Thanksgiving Day, aka “Forced Family Fun”

Since Thanksgiving is a few days away, & many of you feel forced to deal with your narcissistic families on the day, I thought I would write a post for you in that position, Dear Readers.


All of us with narcissistic parents or in-laws know they can make the holidays hell on Earth, yet we often feel powerless to avoid these days.  The good news is that you aren’t as powerless as you think.


You don’t have to spend holidays with your narcissistic family if you don’t want to.  They don’t have the right to order you around!  You’re a grown up, & have the right to spend the day however you like.  You don’t owe them any explanations, nor should you feel guilty if you opt to go skiing, take a trip or spend the day with friends rather than spend the day with a narcissistic family.


If you cannot get out of the “forced family fun,” then maybe next time, you can prepare ahead of time to have other plans.   For now, though, there are ways to cope.


Set boundaries on how long you will be at the gathering.  When the time is coming for you to leave, leave.  Don’t be talked into staying longer!  Say you have plans with a friend, & don’t want to be late (not lying since you’re spending time with yourself & hopefully you’re your own best friend).


If you have a job that requires people to work on holidays, maybe you could arrange to work on that day.  You’ll get extra pay (a bonus!) & have a legitimate excuse to leave early or not even attend.


If you have a significant other, I pray he or she is on your side.  The support will be helpful for you, plus they can help you to escape.  Have a code that tells the person, “I need to leave.”  If you feel unable to go, your significant other can say, “It’s time for us to go.”


If you opt to do something without your family or spend less time with them than usual, chances are good they will pull out all the guilt stops on you, but remember- you do NOT have to blindly obey them!  You have the right to do whatever you like to celebrate.  You aren’t hurting them by doing something different- you’re being good to yourself.  That doesn’t make you selfish, a bad son or daughter, etc. by being good to yourself.  They will get over you not being there.  Or they won’t.  If they don’t, let them pout & be miserable if that’s what they want.


Take back your power, Dear Reader, & spend holidays however you like!



Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

5 responses to “Thanksgiving Day, aka “Forced Family Fun”

  1. This will be my first holiday season since going NC and I am looking forward to a happy, peaceful, stress-free experience. I am finished with trying to celebrate while being verbally and emotionally abused. To anyone considering skipping the family get-together I say: do it! You have nothing to lose but pain.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I remember my moment from a couple of years ago. I was driving on the same interstate on which my NM and I had had so many in-car arguments, all of which she denies, of course. It was September, and I’d just gotten an email from her, telling me that I was “still invited” to all of the birthdays and holidays coming up. We were at the tail end of our falling out.

    My heart was heavy. I felt like crying. The last thing I wanted to do was let her ruin (again) my holidays. I felt hopeless and angry and powerless, and I hated her for it all.

    Then it hit me–exactly what you just said. I didn’t have to go. If I wanted to spend my holidays with my husband only or with him and his family, I could. I never had to step foot in her house again.

    It was like a physical weight lifted from my chest. I declined all of her ‘invites’ and have spent all of my holidays since away from her. She still does her best to yank my chain and this year she succeeded, but I’m still not seeing her for the holidays and my holidays are still some of the best I’ve ever had.

    It’s worth it.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Pingback: Thanksgiving Day, aka “Forced Family Fun” | Trauma and Dissociation

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