Dear Therapist: The festivities are more stressful than enjoyable

By Prateeksha Shetty

Published: Thu 25 Nov 2021, 3:42 PM

My parents are divorced and each year the festive season comes I become upset and anxious. The festival season is meant to be something all people celebrate but I can't seem to ever get that as my parents can't come together as they don't get along. So, if I need to spend it with both of them I have to do it on separate days which upsets the other. It ends up being more stressful than enjoyable. - Lena D.



Dear Lena, I am sorry that you have to choose between your parents on festive occasions! I wonder however, if their separation upsets you more than you care to acknowledge. The continued bitterness and unwillingness to negotiate is shattering your desire for a ‘happy family’. You have not disclosed your age, but if you are an adult, you may need to think about what is it that you wish for yourself during these events. Do you feel obligated to spend time with them? Would you rather be somewhere else, with other friends who feel more like family? If the answers are yes, then you are allowed to find alternative ways to celebrate these special occasions. Balancing these with brief meetings with your parents can help you feel much better and in control of the narrative rather than a victim of your parents’ divorce. Understanding this as a transaction that you need to engage in from time to time, will also lift the pressure that you feel and reduce your expectations for change from their end. The distress that your parents experience is part of their decision to separate, and is definitely not your responsibility nor one that requires your intervention!

wknd@khaleejtimes.com


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