Great idea for a thread as usual...
First off, let me say that it sadens me terribly that certain family members treated you so cruelly... You, V, are an upstanding member of this forum... You are compassionate, caring, and give 110% of yourself in your drive to help others! And that's not even including the help, love, support and work that you did for your father.
I just wanted to let you know how I felt about that V, and to say that I really do pray that our loving God will reach into those who have hurt you (and are probably hurting themsleves as well) and give them new hearts and a conversion of mind.
These are my thoughts about my current family situation and how it relates...
I grew up with a rather dysfunctional family. For some strange reasons, it never seemed to translate into a stressful Holiday season. As an married adult with kids, I have seen 2 Holiday seasons that were what I would call struggles for me to maintain sanity.
the first was when my father died. He died on Dec 6 2007. Ironically, Dec 6 just happens to be St Nicholas Day. That entire month of December was so shot for me due to ongoing issues that included having to make long trips down to San Jose through bad weather, having to deal with family coming in (some of whom were not on speaking terms), my father's completely cluttered house, having to make arrangements with personnel from his work in order to have a memorial, desparately trying to locate credit cards to shut down accounts (of which he had many), trying to figure out how living, cleaning arrangements were going to be made, trying to figure out just what the heck duties I had as an administrator of his estate, etc, etc, etc...
The second Holiday season that was a complete nightmare was Dec 2008. This was when I developed inter dose w/d from the klonopin and was trying to drop my A/D at the same time. I don't think I can put into words just how sick I got trying to do that. It was horrible!
The good news for me now, is that I no longer have much contact with the troublemakers in the family. My stepgrandfather was cruel to my wife and kids and I the last time we visited them at their house during the Holiday season. He simply would not aknowledge us when we were there. My kids had even drawn pictures for him... It was sad.
Later, we found out that my sister (the alocoholic) had been having conversations with him about me saying that I was trying to kick her and her drunk boyfriend out of my dad's house and also that I was not doing anything to help them out.
The truth was that they had no right to stay there and were simply loitering... but my stepgrandfather being the ignorant person that he is did not bother to try to consider the source of his misinformation.
And so it goes... I am fortunate to have a pretty supportive family around me now and the ones who have gotten ugly, I have no further contact with. I realize that this isn't an option for everybody... Sometimes you have to deal with difficult family members whether you want to or not.
I can definetley feel the pain of having to put up with that kind of a situation even if I'm not currently going through it. It just seems that there are some people in the world who seem to thrive on hatred, turmoil and uggliness. I have seen it in my dad's family. It's like people who have an addiction to hatefulness. In the end, however, people like that will end up reaping what they sow. We, unfortunatley, end up being vulnerable at times (because we are people who care so much and have big hearts) and sometimes we temporarily get snared by their amusement. However, I do believe that time will set things right. In 20 or 30 years from now, where will destructive family members be? Probably still miserable. Where will we be? Enjoying our fruits and labor! It takes time but the good seeds that you sow now, will tranform into a bountiful harvest later.
Sorry if I couldn't added more. I do have quite a bit of philisophical feelings about this kind of situation, so this was how I chose to reply.