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<p>I'm trying.  I really am trying.  Joy is so important to me and opening my heart to love and light.  I'm just struggling right now.  Can I just vent?</p>
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<p>I was determined to remake Christmas season into Yule Season and center it around the solstice.  I am homeschooling and planned our solstice books, solstice activities, making solstice sun cupcakes, and put up a yule tree and yule lights outside.  It's just so hard though when everyone around you is celebrating something you don't believe in.  In my case I don't believe in Christmas OR the consumerism involved. </p>
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<p>I have years of negatives in my life I am going up against as well as a strong history of depression and some weird type of epilepsy that no one could ever explain fully.  I couldn't handle being on western medicine drugs anymore because what they were doing to my body so I now have no "support" from ways I used to cope with things. These weren't healthy ways of coping so I'm fine without them.  Just some days come and "blam" everything shatters down on me. </p>
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<p>I'm using the universal laws, I'm using affirmations, I've released the negatives and I am so stressed right now my nerves keep on cutting circulation out of my arms (I'm not kidding).  I took a shower tonight just to have a safe place to cry.</p>
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<p>For starters - last night someone stole the lightbulbs off my yule lights outside.  We protected our property with energy so this doesn't make sense to me.  Unless the energy wants us to learn something.  Who steals lightsbulbs?  6 of them to be exact.  Who in the world steals 6 LED lightbulbs and covers?  I makes me want to give up on yule altogether. </p>
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<p>In my previous posts you can see I choose to take my MIL out of my house.  On top of the stolen yulelights I was told today by DH that his mom and sister are coming down for dinner at 1 pm on Christmas.  He works Christmas Eve until 7 pm and then works again Christmas at 4 am so he won't be home to help me cook.  I can't cook.  I am also told I will have to prepare a plate of food for SIL's boyfriend who I won't allow in the house under any circumstance.  But he needs his Christmas dinner so I am expected to cook for him.  I'm trying to have a joyful heart and realize he technically is human and I need to be loving towards him but really? </p>
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<p>The last time my MIL visited my DH wasn't home and I had such a bad panic attack over the visit.  When she left I was alone with my kids, age 3 and 5, and I felt like my skin was crawling off.  I don't have panic attacks in daily life unless it involves my MIL.</p>
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<p>Here I am stuck in a stupid holiday season I don't believe in, trying to make it something I do believe in, and everything is shattering down.  Maybe I'm trying too hard. </p>
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<p>I don't know.  I give up.  Is there a cave I can crawl into and hibernate?</p>
 

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<p>I'm so sorry you're going through this. I'm having similar feelings about this entire season. Every year I go through tons of inner turmoil and every year I suffer major depression and anxiety (on top of other mental health issues) because of it. I really dislike December.</p>
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<p>Let me get this straight though... your DH informed you, without any input from you, that his family, who you already have issues with, is invading your personal space on a holiday you do not celebrate, and you're expected to entertain and feed them without him there? And on top of that you have to prepare a plate for an uninvited and unwelcome person? Seriously? I would be livid. That is not ok. That is just.not.ok. </p>
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<p>Have you told your DH how you feel about this? How would/did he react?</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>tsfairy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284010/really-struggling-this-holiday-season-pagan-ramblings-inside#post_16098725"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I'm so sorry you're going through this. I'm having similar feelings about this entire season. Every year I go through tons of inner turmoil and every year I suffer major depression and anxiety (on top of other mental health issues) because of it. I really dislike December.</p>
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<p>Let me get this straight though... your DH informed you, without any input from you, that his family, who you already have issues with, is invading your personal space on a holiday you do not celebrate, and you're expected to entertain and feed them without him there? And on top of that you have to prepare a plate for an uninvited and unwelcome person? Seriously? I would be livid. That is not ok. That is just.not.ok. </p>
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<p>Have you told your DH how you feel about this? How would/did he react?</p>
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I agree with all this.  I hate December and get depressed every year.  And I think you do need to tell your dh that you are not okay with this and you need to work on a compromise solution.</p>
 

