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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Support Thread 2013
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:16 pm 
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oddspongeout wrote:
... How do you get five dollar gifts that aren't home-made or thrifted? YOU DON'T. ...

Are your family not appreciative of home-made, or do you not have time? Can you maybe give them "gift cards" for services you can perform for them (cat sitting, a month of lawn-mowing come summer, etc.)?

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Support Thread 2013
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:47 pm 
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I am a not so secret Christmas lover. Not from a religious standpoint, or from a psychotic consumerist standpoint, but in the decorations, baking while listening to Christmas music, drinking while watching Elf standpoint. I even like Christmas shopping - buying people gifts that I think are thoughtful or special is something I like. Maybe not on a huge scale, but a 20 vase for my aunt, a travel mug for uncle, a framed photo from my childhood for my grandparents and an artisan's puzzle for my friend's child are things I like finding and giving.

Last year was hard because I was broke, but I was able to focus on hand making, purchasing smaller local gifts, making individual tree ornaments/gift tags. The year before I had money but no time or energy and ended up just getting everything online, never mind a tree! This year I have some money, and some time, but not tons of either. But having dad with me at home is so stressful. I've been super torn about when to make plans with family members but I work both Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, so we have to cram everything in Christmas Day. Mr Moon and I finally discussed plans over dinner, and I've finally got less of a giant knot in my stomach over it, and I hope I can start looking forward to the season a bit again.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Support Thread 2013
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:00 am 
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The holidays are a total waste for me. Both my wife and i have families that are just outright intolerable. We usually get guilted into spending at least one holiday (usually thanksgiving, for 2 hours at max) with her family. Fortunately mine is just far enough away for us to not be unreasonable in not wanting to travel. We don't do the gift thing, are both athiests, constantly get shiitake for being vegan, are politically polar opposites from all except maybe two family members, both of which are on my side and are the only ones i would actually like to see, but are too far away to travel to visit even though i'd like to. So for us Holiday+Family= Drink and get into stupid arguments until we get pissed enough to leave and swear we're not gonna do it next year,and repeat.

The only upside of the whole holiday season is being able to throw a ridiculous, loud, obnoxious party on xmas eve, knowing enough of our neighbors are out of town that no one will be making noise complaints. That and the idea of setting up tripwires/spilling lube all over the floors (flavored of course, I'm not that cruel), and other dangerous obstacles for all those psychotic black friday cretins. That thought always makes me smile, though i have yet to actually go through with it....

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Support Thread 2013
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:06 pm 
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I've realised that I'm starting to seriously dislike Xmas. Mike and I almost never get each other presents you can actually open, so we don't have anything to do on Xmas day. Both of our families are in different places (his in another part of the country, mine on another continent), so we don't have anywhere to go.

I hate my work Xmas party because there's always more that's disappointing than enjoyable. We got an email from one of the people dealing with the entertainment. She assigned me to a team with at least one person I can't stand, and she's insisting we dress up for the in-office bit. fork that noise. I hate the implication that you're a bad person because you don't want to be forced to be happy and have fun. And this year, I'm not organising, which is great in one respect, but sucks in that I have no idea what I'm eating. The organiser was supposed to contact the restaurant for me, but afaik, she hasn't heard back from them. If I have another meal of pepper-stuffed peppers, I might go on a rampage.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Support Thread 2013
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:22 pm 
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Bumpelstiltskin wrote:
Holiday+Family= Drink


I'm more of a holiday = drink person (and I very rarely drink otherwise), but I totally get you.


