by Gray Graham
We often hear about the lonely for the holidays but rarely do we hear about those with family. In America we just tell people to be happy they have family and enjoy being with them. So many people pretend to create this fantasy but it is so far from reality that it is more than most people can bare.
The stress and heartache that come from being with your family has long been something to joke about but very few people take it seriously. I know many people like to live with the illusion that families just come together, laugh, eat, and have a merry old time, but for the majority nothing could be further from the truth.
The unfortunate reality is that in America there are so many broken homes with broken families that it really isn't even possible to have the fairy tale Christmas holiday. When you have children spread across divorced parents and families there is no way for that to happen and everyone is happy. Sure plenty of people put on the act that we are making it work just fine, but we know that is not possible because people can not be in 2 places at one time. Some of the worst family disputes occur during Christmas because emotions are so raw and the pain is great and it crushes many happy holidays.
And then there are the in-laws. Again the subject of many jokes. I know this is hard to believe but many people do not get along with their in-laws for a variety of reasons. Now imagine having to spend an entire day (if you are lucky it is just a day) with a group of people that you dislike and that dislike you. The worst part is that you can't even be honest about it so you have to spend a day biting your tongue.
If that is not painful then I don't know what is. Multiply that by a 1000 if you are the new boyfriend/girlfriend and this is your first time around these people at all. (Here is a bonus marriage tip, never and I do mean never marry someone and you have never spent any time with their family during the holidays. You are welcome because you will thank me later.)
Which brings us to your family. I know this is hard to admit but very few people like their family. Not just the racist uncle and alcoholic aunt, but your parents and siblings too. Heck sometimes your own children.
There is simply too many cases of domestic abuse and a lifetime of bad experiences for time with the family during Christmas to be anything other than an utter nightmare for so many people. Yet, so many people try to put on the act because they feel it is required. This is the poison that leads so many people to stay home alone so that they can avoid the torture of being around people they dislike. (This is why you need to meet your significant others family before you marry them especially when it has never been mentioned.)
Being alone during Christmas is hard but being with family is no picnic either. In many ways it can be worse because at least you are safe from others harming you when you are alone. When you are with family during Christmas, not so much.