To go away on holidays for Christmas or not?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by welcometowitsend, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. We usually go to Florida for 2-3 weeks almost every Christmas. We take the kids, do theme parks, beach etc.. It is very relaxing and one of the few times my husband can get away and not lose a ton of money at work (he is self employed).

    difficult child had a pediatrician appointment. yesterday and before the appointment I told him we weren't sure if we were still going because husband is very busy with work but if we were going was he thinking of coming with us? He said "No. Even when I was still living with you I didn't want to go with you. I don't want to spend Christmas with you because it always turns into a fight." This isn't true at all but his thinking is distorted so I didn't take the bait.

    Sooooo, part of me feels horrible about the prospect of going on a holiday and not being here for my son. I've obviously never spent a Christmas apart from him and it doesn't feel good - even though he says he doesn't want to see us.

    Another part of me thinks we should go. Why disappoint easy child because of difficult child, we NEED this vacation because of all the stress we've been under dealing with difficult child.

    So - go or don't go?
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Sounds like he made his wishes pretty clear. I think your post said it all, it is super hard to change tradition though. My sister went to Fla a couple of years ago and we had always had our kids together, Christmas was just not the same. She said she would never do it again but even so, at the time, we all survived and had a good time.

    I think (not that my thoughts carry any weight, lol) that sticking with what works for you and easy child and husband would be best. Why reinforce that kind of behavior in difficult child?

    Maybe just keep the door open but do not bet him to come or anything. SUch a bummer, the holidays are supposed to be such a time of joy.
  3. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    I'd ask him one more time before you make definite reservations, and I'd go either way. That's JMO, though.
  4. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I also am of the mind, that in your shoes, I would ask one more time and then either way, I would arrange the holiday. I don't think its fair for an entire family to miss out on a enjoyable tradition, and for the two adults to miss a much needed and coveted vacation to relax during, because one person decides for whatever reason that they aren't into it anymore. Especially if that person is a difficult child, and just being ornery. I know it would feel weird without him, but if it has no value to him anyhow, it likely would have little value to him to share the holidays at home with you all either. So I would arrange your holiday, and enjoy. Maybe he will change his mind. Never know.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Isnt your difficult child moving out anyway? GO!

    Once kids grow up, and your son seems to be telling you he wants to be a grown up now, they pull away from parents and dont want to do as many things with them anymore. We have to make our own new traditions. My psychiatrist asked me yesterday what I was doing for Thanksgiving and I couldnt tell I really dont know. I know we are getting a turkey but I have no clue if we are cooking here, if we are going to Cory's, if Cory and Mandy are doing the rounds of families, or what is going on. The only thing I do know is Jamie isnt coming here. They are going to Billie's father's in the mountains of VA. Frankly I dont care what we are doing. LOL
  6. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Go! In his mind it might be his best xmas (you know, no fighting ann all ;-)
  7. Buddy - You are right. difficult child will know how much it will hurt to be without him on Christmas. He is probably just being manipulative. The other part of it is that it will add to his story of woe and the attention he will get when he can tell everyone that his parents abandoned his poor homeless soul at Christmas time so they could take the favoured sister to Florida on a holiday. He loves to be pitied.

    Calamity and Mattsmom - I will ask him again between now and then. We are taking our trailer down and staying in a campground so the reservations won't change if he comes or not. I guess if he tells me twice I should listen.

    Janet - We had told him he needed to get a new place to live and that he could stay with us until December 1 but we may have let him stay longer if he was having trouble finding a place but actively looking and not causing too many problems. He asked me for his lighters and pocket knives back and I told him that I would give them back when he had his own place but if he intended to spend any time here overnight that I wasn't comfortable with him having them. He has lit off books of matches in his room before and he has had issues with cutting in the past. He makes us nervous. He insisted on having them returned to him and I told him that if he made that choice it was ok but that he wouldn't be allowed to stay here any longer. He took the knives and lighters. So he won't be back.

    Busy - I did let him know that he had the option of seeing his grandparents over Christmas as well and he kind of shrugged his shoulders and made a face like "why would I want to do that." My mom has texted him a few times and he doesn't even acknowledge her.

    So, thank you for your replies. I will ask him one more time (well, depending on his behaviour between now and then) and then we will just go on our holiday with a clear conscience.
  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Go. Your difficult child will know how to reach you. It's a good controlled test of his getting on on his own with a definite end in site.
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    by the way I meant do not beg...not bet, duh.....sorry
  10. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    What Janet said. I also agree with Buddy's advice not to beg. Ask one more time, and then plan your trip with the rest of your family.

    I agree that it's a great test of your difficult child's ability to function independently, and it's part of his process of distancing from the family as he gets older. It's also likely a test of HOw Much Power Do I Have In This Family. If you change the whole group's plans just because difficult child doesn't want to play, then he has WAY too much power over the rest of the family. On the other hand, if you carry on with your plans and leave him an open invitation to join you, then he has a better understanding of his rightful place in the pecking order.
  11. Trinity - Thank you. I love the way you put that. difficult child has had a lot of power in this family and had everyone walking on eggshells for far too long. You are right - it is definitely time for him to understand his place and to understand that he does not control me.

    We have definitely decided to go on our trip. I am looking forward to feeling that sunshine on my face. :)