Family, it’s that time of year again. Despite currently being in a pandemic, some of you will be traveling to see family for the holidays. This is some of the best eating we get to do all year. Whether it is friends’ events or family events, the holidays are a time to fellowship with the people you love and even some people you are supposed to love. With that being said, there are some shitty downsides to this time of year. You know the questions and pressures about dating, your job, and overall about your life. I hate it and I KNOW you hate it too. My favorite holiday greeting is “you’ve gained weight.”
First of all, saying “you’ve gained weight,” “when are you going to get married,” or even “when are you having kids” is the shittiest way to greet someone. And there is no exception to this, whether it is your mother, aunt, father, grandmother, or friend, THIS IS NOT HOW YOU SAY HELLO. Despite us knowing this is not how you greet someone, it still happens, and we must prepare for these awkward inappropriate statements and conversations.
My family makes it seem like I’m less valuable because I’m not dating.Vona
People have different ways of coping with the downsides of these beautiful times. Like my friend Vona, “I ignore them because my mouth is slick and I’ll end up causing an uproar” or J. Liz, “I tend to normalize my lesbian relationship.” For me, I have done so many things to find my happy place, I tried being snappy back, ignoring but now I address the statement by asking why is that what they are saying to me.
It has truly caused me to avoid being around my extended family. It causes a lot of unnecessary anxiety and I’d rather not deal with it if I don’t have to.Vona
Some of us live miles away from our family and it is disheartening to travel to see people who are supposed to love you disrespect you whether it is directly and indirectly. These comments fuel depression, anxiety, and self-loathing. I spent too many days being upset and even crying about the things that were said to and about me. Feeling like I wasn’t enough. Feeling like I’m not loved. Trying to convince myself that this was love, and making an excuse for them saying this is how they love me. Although they may love me, those hurtful, disrespectful comments are not products of love.
If your family is important to you then continue to push their understanding, normalize your lifestyle and choices. Make them see beyond sexual intercourse as the driving motivation.J. Liz
Those comments are products of many other things. They can be products of jealousy, envy, desire, nosiness, ego and more. They are not reflections of us, they are reflections of them and their ego. I know understanding this does not make any of the comments easier to receive or process but I encourage you to find something or someone in that space which makes you happy and hold on to it. It could be your favorite cousin, favorite space, favorite food or even favorite song. Find comfort in those things, even if it is for a moment.
We all have our opinions about others behavior but the number one rule is to mind your business and be respectful.J. Liz
My advice would be to mind the business that pays you.Vona
We already have too much on our own plate to process and work through to carry someone else’s shit too. You can be like another one of my friends who treats those who make the inappropriate or hurtful comments like they have a mental handicap, that way she can rationalize it as they simply don’t know any better. Or you can be like me and confront those people before or after the family events. Either way their shit ain’t your shit to carry, your bags are already enough.
I know that this may not help you survive any better but I want you to know you are not alone. Just like you, I hate bracing myself for it, having to remind myself that it’s not about me and having to keep my composure in the moment but we have a better chance at overcoming the pain by being aware of it and understanding it.