It's the least wonderful time of the year
December 14, 2009 10:43 AM Subscribe
How to handle an abusive, alcoholic family for Christmas - now and in years to come?
posted by anonymous to human relations (40 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I am 25 years old, and have managed to (mostly) escape my emotionally abusive, alcoholic family. I only go home once a year...and that's for Christmas. Needless to say, this is my least favorite time of the year, and I'm freaking out about heading home in a few weeks.
I don't have many friends in my hometown anymore, and my family doesn't really venture outside the house. Basically, each Christmas is three or four days of drinking, screaming, weeping, cursing, falling over, and general angst.
Although I hope to eventually not go home for Christmas, right now it's just not an option. What I'm looking for are some good coping strategies to deal with holidays at home. How can I reduce my stress and fill the endless hours? How do I prevent myself from getting hurt when situations like the following happen?
- my grandmother gets too drunk to stand before dinner even starts
- my father screams at my mother to go lay down because nobody wants to look at her anymore and she's an embarrassment to her children
- my mother hides weeping in the basement and when I go to find her, she begs me to "throw her in rehab" if she ever gets as bad as my grandmother
(This was all last Christmas, by the way.)
Things I've done in years past include watching a lot of TV, playing on the internet all day, and altering my sleep schedule to limit the amount of hours my family and I are mutually awake.
One note - I don't drink during the holidays, because I see what it does to my family, and I also have an intense fear of losing control around them and bringing their wrath onto me.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I know this probably doesn't sound too terribly bad, but it hurts me a lot every single year and I would love to learn how to make it hurt less. Throwaway email is email@example.com.