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Support Thread 2013
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:37 pm 
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Yeah, the holidays are pretty much the only time i drink for negative reasons, otherwise i'm all about the good times. The holidays just aren't good times. Booze is the only way to put up with the family bullshiitake. Then about halfway through i very absolutely decide NOT to put up with it...viscous cycle. At least it's a short lived cycle.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Support Thread 2013
PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:51 am 
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We got our tree yesterday (a beautiful, delicious-smelling 8' fraser fir) and are decorating it today. On the one hand, this is something I enjoy doing: we usually put on some Christmas music, build a fire, have coffee or tea or nog (depending on the hour), and it's just a nice time. On the other hand, it's also an emotionally complex process, and becomes more so with each passing year; today I'm feeling particularly full of…well, feelings. Somehow our cupboard got totally bare this week, so my partner said he'd do the grocery shopping this morning while I made a start on the tree, but after he left I found myself feeling a bit fragile. Over time, I've accumulated a lot of ornaments, many of them are gifts (some from people no longer with us), or things my kids made when they were small, or things I took from my parents' store of decorations after my mom died, etc. As I unwrap them and put them on the tree, so many associations and memories come flooding back, and the whole experience is invariably bittersweet; these days I often spend part of the process in tears (I'm crying as I type this). What I really wanted this morning was to call my mother and tell her how much I miss her, but since that isn't an option, I called my sister instead.

As I've posted elsewhere, my sister suffers sporadically from fibromyalgia and a few other things, and the combination of recurring chronic pain and the limitations it places on her often result in depression; in addition to this, she's been having some stomach issues (currently under investigation) that have been taking a lot out of her. So she wasn't feeling so great today, either, and when I told her I was decorating my tree she said that she and her husband aren't getting one this year, but are just going to hang wreaths and put lights on their ficus tree. If this were anyone else I might have felt differently, but it made me feel really sad because my sister loves Christmas (she even believes in the whole Jesus thing), and the idea of her feeling too bummed out and/or sick to bother with a tree seems like an indication that she's doing more poorly than I'd realized. I said that her (adult) daughter and I would be happy to get one and put it up for her, but she said no, they've decided not to bother. So I said she could come over and look at mine any time she wants (I always host Christmas anyway since our parents died), we chatted a bit more, and then we hung up. And now it's 11:50 am and I feel sort of free-floatingly depressed about everything (and I still feel like calling my mom - this time to talk about my sister!). BLAH.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Support Thread 2013
PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:26 pm 
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I'm traveling up to visit my parents for the weekend before Christmas. I have to work Christmas Eve so will be coming back on the 23rd and I know my Dad will be disappointed. I haven't spent Christmas Day with them since 2007, as I don't want to leave Mr8 on his own (he doesn't spend the holidays with his family) and I prefer to be in my own home.

I haven't seen them for a few months (we live quite far apart) and I'm expecting a change in them, as in they'll seem more frail than before. Dad is almost 70 now. I love them lots and am looking forwards to seeing them along with my brother, his partner and my two little nieces.


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Support Thread 2013
PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:15 pm 
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Being alone for the holidays never used to bother me - but I got to spend the last 2 Xmases w/the person I was dating at the time, and it made me so happy. There was nothing I enjoyed more than shopping for the person I cared about. Being alone again this Christmas is just more than I can handle right now. Can't fly home to see the family as I'm scheduled to work the whole week of, and my very few friends have other plans. So I've decided not to celebrate at all this year. My family thinks I'm being ridiculous, but they have no idea what it's like to be truly alone. My church is offering a service for those impacted by grief/loss during the holiday, and I'm looking forward to going to that. Otherwise, Jan 2nd can't happen fast enough.


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Support Thread 2013
PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:20 pm 
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scooter diva, that service sounds awesome.
we are expected to participate in gift giving. i wonder if we could leave before christmas. ugh. [why would i want to buy gifts for people who have actively spent the last 6 months harrassing me and belitting my child? bad enough i have to buy any stuff at all this time of year- which is what we do at this point of our trip, we are buying all the things we need for another 3+ years away- but this on top of it, what a headache.]

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Support Thread 2013
PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:34 pm 
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I realized recently that while I genuinely loathe Christmas Day, Christmas Eve is probably my favorite holiday. I just can't stand the insane amount of obligatory gift giving, the traditions that can't be broken under any circumstance, and the Thanksgiving food redux that occurs on Christmas. The 24th is special to me because those were always the times my family felt most happy and together...and then Christmas would come along and ruin it with the awful displays of materialism and everyone eating to the point where they were too sick and tired to spend time with family. Also, someone's feelings would always get hurt.

