The holidays

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Rainbird, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. Rainbird

    Rainbird New Member

    How do you ge through the first (or any) of the holidays without your difficult child? My daughter and I loved decorating and spending Halloween together. I walked into CVS today
    And saw Halloween costumes and decorations and left the store sobbing.
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    We've had to do this for years because bio mom had kids alternating years. It is awful... But... doable. You just have to find a different way of celebrating.

    Or not... You can take a day off and give yourself a spa treatment, even if only at home.

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    We had to do this the first year that our son (the one adopted from Hong Kong) got married and decided t hat we are no longer his family. He had been a big part of our holidays before that and we always had them at his house because he had a huge home and seemed to like being the host. Suddenly, we had to redo everything.
    What I did was try to put "holiday" in perspective. It is just another day. Often it's a sad day (I told myself I am not alone, that anyone experiencing family problems will be feeling the same emptiness). I decided to concentrate hard on my sweet husband the children I have that love me...and give them a great holiday because they deserve one. We managed and it wasn't as horrible as I thought it would be. In fact, it was less stressful because he had been more formal than the rest of us and we could just let our hair down and be ourselves.
    Five years have gone by and holidays are a lot of fun. That first one is hard, but there ARE ways. (((Hugs)))
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My experiences are a little different. Cory had been on and off with holidays during his teen years because he was in placements but they normally tried to have him at home for the big ones...Xmas and Thanksgiving. Now he may not have been home for the others like Halloween, Easter...etc. I would always take treats up to wherever he was though.

    Now when Jamie left home it was hard. The first holidays were hard. He was my big Easter freak. Up to the year he left he always wanted to hunt eggs. Even at 17. LOL. (He left at 18 just before Easter) He was in Boot Camp for Easter and even though I was only supposed to send them cough drops, I broke the rules and sent lollipops shaped like eggs. Jamie had to do extra pushups for that they still got the lollipops! The whole time he was in the Marines, I dont think he actually got to come home for many holidays on the exact day. Sometimes we went up and stayed there and then brought him home. One Easter I went up and took him Easter eggs and we hid them all over the gates he was working for the guys he worked It was a blast.
  5. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I am dreading the major holidays too... I assume difficult child will leave school over Thanksgiving but I am not sure if he will
    join us at home for the break or join us for the day or neither. Same with Christmas. I dread it-uncertainty bothers me-but it's too soon to broach it and I have to let it be.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Katie and the kids were gone for about 7 yrs, 6 yrs?

    The first were the toughest. I made the effort to do things that would make me enjoy the holidays or that would really help someone else who would appreciate it, enjoy the holidays. Toys that I'd have liked to have bought for kayla and alex were donated to toys for tots. We made a special effort to choose activities we all truly enjoyed and backed off from others. That first year I wasn't just trying to cope myself, but also trying to help the family cope. I made sure I got in plenty of me time. And yes, there were plenty of tears.

    Holidays and birthdays always got to me. Not nearly as bad after the first couple, but I never stopped thinking about them, regardless of how much I tried.

  7. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    I don't as much experience with this from a difficult child standpoint, but I do from a divorce standpoint.

    It is hard..

    The first year my DEX was gone, Halloween was the first "holiday". difficult child was 14 (but this kid never outgrew Halloween!!) and she decided to go trick or treating with the little boy she babysat for. I was totally cool with this - it gave her the proper excuse to still go out, but it was so hard to be here with the doorbell ringing and the cute little kids,in my empty house so suddenly alone.

    The first Christmas without DEX, we changed our Christmas Eve routine completely - went with my sister's family to their church, niece's house for dinner, home to watch a movie. It helped to change things but to still celebrate the holiday.

    As her GFGness emerged,she would sometimes use the holidays - as to which parent she chose to be with - in ways that were less than easy on any of us. Again, we changed and adapted. I am fortunte to have a very cooperative DEX as far as this goes.

    The holidays are hard on anyone who is struggling with a life change. Be kind to yourself and know that it will get easier.... not easy, but easier.
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Holidays this year are going to be tough. J is used to every-other year being with bio... Christmas will be horribly tough on him. Halloween, not so much, mostly because it's always been O and husband that do more than bio or I.

    2009, Bio picked up J, and I went to BFFs' and out with them and their kids. O and husband were at the haunted trail.
    2010, I took J out to the BFFs'... O and husband, same.
    This year? I think I'm gonna try to do the same.
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    There are so many "triggers" for our emotional loss and the holidays are surely a major one. My husband and I just "maned up" and avoided the emotional pain...not the healthiest choice, lol. Subsequently I just avoided the sights and sounds of the holidays....still not the healthiest choice.

    Some parents have redirected their attention from at home preparations and celebration by volunteering to help the less fortunate, changing their routine by joining other family groups or simply going to the movies etc. I think this is the better way to go. on the other hand, you are grieving and that process takes time. Sending hugs. DDD
  10. Bean

    Bean Member

    Holidays are hard. My daughter was in jail around the holidays, but always got out before them (except her b-day once, I think). The past few years of ill-feelings and chaos definitely changed the face of things. We try to keep them as normal as possible. My daughter tends to get tense around holidays, though, and that doesn't help.
  11. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    think of it this way...if your daughter grew up and got married, she would be decorating her own house, making new traditions with her husband and his family. when they are with us, we do what we can, when they move out or move on it changes. even when my son was in prison for holidays or birthdays, I did what I could to help him know he was important to me. I like the suggestions of helping those with less to celebrate. one thing I did was give all the old sports equipment that my sons had to a home for troubled youth.