Christmas Plans When You Don't Have Family

Status
Not open for further replies.

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
I decided not to celebrate this year. I'm buying some presents for my son, but I'm not decorating. That is so much work and I don't feel like it. I want to go through my Christmas stuff and only keep the things that make me happy, so next year I won't have to sort through so much crap. I'm really disgusted at how retailers are starting the Christmas thing in October now. It is refreshing to not shop, not agonize over gifts, and not work myself to death making a holiday when it makes me unhappy. I would rather cook what I want, and just relax.
 

bird_on_a_wire

MyPTSD Pro
You know, I was happy, and then ended up being told what a loser I was, etc etc, wednesday night, that because I didn't agree with someone drunk and their perspective on a situation and to continue to talk about them endlessly- as always- I was also therefore stoned, unfeeling, selfish, non-understanding, and have unlike their 'martyrdom' got everything and them nothing that they want, and -etc etc, and have been left feeling worse about myself than I have in months. I quite frankly wish I were dead, and have been up since 4 a.m. tossing and turning before I got up to write this in the hope I can sleep as am on day 3 of a 9 day stretch at work.

I realized I used to love Christmas, now I don't hate Christmas- I dread Christmas, or what it brings and what I fear, and afterwards my birthday and New Years. I realize I am in the situation wherein my mom taught me as a child to be aware of for others and compassionate to, that Christmas could be for them the worst time, a terrible time, a very sad time, and often a time of great fighting and even danger.

I then learned, as per usual relative is spending like there's no tomorrow, nothing new and her right- except it affects me too- and God forbid I say I don't want anything they may give me included in their spending, despite saying it already numerous times- 'or I'm the as*hole that ruined their Christmas'- and God-forbid I trued to return it- WWIII-, and despite the fact they will be miles away at a resort, nor will we spend an ounce of Christmas or my birthday together- except, of course, for the booze they buy which is for them, not me. And despite the fact that it ensures one can never have the freedom of being debt free, or the freedom to ever get away, sort of death; it's like another bar goes up on the prison gate. But most of all, some kindness and honesty vs lies would be nice. Which is impossible. As is even it seems courtesy or respect, or caring. I exist to clean and 'do' that stuff for them/ us- nothing more. And I kick myself as my boss managed to pull strings for me that would have given me 10 days off post Christmas, though it was turned down last february/ march, through my birthday and New Years (not even knowing it was my Birthday), but being responsible about not over spending I can't afford to take the majority of it unpaid, and I used 2 Vacation days up in November for an exam. I never expected it, so I didn't budget for it, which would be my fault. I would actually cancel the day off and work Christmas Day and considered it, even though my boss pulled strings for me for that also,, but they approved it off and I would get less pay than normal even with just as long, or longer, a day. But as I was also told by my relative, when I said a month ago I wished I was off my birthday, 'dad worked away plenty of holidays'. Yes, I thought later, I know, but with a wife on his side, and not dumping ice cream pails 1/2 full of feces and dealing with physical issues 99.9 % of people wouldn't/ couldn't know even possibly could exist out there, for their 50th birthday. Then again he dropped dead as soon as he hit 54 so there's always hope. And family members of these people I watch- I thought the other day, their 'loved' one hasn't had a bath in at least a year- just found a bandaid on them from 1-2 months ago, no cleaning products (which puts them and myself at risk), little personal care items, etc. Yet, extremely wealthy, -wtf? But they are such great 'family' as their loved one is- after all- the burden. :(

And I know, this diatribe is a pity-party, table-for-one, but I just I really hope I fall in to traffic or through thin ice while skating asap, thinking of this and more of the same in the future to come- at best. But it seems, I have no option but to 'agree'; agreement is pain and fear, disagreement is war and fear.

. I want to go through my Christmas stuff and only keep the things that make me happy

Tangibly or untangibly I think that is the ideal. ^^
 
Last edited:

bird_on_a_wire

MyPTSD Pro
*Sorry, can't edit, window over- tried to return it- no bill, and short of death.

I think I'd rather die than live like this, I'm 1/2 century old, isn't that enough of this grief, when there's no way out? Christmas time just makes it 1000x worse. I can ignore how I feel, about myself included, until given a good dose of what a loser/ asshole/ freak/ useless waste of space I am. I actually ended it wednesday night- unusual it worked- said, I am going to bed (had been trying to for 2 hours) as I am feeling nothing but worse about myself, and I know my limit of what more I can tolerate/ bear.
 

