When Family Makes You Feel Alone During the Holidays

I know I’m not alone when I say I don’t like the holidays. Everyone has their reasons. Family gatherings always reminded me of or created more bad memories. I moved away from home to get away from family. It never felt like family. Living on my own, and no family, watching everyone else enjoying the holidays with their loved ones; this only reminded me of what I didn’t have. For a few years, I didn’t have friends around the holidays. If I could, I worked on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Working was better than feeling lonely at home.

As I got older, I developed a kind of family with some friends and coworkers, but this took a long time to build. I had a place to eat on Thanksgiving. I had someone to exchange gifts with on Christmas. After a while, I realized this new family was only a step up from my biological family. It’s difficult feeling alone when you’re surrounded by people; people who are supposed to be there for you but never notice you because they’re trapped within their own mind and problems. Sometimes you can’t find people you click with. People vibrate at different frequencies.

Moving on, getting older, once again I thought I had found a family. The harsh reality that I’ll never be a part of the family as I would like to be is just as painful as feeling like nothing around my other family. I know I have people who care for me. I know they would be there if everything was falling apart. But people who care for you can still make you feel alone or not important without meaning to. There’s no malicious intent. They’re going through problems too. Other’s feelings are forgotten when you’re caught up in your own.

If I can, I still work on Christmas. There are too many unhappy memories around that holiday. At the moment, I’m trying to decipher how much fault is mine in dealing with anyone else. Do they inadvertently make me feel unimportant because I make them feel that way? I’ve started looking back at myself every time I feel wronged. I have to be careful otherwise I’ll fall into the habit of assuming I deserve poor treatment. When do I start assuming I deserve happy memories during the holidays? When do I feel like people want me around for the holidays? This year wasn’t bad. Each year gets a little better. 

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7 Replies to “When Family Makes You Feel Alone During the Holidays”

  1. I know exactly how you feel. Acquaintances have become more like family to me and make me feel as if I exist. As if I matter. Blood means nothing if they make you feel like an outcast. I’ve decided that whomever makes me feel loved, is family. Blood or no.

  2. I feel the same…I am alone for Christmas, in a place where I dont belong, with no real friends or family around…and for the first year not even with a Christmas tree

  3. Yes, it can be so lonely being around others. I also work holidays to keep me busy, as I don’t live near family. I have friends but they all spend holidays with their families. My spouse is with me though.

  4. My family is deeply fractured from addiction. I’m the scapegoat because I’m the only one willing and healthy enough to confront. I totally relate to your post and appreciate deeply you writing it. It has made me feel less alone and even “ok” for the moment. It has been extremely hard and another Christmas where Mom is in denial and my sister doesn’t even text me after sending gifts, cards, etc. It will be ok, all in due time. Thanks for sharing, it made me feel less alone.

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