So this year I decided that I'm just not doing it. I'm going all out for Christmas Eve, but I'm going to treat Christmas much like I already treat Easter; I ignore it and try not to get sucked into participating.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Support Thread 2013
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:03 am 
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Oh. My. God. I haven't seen my step MIL in a year and first thing she does is try to rile me up with sound bites from fox news. I needed a bingo card for sure:

duck dynasty. Free speech!
we should give old southern people who say racist/homophobic shiitake a pass because it's how they grew up and they dont know any better. They have good hearts!
obama (she got right in my face and out of nowhere says, "do you like obama? I hate him!!!")
Trayvon martin and how we never hear about black people shooting whites unjustly. Reverse racism!
Oprah said all bigots should die! (Not what oprah said)
and to finish it up, a nice logical fallacy that because she's lived longer than me, she's right because shes "seen more". Ok insulated middle class white lady suburban housewife who knows nothing about my life.

it took so much willpower to keep my mouth shut but she wasn't worth my time. Maybe I'll make a donation to some social justice charity in her name.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Support Thread 2013
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 4:58 am 
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Oh man how did I miss this???
I was going to have a super relaxed and excellent holiday, have a potluck at a friend's house and generally relax and work on art stuff over this break, then 2 days ago my mother calls me and tells me "hey I am coming to visit, i'll be there the 25th" and there go my plans and I have to drop everything and entertain her. like, fork. I am now very tense and even more can't sleep because I'm anxious about her being here. I had plans! they were going to be fun! I was going to have a good winter holiday! ughghghghhghhhhhhhhhh


edit: I should mention that I am not just a whiny ungrateful child, and that my mother and I have a weird forked up relationship and this is most certainly a power play on her part. this isn't going to be fun family time, but more of a "boober tries not to throw up EVERY DAY" visit.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Support Thread 2013
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:19 am 
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That's very inconvenient, boober! Sorry you're not going to get the relaxed Christmas you had planned.

I wanted to have a truce for gift giving this year, but I guess my aunt starts buying next year's gifts pretty early because although I asked for a truce at the beginning of November apparently she'd already got me stuff. Also, I don't really speak to her or one of my cousins apart from family gatherings. I was just going to say fork it, I'm not getting anyone presents anyway, but I felt so mean, and like my mum would feel like I'm showing her up. Bloody societal expectations! So I've bought boxes of Booja Booja chocolates for the aunt and cousin. My other cousin acknowledged the truce, and is cool, so I'm not really worried about her, except that she's hosting a lunch after Christmas... I think I'll just get her a bottle of wine though.

I want to tell people that I'm opting out of gift-exchange for all future Christmases, should I leave it to New Year or get it over with while we're all handily in the same room?

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Support Thread 2013
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:34 am 
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Get it over with while you are in the same room!

I'm on a 5 hour flight in a few hours. Family drama should be light this year but we'll see. My husband brings me sanity when visiting my parents.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Support Thread 2013
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:13 am 
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couroupita wrote:
Oh. My. God. I haven't seen my step MIL in a year and first thing she does is try to rile me up with sound bites from fox news. I needed a bingo card for sure:

duck dynasty. Free speech!
we should give old southern people who say racist/homophobic shiitake a pass because it's how they grew up and they dont know any better. They have good hearts!
obama (she got right in my face and out of nowhere says, "do you like obama? I hate him!!!")
Trayvon martin and how we never hear about black people shooting whites unjustly. Reverse racism!
Oprah said all bigots should die! (Not what oprah said)
and to finish it up, a nice logical fallacy that because she's lived longer than me, she's right because shes "seen more". Ok insulated middle class white lady suburban housewife who knows nothing about my life.

it took so much willpower to keep my mouth shut but she wasn't worth my time. Maybe I'll make a donation to some social justice charity in her name.
Lard have mercy - this sounds like an absolute nightmare. I'm so sorry you had to put up with that, but I'm also filled with wonder and admiration at your superhuman self-restraint!