VioletButterfly

MyPTSD Pro
@Junebug - Sending hugs and light your way. Is there anything that you can tap into right now that might refocus your thinking, if only for a brief time, onto something comforting? A memory from a different time, unrelated to family and holidays, that could serve as spring flower of sorts to sustain you through this rough time? Sending along a prayer of comfort and protection as well. :)
 

scout86

MyPTSD Pro
For the last few years, some friends have included me in their Christmas. Which has turned in to a tradition of Chinese takeout and a rousing game of "Cards Against Humanity". (Great game, look it up if you haven't heard of it.)

I think Christmas can mean what ever we chose to make it mean. It can be nothing. It can be a reminder of every bad thing that ever happened, it can be an affirmation of whatever we believe is "Good" in the universe, it can be something else. I like the idea of actually deciding what I want it to mean. I've decided it's about camaraderie and appreciation, more than anything else. If I wanted to make it complicated, I'd consider including biological family. I don't. I can totally see the spa treatment. Also serving a meal at a shelter of something. There are lots of options. I think it matters that you decide what you WANT it to mean and aim to celebrate that.
 

Gloria

MyPTSD Pro
I try to make other people less fortunate than myself happy on Christmas and since I had the choice of trying to spend time with abusive family or being by myself. I would think it over and over in my mind until I spent time with family on Christmas and they were so awful that I never struggled with it again.

For years I would put off painting a room in my house or wallpapering so some project that takes the whole day. I would think about it all year long and thing about how I would nail that project at Christmas. I would play Christmas music and be totally focused on the project and I felt wonderful during Christmas and after because I saved a project I put off all year and finally did it.

Mostly I volunteered on Christmas and I loved going to nursing homes and listening to the elderly tell me all about their lives and some of them had a lot of hardship and trauma and I loved listening to them.

I hope all of the PTSD members go on line an I wish we could make a list of all of us that need help at Christmas but I will definitely try to look up threads of people who are alone at Christmas and send them my love through the internet. Sending hugs to all those who have trouble with Christmas. I am not decorating or cooking a meal this year. We are getting catering in from Olive Garden. I don't have a traditional Christmas now that my sons are grown. I see my sons because I want them to remember our family love at Christmas but forget the presents, tree, Christmas cookies and all that.
 
This is a really helpful thread thank you all for sharing your insights.

I won’t be spending Christmas with my family, actually it’s the first Christmas that I have cut ties with them... Previously I travelled and lived abroad so I was busy during the festive season, however in 2016 I travelled home for Christmas.. I spent a horrible ‘festive’ 10 days at home, my body was reacting violently.. panic attacks, serious stomach issues, flu like symptoms, severe tension headaches and so on.. all these symptoms prior to boarding the flight home.. (I didn’t know at that time in my life that I had CPTSD only months later would I realise my body was telling me all along).

I sat at that dinner table on Christmas Day surrounded by ‘family’.. looked around at them and I felt nauseous and sick.. I left my plate half empty and had to leave.. I physically couldn’t spend any more time with them.. these people were not family.. these people were toxic individuals that I happened to live under the same roof for 20+ years. I realised I never truly had a family.

I’m currently staying with my girlfriend at her parents place.. this year is going to be challenging.. they are very festive and inclusive so would love for me to join in, they are a close knit family and there is genuineness in their family unit.. I’m finding it upsetting.. it’s like they act as a mirror of the family I wish I had and never actually had. I feel heart broken and full of grief.

It’s going to be difficult.. I’ll try my best to join in but I feel it’s going to be very upsetting. I just don't want to put a downer on their festivities.. it’s hard to act cheerful when you feel so low.
 

Friday

Moderator
I think I'd rather die than live like this, I'm 1/2 century old, isn't that enough of this grief, when there's no way out? Christmas time just makes it 1000x worse.
Screw Christmas... How awesome would the other 364 be if you didn’t live with this person, and the constant stress & stressors, anymore?

