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Holidays?


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Hi everyone,

I know the major holidays are a few months away but I've already been beginning to dread them because they will be the first without my Dad. I have no doubt they will be emotionally difficult (I cry at the thought of them without Dad) but I was counting on support from my brother, who lives in WI with his wife and my nephew. I learned today that his mother-in-law is pressuring them to stay in WI so he doesn't know if he can be here. When I heard that I first became angry at the utter selfishness of his mother-in-law then became despondent at the thought of having to deal with my Mom and senile Grandmother by myself. I don't even know how I'M going to make it through the holidays, let alone put on another face that literally could spark a mental breakdown. It's just too much - I've written that I suffer from clinical depression and know that if I have to go it alone it will do me in completely. Has anyone else been in this situation? It's going to come to my choosing my mental health (which won't be great to begin with) over faking it for my Mom and Grandmother. If I do the latter it could easily send me over the edge into an abyss that took me eight years to climb out of. I'm 36 and can't suffer through that again.

Sorry to ramble...

Kathy

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Kathy,

Don't apologize for rambling....you weren't, and even if you were, it's ok! I have a thought. Could you go to visit your brother instead of him coming to you? If so, would this make your mom mad, sad, or anything else negative? Or, just say your going out of town because of the stress of it being the first season without your dad, that you feel you just can't even celebrate. If so, you could really go, or just pretend and hide away. I don't know the dynamics of the relationship you have with your mom, so this may be way out of the realm of possibility. But if you could swing it, it might solve your problem.

And, I don't blame you for feeling that your brothers mother-in-law is being cold and selfish....she is! Or at least that's the way I see it!

I think protecting your mental health is top priority, so don't feel guilty.

Good luck.

Hugs,

Shell

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Shell,

Thanks for the advice, it helps to know that preserving my sanity has to take priority even if my Mom doesn't understand it. I put on a face for my birthday in order to appease her and just don't think I can do it this first holiday season unless I have my brother around. Going out to see him is an option and if that's what she wants to do I'd be fine with that but I can't support her alone anymore when I feel like I'm sinking fast. She just can't take a step back and see that I hurt too (she NEVER asks how I am, everything is about her) and that having severe depression makes any sort of pressure ten times worse! I noticed that dpoesta (I know I spelled his name wrong) posted another thread on dealing with the holidays and have the same questions he has about handling them. Argghhhh...

Kathy

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Hi Kathy,

I notice that you are not alone in your thoughts about handling the holidays; as we head into Autumn and the holiday season that follows, several of our members are expressing similar concerns. So as you begin to think about those dreaded days and how you want to spend them, I want to point you (and others who may be reading this) to some resources that may help you plan ahead and feel more in control of your life.

Just click on the Coping with the Holidays ~ Articles page of my Grief Healing Web site, and you'll find a list of links to some very helpful articles by several different authors devoted to that very topic.

See also Permission to Mourn This Holiday Season.

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Thank you for the informative links, Marty! I read through a few of them this evening and now I don't feel so bad if I tell my mother what I need to do to survive despite the fact that my feelings don't seem to matter that much to her. She wants to preserve traditions, which I do understand, but for me this is not the time and nothing is traditional about the holidays now that Dad is gone. I'm anticipating a showdown with her and will definitely be sending her the links with hopes that she'll read them and try to recognize that my grief isn't a mirror image of hers, just as hers isn't at all similar to mine due to the mix of circumstances.

Thanks again,

Kathy :wub:

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KathyD,

After my dad died, my mom seemed to forget about my feelings and grief too. I have tried to help her with her grief and problems as much as I can (I live with her and take care of her, the house, our kitties), but realized that I had to help myself too. I still take care of her, of course, but I try to make time for myself too, although it's not easy! Sometimes I have to be selfish and just take a nap or do something I want to do, even if it makes her "pouty". I love her with all my heart, but there is only so much you can do. You have to think of yourself when it's really important, and certainly YOUR mental health is very important. I don't mean to sound callous, but the old expression "She'll get over it" has to become part of your thinking.

It's hard!

Hugs,

Shell

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Hi Kathy,

I notice that you are not alone in your thoughts about handling the holidays; as we head into Autumn and the holiday season that follows, several of our members are expressing similar concerns. So as you begin to think about those dreaded days and how you want to spend them, I want to point you (and others who may be reading this) to some resources that may help you plan ahead and feel more in control of your life.

Just click on the Coping with the Holidays ~ Articles page of my Grief Healing Web site, and you'll find a list of links to some very helpful articles by several different authors devoted to that very topic.

See also Permission to Mourn This Holiday Season.

Thank you so much for mentioning this, Marty....I went to your site this evening and read some of the articles. I printed some of them out to re-read later. They are a very good place to start for ideas and comfort.

Hugs,

Leann

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Hi All,

As the holidays are right around the corner it is a time that most of us are dreading very much... I would like to say that I too dread this as well... I just wish that there was some kind of program that could be set up for anyone who is having problems could go to over the holiday season than they could meet others and maybe form some kind of support group for this time of year... Take care and God Bless You All Shelley

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I just wish that there was some kind of program that could be set up for anyone who is having problems could go to over the holiday season than they could meet others and maybe form some kind of support group for this time of year...

Your concerns are valid. When we’re in the midst of grief and it seems as if the rest of the world wants to give thanks and celebrate, we need to find ways to manage our pain and get through the upcoming holiday season with a minimum of stress.

At this difficult time of year, be aware that many community organizations offer workshops designed to help you deal more effectively with grief and to promote personal growth and healing.

Please check with your local hospice, church, synagogue, mortuary or library to find out what may be available in your own community.

As it does each November, Hospice of the Valley’s Bereavement Department in Phoenix, Arizona is sponsoring its own Coping with the Holidays Workshop. Topics to be covered include:

• Coping Skills

• Rituals to Help in the Healing Process

• Reminiscing and Memorializing

• Renewal and Creative Beginnings

• Finding Peace Within

• Forming a Plan to Meet Your Needs

For further information, please contact the Bereavement Office at 602-530-6970/6971.

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Thanks Marty T,

I know about some of the workshops through my local hospice but right now I am not grieving my parents as much as my childhood home.. I know it is silly but after twenty eight years in the same house I miss it very much... So I do not think that they have a workshop for this so I guess I will just have to deal all by myself... Take care Shelley

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