Am I crazy or is this normal thinking?
As you can imagine holidays for a person like me are very conflicting. Growing up I don't have any happy memories of the holidays. What I remember is being dragged out of my grandparents house because my dad thought we were embarrassing him. I remember fighting at the dinner table, cruel remarks, food and dishes being thrown. Kitchen tables being upturned. And once I remember my mother tossing the Christmas tree out the front door. We stoppedbgoing to visit family, so it was just the 6 of us, forced into petending to enjoy the holidays. When I first went away to college, I enthusiastically volunteered to work holidays so I had an excuse not to come home. So I worked and went home alone. When I got married and had the girls I embraced the hectic and demanding rituals required by my ex in-laws. Now dont get me wrong, from the very begining my in-laws and all of their extended family treated me more like family than my own. my whole life I wanted so badly to live like one of those family's on TV that my childhood did not resemble I encouraged their holiday routines. But over the years it became overwhelming, expected and with a smile and no complaint or disagreement that I once again started to dislike the holidays. It was go to in-laws for Thanksgiving lunch then head to my parents for dinner, because even though my family was intolerable, I was still expected to participate especially since I had their grandchildren. And of course for reasons I don't understand I still thought this idea of a perfect family could happen and I still had that need to please them and make them happy. Spend Christmas eve with my family, rush home put kids to bed, prepare for Santa's arrival, most of the time by myself because my husband went to the bar. Go to sleep, wake up at the Crack of dawn, wake the girls up, go see what Santa brought, open gifts, get the kids all dressed up in their pretty dresses, again usually by myself because my husband required an unusual amount of time to get himself ready. Rush to the in-laws open presents eat dinner, rush to my parents open gifts eat more food. Easter was even worse, again wake the girls up see what Easter bunny brought get ready be at church by 9 am. Go to my parents eat brunch rush to his parents eat dinner. And the day after each holiday we had to go back to the in-laws for another dinner. At first I looked forward to being a part of these family gatherings. Enjoyed getting dressed up, good conversation, watching my oldest seeing something new for the first time. But then it became too much. Too much doing what everyone else expected. I no longer found joy in the holidays. It was exhausting, all the running around, all the buy the perfect gift, wrap it perfectly, get all dressed up perfectly. Dont forget to take christmas photos send christmas csrds. Decorating perfectly, cooking perfectly, baking perfectly. Those tv familys make it look much easier than it was. And I did most of it myself. I'm sure I'm to blame to for taking on more than I could handle, not learning to say no, worrying too much about everything else than just being with family. I spent so much time making everyone else happy, I wasn't happy. Then the separation came. Figuring out holidays wasn't too bad, we split most of our time between our family's anyway. We separated in September, that first Thanksgivingmy family decided to switch things up and all have dinner at my sisters. My dad was mad at me, again, for something I had no part in, he got drunk didn't speak to me and when we went to sit down he refused to sit stating he won't eat at the same table as me. So as not to make a scene and ruin a family holiday, I simply excused myself from the table and sat outside. My first holiday with my girls as a single mom I spent alone crying on my sister's porch. My girls had dinner without me. Not one person stood up for me and said he was being unreasonable and cruel. And once again to make everyone else happy I took the high road. It was devastating. After that I once again volunteered to work every holiday. It became just another day. On christmas morning we would open gifts and they would go with their dad and I would go back to sleep. On Thanksgiving I would send the girls with my parents to my sisters. Now there is literally nothing I look forward to when the holidays come. It's like any other day, I wake up I go to work put a smile on my face, make up some excuse why I'm missing spending time with my family to work and go on about my day. Family traditions I tried to incorporate when the girls were small no longer exist. I barely get a hey mom how are you text. For a few years i tried to tell myself that it wont be like this forever, i meet someone and we can start new family traditions but this time ill be a little wiser and only do what will make me happy. But as the years go by that hooe has been dwindling away. But that's okay, I've gotten used to it for the most part. I tell myself that it's better than the disappointing alternative. But don't get me wrong, as I finished out a 9 hour shift on Thanksgiving, of which I as usual did a kick ass job and made lots of money, I find myself sad. Sad watching all these people come together to spend time as a family. And I dont have that. Sad that one day I won't have anywhere to go or anyone to spend the holidays with. As others are happily talking about their holidays, I'll be silently jealous. That they have people in their lives to be with. And I'm alone. All I've ever wanted was to be part of something to be part of a loving family. But I've come to realize that's never gonna happen. So now I loathe the holidays. I mean like really hate them. I hate shopping, I won't listen or watch christmas movies, I refuse to decorate. I just don't participate at all. Don't get me wrong I put a fake smile on my face and pretend like it's just another day. But deep down it hurts.