Everyone looks forward to major life events, such as weddings, birthdays, and other celebrations, as these occasions bring joy, festivity, and opportunities to create beautiful memories. However, not all families enjoy these events with the same enthusiasm. If you have a dysfunctional family member, you are likely familiar with the stress and anxiety that accompanies these joyous occasions. Questions like, "Will they behave appropriately?", "What will they say?", "Will they be able to sit next to that person?", "Will they remain sober?", "Will they let the day be about the event?" and many more, are probably constantly running through your mind.
For families with high levels of dysfunction, holidays and events are not just days filled with fun. They are more like fields filled with landmines, ready to explode at any moment. This heightened level of tension and anxiety is not what these special days are supposed to be about. Holidays and celebrations should bring joy, love, and unity, rather than stress, fear, and dread. If this concept seems foreign to you, it's likely because you have not yet experienced a gathering devoid of dysfunction.
If you find yourself spending more time trying to control the dysfunction in your family leading up to an event, rather than looking forward to the celebration itself, it's a clear sign that something needs to change. Likewise, if you spend the entire day worrying about potential family drama instead of immersing yourself in the joy of the celebration, it's another indicator of the need for change. You have the right to make adjustments on these days to ensure your peace of mind and to truly enjoy the event.
I understand that the thought of changing the dynamics of family gatherings can be daunting. You might feel stuck or see no other way out of this situation. However, it's important to remember that your current situation is not sustainable and it's definitely not supposed to be this way. You deserve to enjoy these special days without the constant fear of dysfunction ruining the event.
Start by setting boundaries, encourage open communication, and seek professional help if needed. Remember, change is a process and it might take time for your family to adjust to the new dynamics. However, your efforts will be worth it when you finally get to experience a holiday or celebration without the looming threat of family dysfunction.
You deserve to enjoy these special moments without any stress or anxiety, and it's never too late to start working towards this goal. Don't let family dysfunction rob you of the joy and happiness that these special occasions are meant to bring. Make the change, for your peace and happiness.
If you need some extra help, we have a holiday tool-kit inside the family cyclebreakers club and tons of other resources to help you navigate family dysfunction.