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<p><span style="font-family:'microsoft sans serif', sans-serif;"><span style="font-size:9.5pt;">*HUGS* That sucks about your stolen lights. I agree with the PP that you need to tell your DH how you feel and what you will or will not do. Set boundaries. If you are open to having them over – set the time that works for you and what will happen during that time. Don’t go out of your way to make it a Christmas themed celebration. And do not serve food or suggest a potluck or take out as an alternative. Any unwelcomed jerks can forge for their own food. The whole party and dinner can be when your DH gets home so he can host the party he invited everyone to.</span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-family:'microsoft sans serif', sans-serif;"><span style="font-size:9.5pt;">I am a long time Pagan. DH and I have been active in our Pagan community for years and are now raising a son. We live in a very liberal town and that helps. Our families are open but more treat our religion like it’s a hobby. This partly because they are not very religious themselves.</span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-family:'microsoft sans serif', sans-serif;"><span style="font-size:9.5pt;">A few years ago my Dad decided to move his big Christmas party to the weekend before Christmas. This is because we have a lot of extended and divorced families. He thought this would free up more Christmas time for his kids to see our mom, in laws, etc. For me the issue is the weekend before Christmas is usually Solstice. For our family it’s at least 3 events (rituals) or parties. Some of the events we are coordinating. No small task.</span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-family:'microsoft sans serif', sans-serif;"><span style="font-size:9.5pt;">I was SO VERY annoyed at my Dad. I tried to explain that was not a good weekend for us, but he truly doesn’t understand.</span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-family:'microsoft sans serif', sans-serif;"><span style="font-size:9.5pt;">My family (Dad, sisters, brother, nieces…) mean everything to me and to DS. It really IS what the season is about for me. So I decided to not miss the party and just make it work. And I do this every year. But yeah I always feel like the squeaky wheel.</span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-family:'microsoft sans serif', sans-serif;"><span style="font-size:9.5pt;">In light of all this… I have come to conclusion that these winter holidays have more in common than we realize. Not to get too hung up on the day. Celebrate all month if we want. Many ancient cultures had week long celebrations.  </span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-family:'microsoft sans serif', sans-serif;"><span style="font-size:9.5pt;">If you want, join on us on a tread about celebrating the Winter Solstice with kids. It’s mostly me posting hehehe LOVE to have you join in! - <a href="http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1283163/family-circle-winter-solstice-all-are-welcome">http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1283163/family-circle-winter-solstice-all-are-welcome</a></span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-family:'microsoft sans serif', sans-serif;"><span style="font-size:9.5pt;">Blessings and take care!</span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-family:'microsoft sans serif', sans-serif;"><span style="font-size:9.5pt;">Rhianna</span></span></p>
 

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<p>I feel ya! I'm a "new Jew", who was Pagan for several years, and raised in a Christian family. I am very happy being Jewish, but this time of year invokes all sorts of confused feelings ... Christmas was a childhood favorite, and as a Pagan I relished the fact that many of the Christmas traditions had Pagan origins (after dealing with rageful feelings of being left out of society, haha)... and now, honestly, I miss it all. One of the things I like best about Judaism is the respect for nature and observance of the cycles of the year, so I still want to do something to remember the Solstice, but the only way I know how has a distinct Pagan flavor, and it's just hard to find a new way. </p>
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<p>This is the first holiday season with my DS and all those fun things I thought I'd be doing with my kids aren't happening (and I'm sorry, Hanukkah is a minor holiday and just not the same. I love Hanukkah, and I love the traditions we've built around it, but it's a completely different animal than the Yule/Christmas thing). I celebrate Christmas with my family, it's taken on the role of a nice family holiday - and I do get a lot of guilt about not spending enough time with everyone (divorced parents), but you just make it work. I'm just trying to soak up all the joy and love that people are feeling, and filter out the negativity.</p>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
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<div>In light of all this… I have come to conclusion that these winter holidays have more in common than we realize. Not to get too hung up on the day. Celebrate all month if we want. Many ancient cultures had week long celebrations.  </div>
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<p>I like this idea!</p>
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<p>And to the OP: I'm sorry you have to have your family-in-law thrust upon you for a holiday you don't even care to celebrate. I think you should tell your DH how you feel, it's really not fair for you to do all the work, and if you don't want his brother there or any of them for that matter, they shouldn't come. Does DH celebrate Christmas or is he Pagan too?</p>
 

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<p>I'm agnostic with Pagan leanings. Dh was raised Jewish but doesn't really believe in the big god on the throne, either. Our parents kept trying to bribe and interfere with our kids at the holiday season ... so we took to traveling at that time of year. Once the kids were old enough to have our mindset.. we came "home", developed a soup and solstice party with a handful of rituals and never looked back. No santa, no church or temple, no gifts. Just warmth and love and little evergreen and sunlight  appreciation. No biggie.</p>
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<p>To the Op. I hope your find your way. Sorry about the lights.</p>
 
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