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The Day For Family Dysfunction....From The Eyes of the "Black Sheep"

posted 11/22/2009 6:48:23 PM |
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I haven't liked them since I was about seven years old. At the risk of sounding like an angsty teenager, they just don't "get me". We stopped spending Thanksgiving with them in 2006 after a huge blowup when my cousin Jeffrey made a cruel remark to my sister and I, after having suffered years of his abuse and having gone virtually undefended, rushed to her defense. He went on the defensive as well and of course denied any wrongdoing.

We spent Thanksgivings 2006 and 2007 with dear family friends, and I felt much more comfortable than I had in years. Last year we spent it alone at a buffet.

This year we're going back to spend it with them, and I've decided that Thanksgiving is a holiday where you gather round a table with people you just really don't like but have to deal with anyway because you're stuck with them. Unless you have a perfect magazine family, you probably have some sort of family dysfunction. I enjoy seeing some of them like their children, except the one because she just plain doesn't like me so I don't enjoy being in her presence either.

I would rather spend Thanksgiving with my sister and a few friends. I know Kelly never does anything on Thanksgiving and I think it would be cool to spend it with her, maybe Jeanine, my sister, and Ava. It would be so much more comfortable.
I'd rather feel comfortable than feel forced. I'd rather not feel forced to spend a holiday with people who don't want to be around me anyway.

I have never really enjoyed Thanksgiving (except last year and the two Thanksgivings spent with family friends). I can't remember a time where I really had fun besides then. I don't particularly enjoy eating the food (turkey in particular tastes dry and a little bland to me), and the fact that the whole thing is a lie really taints it for me. Did the Native Americans and the pilgrims really sit down and try to get along? No. The "first Americans" needlessly slaughtered the Natives until they got what they wanted. Land. Freedom to practice their religion and later impose it and kill for it. That fact ruins the holiday for me. I don't want to ruin it for other people, so I don't usually speak up about it.

At least they're not making us sit at the kiddie table anymore. That was probably the most demeaning part: being stuck with a bunch of little ones who couldn't talk about anything but Bratz dolls and being sixteen. I remember I read a manga the whole way through dinner.

And every Thanksgiving I've always kept my head up during grace. I don't like how it's just assumed that we all want to say it.

Maybe some of the dysfunction is my fault. In fact I'm sure it is. But at this point I've tried to reach out, especially to my two adult cousins and they just don't want anything to do with it. So I feel like when I have my own kids and Carianne and I are adults, we'll be spending Thanksgiving together and with friends.

The only thing that keeps me going is knowing that after Thanksgiving Christmas is only a month away, and Christmas means seeing my dad's side. Italians are so much better. Sorry to be racist...but that's my experience. We don't hold things inside until they explode. We fight it out and then hug and kiss.

My mother's side are a bunch of rich bastards who ignore you when they don't want to "deal" with the fact that you're different. My dad's side has been by my side through it all. The extra weight, the goth-ness, the everything weird. They loved me. My mom's side? They'd rather pretend you don't exist.

Fack em. Fack Thanksgiving. Wish I could skip it, or spend it with people who don't want to push me to the side and "not deal with me".

If you're not the black sheep, treat the black sheep with care. Love them. Welcome them with open arms. You'll spot them from childhood. Encourage it, because trust me, if you don''s not going to go'll just frustrate them. I promise you, your holidays will be so much nicer if you just welcome them and accept them for who they are...

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Nov 22 @ 6:59PM  
Ive had both good and bad family experiences.......the thing is.....with family....youre kind of required to be there.....ive always done something with my far as the extended family.....i hardly see any of them anymore.......and thats the way i like it......cookie

Nov 22 @ 7:02PM  
Don't play with hornet's nest if you don't wanna get stung !

Part of our constitution provides that no tradition is forced on anyone and that includes attending family gatherings !!

Why make yourself miserable by wasting a day with people you don't care for and could care less if they didn't see you !

Take it from a Black Sheep, "I'd rather be alone than to be wishing I were"

Nov 22 @ 7:14PM  
I think with immediate family you're "required" to be there, unless something REALLY awful happened to split you up like abuse. But with extended family? Nah, no way.

I'm going because my family's going and I don't want to be alone...

Nov 22 @ 7:21PM  
Requirements are kinda based and regulated on where one might be living .........under your roof ...........or their's !!

Nov 22 @ 7:24PM  
I'm not looking forward to Thanksgiving this year for quite the opposite reason of you.
I enjoyed your blog & wish you well.

Thank you for giving me the umph to put my own thoughts about the holiday down in writing.

Nov 22 @ 7:33PM  
Nobody can force an adult to celebrate against their what YOU want now...

Nov 22 @ 8:47PM  
After my Grandma died, I moved into this house, that held all my child hood memories of every family gathering.

My thought was to carry on the traditions just as she had... thats when I found out the level of dysfunction there is in my family... on all sides! Holy shit are we broken!

I tried and tried to keep the glue holding but it just didnt work, so I gave up...
Year before last was my parents, my brother, his wife, her mother and new husband, her son and kids, my then fiance, my boys. My mom found out that my brothers wifes MOM was going to be there and refused to attend. Total chaos and stress... hated it.

Last year was my then fiance, my brother, dad, sil and my then fiances kids and boyfriends.... total stress and chaos... hated it!

This year, single, my boys are with their dad for Thanksgiving day and I am going to volunteer at a church in Indy serving meals to the needy... then Im going home, get a bottle of wine , curl up on the couch with Cookies movie suggestion and thank God for my blessings in my own way.

You get a Kudo for this one, made me remember all the torturous times we had as well. Great blog!

Nov 22 @ 9:31PM  
for Thanksgiving day and I am going to volunteer at a church in Indy serving meals to the needy...

I am ashamed as I do not know WHY I hadn't thought of that.

Volunteering is a wonderful idea & something I will definitely keep in mind for next year! Helping always makes a person feel good!

Nov 23 @ 10:17PM  

I've got the same problem on my Mother's side of the family. There are a few good people, but most are rotten to the core, and I avoid them like the plague.

One thing I DID do, is I got the 'cool' family members together one year when we were supposed to have a get-together of everyone. Long story short, only the nice people had their own get-together, and we boycotted the rotten-apples. Needless to say, we got our point across. There's nothing worse than to be around people you can't stand (who think they're better than you) for the holidays.

Now, those 'holier-than-thou' people are stuck with themselves, competing with each other as to who has more, or is more important........ and they can have it!!!

Nov 24 @ 3:06AM  
I don't want to talk about how I will spend the holiday as I already have the cry lump in my throat just reading the blog and peoples comments.

I to was going to suggest not going and volunteering at any type of event that is serving lunch/dinner to the needy. One of the best suggestions I can offer you, if you have a homeless shelter in your town or nearby, if you're feeling unhappy after (or before) your own family gathering, take something to the shelter, a few pumpkin pies, any type of dessert (cookies, brownies), or fruit. You will make the clients feel cared about and it will warm your own heart. I will do my own blog about my affiliation with my local homeless shelter as soon as I think I can get through it without crying my eyes out.

Sometimes just being able to spend time with family, even the dysfunctional ones, is better than having no one to spend it with...but, if it's detrimental to your psyche, than I say, skip it, come up with another plan.

Good luck and happy gobble gobble .
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