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New here- How to deal with the holidays and extended family during turmoil
November 6, 2017
7:56 am
Tracy Franklin

Hello, everyone. I am so glad that I found this forum and am looking forward to getting to know you all.  A back story about me... I am a 36 year old mother of 2, happily married, and up until 4 months ago, had a fairly happy extended family as well.  A long overdue 'falling out' happened with my mother in the beginning of the summer. My mother has battled depression most of her life, and has severe self esteem/insecurity issues in addition to debilitating depression.  She has been medicated by a primary care doctor for these issues, however, has never sought help from a trained psychiatrist or counselor for these issues. During the 'falling out' back in June, my mother said that she wanted to end her own life, and told me that it would be my fault if she did.  I immediately knew that this was a bigger issue than I had ever anticipated. She was far more sick than I ever realized.  At the time my mother was watching my 2 young daughters 3 days a week. I knew that this was no longer a stable environment for them to be in. My mother told me that she would no longer be able to watch my children anymore, because she 'couldnt stand to deal with  me', on a daily basis. This was a blessing of sorts, because my  husband I knew that it would be in everyone's best interest to find alternate childcare.  We have since found a wonderful nanny to watch our girls. 

My question is, with the holidays coming up, how do you deal with extended family.  Out of respect for my mother, I have not mentioned this feud with anyone in my extended family, however, she has chosen to do so and it has caused a major divide.  She is clearly not telling the extended family the truth, and is making herself out to be the victim.  I understand that mental illness causes you to internalize reality differently, and without professional help, she is going to continue to deny her own actions, and blame others. I just dont know if I should sit the holidays out, until this is resolved, or continue to show up knowing that things are tense, and that others may also be looking at her as the victim and me as the bad guy.  I should mention that this is my mother's side of the family.  In the initial feud, she said 'Do not cause problems between my family and I', so clearly she considers them 'her' family, not mine at this point.  

Thank you in advance for your feedback. There is a much more detailed version of this entire story, but my main question was how to handle the holidays during a time of family turmoil. 



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