It’s no secret that my husband and mines relationships with our families aren’t the greatest. We only have contact with one member of his and outside of holidays I don’t see a certain member of mine. When most people hear this their reaction is usually “fix it now or you’re going to regret it later” or “I’m so sorry, sometimes you just have to put up with it”. I can not tell you how much this pisses me off. Do I wish we all got a long and could live happily ever after? Yes, just like I wish the whole world got along and lived happily ever after. Do I have to put up with something that causes serious issues in my life just because family is doing it? Simply, no. I do not have to put myself through anything for anyone.
It’s been a year since we have seen my husbands family. And seven months of only holidays(only one so far yay!) For my sibling. And here is what I have learned through out this time:
1. My husband and I can actually enjoy holidays together. Before last year we had never truly enjoyed a holiday season. Between fights with family members over everything not being their way, being stressed out to make everything perfect for the kids, constantly being put down for how we raise our kids, and being told what we got people just wasn’t enough, we always ended fighting with each other during this time of year.
2. Setting clear expectations and escape plans for family dinners really takes off a lot of pressure. Knowing that my husband and I are on the same page as to when we need to eave if someone gets out of hand puts me at ease to have a god time while we are there.
3. I’m not the only one who sees the behavior. Growing up one of my brothers tormented everyone. Even one of my close friends has stories of it. We always heard excuses and reasons for the abusive behavior. Which always lead to making me feel like it was all my fault. Now that I’m married with my own children it has taken away so many feelings of blame just knowing someone else sees the behavior and knows it’s not my fault it’s happening to me.
4. I am worth more then their feelings. This sounds so terrible. So let me explain a little. I would constantly put my feelings aside because I never wanted to upset anyone or cause problems. I would allow people to be rude and mean because I didn’t believe I was worth standing up for. And guess what I am. If someone gets mad are starts a fight when you stand up for yourself they aren’t worth your feelings.
5. I don’t owe anyone anything simply because we are family. I do not have to put my mental health on the line for anyone, even though they may be family. If they are bad for my mental health they are bad for me.
It took a long time to finally stand up and say what’s best for me. It was terrifying and at times made me feel like the worse person on the planet. But then I realized I not only owe it to myself but to my children to make my mental health a priority during the holiday season.