Should I Participate in Holiday Gatherings with Disrespectful Relatives?

Soul Screwed Series
sad dog during the holidaysMaria Korneeva Getty Images|istockphotos

The holidays are approaching and my family and I are expected to visit my mom's for the gathering. It was one of my favorite times of the year growing up as a child, however, that was ages ago. I met my now-husband when I was 16 years od and we had our first child early in high school. Of course, this wasn't planned, but my aunt reacted as if I woke up and said "make me a mom." For the past 5 years, she makes a point to compare me to my cousin. "Brittany graduated at the top of her class with no babies, Brittany went on a cruise last month, because she waited to have kids, Britt couldn't make it because she wasn't feeling well, you know she's still my little baby (sideways glance at me)" I graduated the same year as my cousin, as well as my husband for the record and we pay rent in our own house while she stays rent-free at home. Every get-together my aunt and several other relatives belittle me in front of my daughter, make rude remarks towards my husband, and pretty much make me feel like the black sheep. How do I put up with my family during these upcoming holidays when all they opt to do is belittle me and criticize my mere existence? Is it wrong if I respond? I love the holiday and my family, but I don't feel like dealing with the negativity. - Kim

Hey Kim! Happy holidays and I truly hope you find peace during this time because everyone deserves it. If you aren't receiving this love from your relatives during the holiday then stop going. Stop subjecting yourself and your family to this negativity and constant bashing. I understand how this response can sound disheartening, however, I believe this is the emotion is what your husband is tired of feeling. Use this opportunity to start a tradition for your family. Create some happy memories. It’s a popular saying that ‘you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family’, nonetheless, you can make the decision to not associate with individuals who are draining your mental and emotional health including relatives. Your aunt could probably be holding some unspoken jealousy of you, thus making you the black sheep as a cover-up. Sometimes it's not the individual that is the black sheep but the family as a whole. The individual is just a lucky escape goat. I hope you and your family are able to make the best of the holidays for yourselves and find happiness. Sending good vibes! -SSS

Have you ever dealt with narcissistic relatives? Are you the black sheep or escape goat in your family? Should Kim continue her visits or start making memories of her own?

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