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Support Thread 2013
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:20 am 
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obligation stuff on holidays fills me with bah-humbug. I like the holiday season and all, but I don't want to have to buy you useless stuff and I don't want to come to your stupid party. I want to stay home and watch Love, Actually for the 10th time this season!


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Support Thread 2013
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:14 am 
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joyfulgirl wrote:
obligation stuff on holidays fills me with bah-humbug. I like the holiday season and all, but I don't want to have to buy you useless stuff and I don't want to come to your stupid party. I want to stay home and watch Love, Actually for the 10th time this season!


Or come visit me! OH WAIT, YOU ARE! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Support Thread 2013
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:44 am 
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Desdemona wrote:
couroupita wrote:
Oh. My. God. I haven't seen my step MIL in a year and first thing she does is try to rile me up with sound bites from fox news. I needed a bingo card for sure:

duck dynasty. Free speech!
we should give old southern people who say racist/homophobic shiitake a pass because it's how they grew up and they dont know any better. They have good hearts!
obama (she got right in my face and out of nowhere says, "do you like obama? I hate him!!!")
Trayvon martin and how we never hear about black people shooting whites unjustly. Reverse racism!
Oprah said all bigots should die! (Not what oprah said)
and to finish it up, a nice logical fallacy that because she's lived longer than me, she's right because shes "seen more". Ok insulated middle class white lady suburban housewife who knows nothing about my life.

it took so much willpower to keep my mouth shut but she wasn't worth my time. Maybe I'll make a donation to some social justice charity in her name.
Lard have mercy - this sounds like an absolute nightmare. I'm so sorry you had to put up with that, but I'm also filled with wonder and admiration at your superhuman self-restraint!


Seconded!! I would've had to leave immediately.


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Support Thread 2013
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:52 am 
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choirqueer wrote:
joyfulgirl wrote:
obligation stuff on holidays fills me with bah-humbug. I like the holiday season and all, but I don't want to have to buy you useless stuff and I don't want to come to your stupid party. I want to stay home and watch Love, Actually for the 10th time this season!


Or come visit me! OH WAIT, YOU ARE! :D

Yeah I am! I'm going to visit youuuuu! Woohooooo!


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Support Thread 2013
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:25 pm 
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I have mentioned in other threads how much I hate the holidays: The consumerism, the religious aspect, the whole 'forced happiness' thing. I stopped celebrating a long time ago. No presents! no pressure! it has been glorious!

Still, if there is a holiday party, I may or may not go, depending on my plans and if there is stuff for me to eat. This year I figured that I would be less of a Grinch and try to enjoy the holidays. Yeaaaaaaah. not so much.

This year, my fiance's work party was SO disappointing. They always have vegan options, but there were none this year. I was sad and hungry. But mine was infinitely worse.

First year with the company. They have an in-office party/potluck during the day. Which means I could have brought stuff and eaten. Also, the company had a fun white elephant exchange (I love those, and I can give non-vegan stuff to my partner). Hot firefighters showed up to take pictures for the toy drive. PLUS BOOZE. Sounded great.

Then, they changed the date/time to when my department was having an all day meeting, one we couldn't re-schedule (we had people/vendors flying in from out of state). We asked if they could please keep the date one that our department could participate in. NOPE. no way. They refused to do that. And I know why....the person that made the decision has a problem with our department, does not like us very much.

So we had to start our meeting in the training room, which was decorated for the party, and people kept coming in and putting down food and presents, then move to another room when the party started. Which had glass walls. Which meant, we had to WATCH everyone party and have a good time and we were stuck in there. It looked like quite the party. Top shelf booze, champagne, the whole 9. To top it off, the executives got on our case for missing it! grr

It was super sucky. Back to being a bisque-y grinch. fork the holidays. I can't even seem to enjoy them when I try.


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Support Thread 2013
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:27 pm 
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I'm flat broke and all alone this Christmas.. Even though I'm an Atheist / Secular Humanist or something, I love the Christmas stuff.

Anyway, that point is completely moot because today is...

FESTIVUS!!!

