Terrible relative

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Terrible relative

Post by Student on Sun Dec 25, 2016 10:33 am

I have a terrible relative married into the family. She's the widow of a late relative of mine and is a hoarder and most likely suffers from depression.

She is a terrible person, is a racist, and generally lives up to all imaginable redneck stereotypes.

For reasons, she always celebrates christmas at my parents' place.

She has this thing about aggressively teasing people, and it's so fucking annoying and she doesn't stop when pointed out, and nobody tries to stop her when she does or seems to understand how fucking terrible she is.

Every fucking time I visit home she is there for one reason or another and every fucking time i get some question regarding how its going with girlfriends. It's so obvious there's no genuine interest and she knows I've never had a single gf (i'm approaching late 30s)

This christmas was extra terrible because not only did I get that same question as every other christmas but I was also rejected on a date request a few days before (I should have assumed I would be rejected and asked her after new year instead).

I'm thinking of making it an ultimatum that next christmas I will either celbrate alone or with my parents but without the terrible relative, but this will be difficult because my parents are incapable of realising how terrible I think she is.

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Re: Terrible relative

Post by eselle28 on Sun Dec 25, 2016 7:19 pm

I'm really sorry your relative is so terrible and that your family members aren't willing to do anything when she aggressively teases you. I think you should propose changes in the way you celebrate Christmas in your family. My suggestion is that you do not expect your parents to understand where you're coming from. They might never get why you aren't okay spending time with this relative, and I think if you focus on trying to make them understand why this behavior is objectionable, it will end up being a long and probably fruitless conversation.

I think you'd do better to focus on logistics - what you would want to happen and what your alternative plans are if that doesn't happen. "Hey, Parent, I really don't want to spend Christmas with Terrible Relative this year. Would you be up for doing something small with just the immediate family this year?" might be a script that would work. I think you should prepare for the answer to be no, and if it is, have a response ready along the lines of, "That's fine. I had also been thinking about going on a trip/spending the holidays with friends/just sticking around here and catching up on schoolwork." And then do that, and shut down any attempted guilt trips by being bland and refusing to engage. "I'm sorry that people are disappointed that I won't be spending Christmas with the family," followed by changing the subject and asking about something else can be a useful response.

I have some experience with Holiday Wars, and I think that realistically you'll probably need to miss at least one Christmas for there to be any change. It sounds like this is a longstanding situation, and sometimes people need a demonstration that you're very serious about needing something to change in those cases. You might want to remind yourself as you go through this that many, many people end up renegotiating holiday traditions and arrangements as they move from early adulthood in to regular old adulthood. In a lot of cases, this ends up being done with reference to partners or children, but as a single person you also deserve to have a say in how holidays are celebrated and ask for occasional changes to meet your needs as an adult.
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Re: Terrible relative

Post by Student on Mon Dec 26, 2016 10:02 pm

eselle28 wrote:I'm really sorry your relative is so terrible and that your family members aren't willing to do anything when she aggressively teases you. I think you should propose changes in the way you celebrate Christmas in your family. My suggestion is that you do not expect your parents to understand where you're coming from. They might never get why you aren't okay spending time with this relative, and I think if you focus on trying to make them understand why this behavior is objectionable, it will end up being a long and probably fruitless conversation.

I think you'd do better to focus on logistics - what you would want to happen and what your alternative plans are if that doesn't happen. "Hey, Parent, I really don't want to spend Christmas with Terrible Relative this year. Would you be up for doing something small with just the immediate family this year?" might be a script that would work. I think you should prepare for the answer to be no, and if it is, have a response ready along the lines of, "That's fine. I had also been thinking about going on a trip/spending the holidays with friends/just sticking around here and catching up on schoolwork." And then do that, and shut down any attempted guilt trips by being bland and refusing to engage. "I'm sorry that people are disappointed that I won't be spending Christmas with the family," followed by changing the subject and asking about something else can be a useful response.

I have some experience with Holiday Wars, and I think that realistically you'll probably need to miss at least one Christmas for there to be any change. It sounds like this is a longstanding situation, and sometimes people need a demonstration that you're very serious about needing something to change in those cases. You might want to remind yourself as you go through this that many, many people end up renegotiating holiday traditions and arrangements as they move from early adulthood in to regular old adulthood. In a lot of cases, this ends up being done with reference to partners or children, but as a single person you also deserve to have a say in how holidays are celebrated and ask for occasional changes to meet your needs as an adult.

After some light discussion with parents I'm pretty sure they're not really a fan of her either.

It's a good idea to plan for options. I have another branch of the family I can go visit instead.

And I want to make it clear that this current arrangement is a very small family thing. It's basically me, my parents, terrible relative and her two sons.

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