Why Do Holidays Make Me Tired?

We had supper at my parents house tonight.  My parents are not the most supportive parents in the world, in fact they are down right critical.  No matter what you say to them they always know better and try to make it seem like you are an idiot for believing anything else. 

It's hard to grow up with people who are always trying to tear you down in some way instead of build you up.  If there is one thing I hope I got right as a parent is not to have been like that with my kids.  I hope I helped them see that they can do anything they put their minds to and that the things that they say are not stupid just because it's them saying them.

My sisters were not able to make supper because they had both gone out of town so it was just us.  Can I just say I am exhausted from trying to be a good guest and not storm out or act indignant that I'm being called an idiot to my face in front of my kids.  I do try to stand up for myself because I'm not going to be a punching bag but they just get louder and more nasty so I try to change the subject to something else.  Sometimes if they get real horrible and there are other people around we can sneak out early and not have to put up with it but since it was just use we couldn't.

No matter how old you get it still smarts when your parents are intentionally cruel.  I try not visit with them too often because the more you are around them the worse it gets.  I'm the middle child and believe me in my family I'm the one they like to pick on the most.  This always puzzles me because I'm the one who gave them the least grief as a kid.  My siblings were way more trouble than I ever was but they can do no wrong.  I'll never understand what their problem is and I expect they will never be able to explain it so I pretty much try to ignore it and let them be them.

I don't tell my family any of our personal struggles or money troubles.  They don't know much about my husbands problems or the son's difficulty.  I don't feel safe telling them anything because they are so critical and I want to protect my husband and son from that.  Who needs grandparents who are like that or In-Laws who are like that?  It's better for them to direct all their nasty at me and leave my kids and husband out of it.  I can take their crap, I've been doing it for 50 years now.

Family events can sometimes be exhausting.  I'm always trying to be careful of what I say or who I say anything to.  I pretty much don't say anything or keep fairly quiet so I don't draw their attention.  Family events are mostly to be endured but sometimes when the siblings are there we can have fun.

Mother's Day is coming up and I was reading other people's warm recollections of fun they had had with their mom's.  I can't really recall any times my mom and I were ever alone together and or had fun together.  I can't remember her cuddling with me or loving on me when I was a kid.  The only thing I can remember is she used to sing us songs before bed.  That's as loving as she got. 

It would have been nice to have had one of those mom's who snuggled and laughed with you and helped you see all your strengths.  I didn't have one of those mom's though.  I got one who isn't perfect and did the best she could with what she had.  I don't fault her for being the way she or my dad is but it also doesn't mean I feel any less tired around them.   I always come away from my time with them tired and feeling a bit depressed.

I will avoid them for the next month or so just so I can build myself back up and feel strong enough for the next family event.  My older sister can be a drain too but she's easier to avoid.  My younger sister doesn't visit often because she is "so busy". 

When I told the son we were going to my parents house for supper and no one else would be there he wanted to know why?  I told him everyone else was going away on some kind of a trip.  He says "we should go on a trip too."  He doesn't really want to go to their house either.  They have never paid the slightest attention to either of my kids and when they do it is plain they are trying to pretend that they are loving grandparents.  My kids see right through it and always have. 

Some days life is so hard.  These past few weeks have been exceptionally difficult and my hope is that things will lighten up soon. 


Mama Pea said…
Sounds as if you have a true read on your parents and are handling it in the best way possible . . . by avoiding contact with them as much as you can! If only people could see themselves as others see them. (I guess that applies to all of us, doesn't it?) But unfortunately a lot of folks seem to be totally lacking in self-awareness. Unless your parents are just plain evil (which I doubt), I'll bet they have no idea how their behavior affects you. I think it's a very normal response to feel tired and depressed after enduring circumstances like that. Ugh.
Sparkless said…
Mama Pea I think sometimes people treat others they way they were treated or how they learned to behave from their own parents. Patterns can change though if a person is willing but alas they are not and at their advanced ages I'm not going to expect them to. They do have their good sides and I do love them but just in small doses.

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