Happy Festivus, people..
Time for the feats of strength.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Support Thread 2013
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:06 pm 
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My thoughts on the holidays: if you can't be bothered with me throughout the other 364 days of the year, don't bother inviting me to your house for Christmas. Why should I inconvenience myself (ie, getting dressed, leaving my house, not eating when and what I want etc) to go somewhere with people who basically don't talk to me any other day of the year? It seems illogical to me. But when/if I decline, I look like the bad guy. ggrrr stress!


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Support Thread 2013
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:06 pm 
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This time of year is hard for me for a number of reasons. Most of you already know the story: my mother is an abusive narcissist who is also an alcoholic (she most likely has borderline personality disorder). My father is a homophobic, racist drug user who was completely absent from my life except to physically abuse me on my mother's orders. My brother is 24 and has such severe depression and eating disordered stuff that he has never had a job and never leaves home. I have next to no contact with my parents, but because my brother still lives with my mother, I have to keep peace to still be in his life...I'm pretty much the only person in the whole world he has contact with.

Also, did I mention my parents are divorced, my crasshole mother took my father to the cleaners financially and he still hangs around her like a puppy dog? And she lets him because he buys her things? She belittles him and makes fun of him constantly, but he keeps buying her things.

We had to go to her house on Saturday for her xmas dinner. Being at her house conjures up so many negative emotions for me. I didn't grow up in this house but it still echoes with the same sort of lack-of-comfort, alienation, and dusty sadness that my childhood home did. It doesn't feel like a home. If you want to get all psychologist-y, it makes my inner child very viscerally upset.

When my parents first divorced, the agreement was I would see my mother for a dinner and my father and brother would come over for Christmas day. This was the plan this year. When we were saying our goodbyes at my mother's place and me being ready to run away as far as I could from there, my mother said, "So, we'll see you Christmas morning, then!" Because, OF COURSE, if my father goes somewhere so does my mother. How else can she control him and keep him down otherwise?

I don't do gifts with them anymore, but I do with my brother, and so that's the only reason I have them here. Because he doesn't drive and if he needs to go somewhere, he has to go with them.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday Support Thread 2013
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:34 pm 
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paprikapapaya wrote:
This time of year is hard for me for a number of reasons. Most of you already know the story: my mother is an abusive narcissist who is also an alcoholic (she most likely has borderline personality disorder). My father is a homophobic, racist drug user who was completely absent from my life except to physically abuse me on my mother's orders. My brother is 24 and has such severe depression and eating disordered stuff that he has never had a job and never leaves home. I have next to no contact with my parents, but because my brother still lives with my mother, I have to keep peace to still be in his life...I'm pretty much the only person in the whole world he has contact with.

Also, did I mention my parents are divorced, my crasshole mother took my father to the cleaners financially and he still hangs around her like a puppy dog? And she lets him because he buys her things? She belittles him and makes fun of him constantly, but he keeps buying her things.

We had to go to her house on Saturday for her xmas dinner. Being at her house conjures up so many negative emotions for me. I didn't grow up in this house but it still echoes with the same sort of lack-of-comfort, alienation, and dusty sadness that my childhood home did. It doesn't feel like a home. If you want to get all psychologist-y, it makes my inner child very viscerally upset.

When my parents first divorced, the agreement was I would see my mother for a dinner and my father and brother would come over for Christmas day. This was the plan this year. When we were saying our goodbyes at my mother's place and me being ready to run away as far as I could from there, my mother said, "So, we'll see you Christmas morning, then!" Because, OF COURSE, if my father goes somewhere so does my mother. How else can she control him and keep him down otherwise?

I don't do gifts with them anymore, but I do with my brother, and so that's the only reason I have them here. Because he doesn't drive and if he needs to go somewhere, he has to go with them.
Just so you know, in my heart I am hugging you really hard right now.

Image

_________________
Nothing is safe from weiners in my neighborhood... ~ crowderpea
I didn't embarrass him by saying anything about wanking ~ 8ball
"SMLOUNCE!" ~ smurfterrobang?!
http://elizaveganpage.blogspot.com


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