I love the holidays at my clinic, at home, and with my friends but holidays with my family seriously stress me out. I don't know exactly why but its isn't really all that enjoyable for me. I prefer the company of the family I make for myself: my boyfriend, our pets, me and our close friends.
At the clinic we decorate for christmas/winter holiday. None of us are religious at all but we enjoy celebrating christmas for what it is to us: Spending time with the people you love. We decorate the clinic with a few miniature trees, garlands, and other decorations. It really cheers us up some days and its fun to do together.
At home I decorate (or attempt to) for Halloween/thanksgiving/fall and christmas/winter. Its fun for me to spruce up our little apartment with the limited stuff I have. Halloween is always fun because I have a bunch of black lights and this huge spider web made of lights. Christmas has the traditional mini tree, lights, and random other decorations.
I guess what the problem is that I feel comfortable at all of these places except for my parents house. (As always for identification purposes my parents are my mom and stepdad and my dad is my Dad) I usually get to bring my dogs to my parents house. Even though bringing dogs with you can be kind of like dragging your kids along they make me feel more comfortable and ease my anxiety. Even so I find myself getting annoyed, anxious, and often immediately feeling like I want to leave. Christmas morning is a little easier for me for some reason. Its really not the fact that I get presents but maybe its because everyone else is too. I find that during our traditional christmas morning (while we hand out our gifts and open them one at a time showing them off to one another) I'm not bothered as much. My stepdad isn't yelling at my brothers for some idiotic reason, my step-grandparents aren't asking me stupid (and often the same fucking) questions, my family isn't ignoring the veterinary advice they always ask for, my mom is actually spending time with us instead of only her husband, and their dog is actually behaving because she is sitting near me. Those few hours I watch my family and enjoy being there, regardless of gifts, those few hours make me realize why I actually visit more than once a year. To placate them. So I can tolerate christmas. Ha!
While I love them they completely drive me crazy and our relationship is IMMEASURABLY better when I don't see them often. Maybe it's me, maybe I'm intolerant, but this is how I make it work.
The problem this year is that my mom has asked me to leave the dogs home for the holidays. I'm already anxious :( I understand why. There will be 4 people who are unsteady on their feet and my mom already has two large dogs and one hasn't met my dogs yet. I understand leaving them home so we don't have a doggy brawl or someone breaking a hip but they keep me distracted from my anxiety and desire to leave. I don't know what to do if she asks me to leave them home for christmas, they are my kids and I've always had them there. And they love christmas, strictly for their gifts I'm sure!
Explaining to my mother that I may need to leave early if I get anxious was as difficult as trying to explain to her that I started seeing a psychiatrist and starting taking meds (back in 2003). This year I got the "You just have to breathe speech" regarding anxiety. And back when I started seeking treatment for my mental health I was given the "Its mind over matter." Both times I wanted to scream. Ugh...aren't these supposed to be the people who understand you? I feel like I'm always being told to get over it. Whatever. I see no point in stressing myself out for no reason, if I get anxious and need to leave, I'm going to leave. My sanity must come first.
Other than the obligatory family visits I really love the holidays. What do you all do for the holidays?
Oh just you wait…holiday pet
torture photographs to come soon. I can’t find the old ones so that’s why I chose pics from the interwebz.