So maybe a reframe, of nail on the coffin of attempting to live with them, and start taking serious steps to move towards leaving? I know there are logistical reasons why you do live with them, but those can be met in other ways, yes?
 

bird_on_a_wire

MyPTSD Pro
Thank you to each and every one of you for sharing your innermost thoughts, struggles and experiences. I very much appreciate it. I am sorry this isn't very coherent and doesn't touch on all you've said, but I just am so very tired at the moment. I'll try my best to make it make sense.

Sending along a prayer of comfort and protection as well.
Thank you very much @VioletButterfly , I appreciate it.
Is there anything that you can tap into right now that might refocus your thinking, if only for a brief time
I think I have, though I wasn't trying it just came to me, accurate or not.
I think Christmas can mean what ever we chose to make it mean. It can be nothing. It can be a reminder of every bad thing that ever happened, it can be an affirmation of whatever we believe is "Good" in the universe, it can be something else. I like the idea of actually deciding what I want it to mean.
I realized this too and agree, @scout , and will add below.
Sending hugs to all those who have trouble with Christmas.
This is so very kind @Gloria , and I the same to you.
I feel heart broken and full of grief.
Yes @InsertCoinsHere , so well said. For many of us here, and so many.
I know there are logistical reasons why you do live with them, but those can be met in other ways, yes?
You are most right of all @Friday , except that I can no more live with reneging on my word or financial commitments, than I can serving my own best interests. BUT (big because it's still a critical part of what came to me, and you are completely correct):

This is (all) I thought, without 'trying' to:

-that what I focus on will lead my thoughts, and heavily influence my emotions
-I control only my response, and my thoughts, and whether I bring peace or add to more discord. On one hand it could be called sucking it up, or even enabling if it's seen as such, or on another it could mean trying to find a new way
-as you said @Friday it's one day, and one piece or moment in time, and what about the other 364 days?
-that as people we are beautiful, and ugly too at the same time (myself most-included)
-that words-words-words can become swords-swords-swords, and that words can have even a lasting impact for many years, and be really detrimental.
-that, and maybe this is the most important part- 'Christmas' if you believe in the 'original' had all that beauty and ugliness and fear going on at the same time, too; it was likely very stress-filled, human-filled, and wounded-and-fear-filled. Definitely I suspect it was neither idealic (in any way), nor do I think it was necessarily all without raised emotions, doubt or fear. Yet, if we go by 'Peanuts' ( ;) ), isn't it something like Peace on Earth and Good Will toward men? But I was thinking, peace is never necessary to strive for or produce when it's already there, then you have only to maintain it. The challenge, and therefore maybe this is some of what Christmas is to me, is to bring it or fight for it when nothing around me (or sometimes within me) wants it, or nurtures it, or values it. Or maybe just even doesn't know how to go about achieving it? Which is a very different choice or perspective to face it and deal with it with, but still can challenge or chip away at the cycle continuing. Maybe it's only small ground made, or maybe even no ground at all. But it is opposed to sending back fire for fire, if peace or joy or goodwill is the end game.

Maybe if there was an original Christmas, and I believe there was, it was interlaced by all of what we here are experiencing? How many escaped sorrow, fear, fears of the past and present, doubt, mistrust, exhaustion, anger or disregard, abandonment, no place to call home or rest, being misunderstood and misunderstanding others, too, feeling filled with grief, or uncertainty, loss, heartbrokenness? Not knowing what almost the immediate future would hold, let alone long term? Wondering if they were doing the right thing, or foolish, or being called a fool? Etc etc. All the things we have or are living with now, not entirely a different story than I suspect it could have been then; oh yes, very different in the terms of story, but representing the challenges and sorrows all people experience. Maybe not on December 25th, but through their lives and stories. Maybe the 1st Christmas was the struggle one would expect it to be, -but also overcoming,trust, and eventually, moments of peace and profound joy.

And maybe too, why focusing on those most in need, +/ or peace (attaining and keeping it, and fostering it) and love (through words and actions, surrounding ourselves and others with what is loving), is precisely exactly what exemplifies Christmas the best in the human part, or in the human heart, because those were also people in the greatest need, to survive and bear their struggles (together) and make sense of any of it? Idk. But that's what came to me. That 'Christmas' as we know it, is the farthest off of what 'Christmas' was, or was like, or what it represents and encompassed.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top