- 4 years ago
Regular bee going low profile here. I’m at my wits end trying to deal with my family. They are burning me out of energy. I can’t deal with the unbeliebable stress, anxiety, tension and hurt any more. I’m just so, so, so, tired. So tired. I need help.
I don’t even know where to start.
I come from a family that has some bad apples, there are 2-3 very unsavory characters and am looking for tricks, tips, tools and resources for dealing with them when I must be around them. It’s not often that I must be around them but sometimes I do (see #5 below for an example). (Holidays, birthdays, etc.) Alternatively, I’d like to learn how to handle friction over not attending some events that certain people will be at because I do not want to subject myself to their abusive behavior. Here is a bit of info on the situation:
1. The bad apples rotate, when one is behaving themselves and not causing any grief for once then another fills the position. So we can never have anything nice in our family. Four out of five occasions are ruined for everyone by these same 2-3 people. And the group as a whole is passive and enabling of this behavior, they indulge and coddle the bad behavior, I think out of fear and denial.
2. The bad behavior: they are loud, crass, disrespectful, rude, offensive, mean, threatening, agressive, dominating, uncivilized, verbally abusive and vulgar. One of them often makes me feel like she is on the verge of getting physical and she is very vocal with her ignorance and racism. There is also lies, endangerment, destruction of property, scape goating, manipulation and more.
3. Alcolol is always a factor, so it’s not as simple as leveling with the problem person. You cannot level or reason with a drunk. I haven’t been able to figure out how to even set boundries with a drunk. Is this possible?
4. My relation to the people – they are cousins and in laws. It used to also include a sibling, but knock-on-wood, this participant has cleaned up their act as of late.
5. The occasions – most recently (last night) it was a house warmng party for my own mother who I am very close to. She is older (widow) and needed help with having the party so I helped her as a co-host (created & sent evite, was the point of contact for questions/info, helped with menu & set up, helped give guests tours of new house, etc). It’s also Christmas, thanksgiving, birthday parties, etc., the typical times that extended family gets together. Also there is a “dinner club” that I’m part of with 5 other woman, it was started as a way for us to honor a dear aunt when she passed away over a decade ago. It has become increasingly hard to stay a member of this group because 2 of the bad apples are in it. Is there any way to navigate this? I’m pretty sure I just have to quit the dinner club.
6. I am also experiencing this problem with a friend recently. I know I can easily just sever ties with a friend but I also think setting some boundries & salvging the friendship (at least in some capacity) would be easier with a friend than relative. Since we chose eachother at one time, unlike family, I think there is more mutual respect and care to work with. With her I value the relationship and care about her more than with the family. I’d like to see this friendship through a rough spot if possible. She has been having a hard time lately with things beyond her control (an ectopic pregnancy for one) so I have a lot of empathy and cut her a lot of slack. But still this lashing out, lack of respect and decorum, the drinking, the erratic/vulgar/manipulative behaviour has to be curbed or the friendship will in deed be damaged beyond repair.
Is there a book that I will help me learn how to handle these people and these situations? A therapist? Some kind of life coach? At present time I’m having trouble with quite a few people. I know that logic says if you have a problem with that many people then the problem is probably you. But I’ve thought about this objectively and talked to a few people about it and it is fair to say that the problem is them. How the people around them react to them probably contributes to the problem and I’m surely part of that, but I just don’t any better. I have no idea how to navigate this world of utter dysfunction.
The thing that gets me is the bad apples are not blood, they are my relatives by marriage. I adore most of my famiy, my cousins, aunts and uncles. My mom, aunts and uncles are getting old, and they are peeling off once by one. I do not want to miss these last few holidays with them. Some of my cousins are very busy, traveling for work a lot and their kids are at ages that are demanding of their time (on travel teams and such) so it is difficult to see them outside of the holidays AND I just plain old want to have our family holiday not be ruined and made sick over what goes on. Is there any way? Am I in denial? Do I just kiss the family holidays goodbye, admit that those days are over? Try to make plans with individual family members (which is next to impossible) in order to see them?
Anyone have an experience with this stuff?