in their house for more than a minute or two.
I’ve tried helping them but my parents have other issues beyond hoarding. My mom is the main hoarder but my dad continues to enable her and live there without complaint. They have been emotionally and financially manipulative in the past which makes me cautious with how much help and financial assistance I’m willing to give. My mom is a mental health professional (so ironic) so she knows how to game the system and other mental health professionals so she comes out looking golden and I look like a bitter child. My dad has his own set of demons he blames all his issues on and has become very childlike in his behavior. It’s hard to talk to him or reason with him. My mom is considered competent, believe me, I’ve tried to become his sole guardian but he’s now considered competent as well so dead end there.
I’m 31 and the hoarding started around 16-17 when my dad was deployed and my brother and then myself left for college. Growing up we had a messy, cluttered home but nothing like the level of the TV show of how it is in their home now. The hoarding has worsened over the years. I realized the extent of the problems when I was 18-19 and I avoided returning home.
Around 22-23 I went no contact/very little contact for a few years due to financial disputes. From 26-29 I was desperately trying to help. I got power of attorney, had convinced my mother to give me sole guardianship of my father, and was going to get their finances in order.
A couple weeks before we were going to do all this, which included me leaving my job to care for my father, my mom backed out and went crazy with accusations.
From 29-today I’ve returned to no/little contact. Nothing I do/say makes an impact. They don’t listen to me. They refuse my help. They want me to ignore their problems and pretend we are a happy family while continuing to live a life I can’t condone. It’s been a long and terrible road realizing I just won’t have a normal relationship with my parents. I’m still willing to help them but I need to see some change on their own before I put everything on the line for them again. I don’t think the relationship will survive any more manipulation on their end.”