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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Happy Thanksgiving All!

Title says it all. This is first major holiday after split. Have a no contact order against ex. Struggling with guilt (keeping kids dad away) depression. No nearby family. None of my friends invited my family and would not dream of inviting myself. Didnt prepare well for a nontraditional holiday.

Please share your story!
 

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This is a wonderful opportunity for you to create new ways of celebrating! Personally, I find that that keeps the self-pity away.

So, even if you didn't prepare well for today, you can for Christmas. 馃

Perhaps replace the thoughts of what everyone else is doing with what you would genuinely enjoy. Movies, music, food, candles/lights?

Bring your children into it and ask them what they'd like - how they'd like to celebrate.

There have also been years that I've been on my own, that I'd find a place to volunteer and serve others. If you live in the US, you'll find those spots everywhere.
 

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Happy Thanksgiving All!

Title says it all. This is first major holiday after split. Have a no contact order against ex. Struggling with guilt (keeping kids dad away) depression. No nearby family. None of my friends invited my family and would not dream of inviting myself. Didnt prepare well for a nontraditional holiday.

Please share your story!
Do what a lot of people do. Use the holidays for charity work, like the soup kitchen.
You'll see people worse off than you and you won't feel so bad.

I will say that, if you push forward, you will find things you want to do and you'll be free to do them.
 

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When that marital ending dust settles, the fallout lands most heavily on the holidays.
Or, so it seems...

That is when you find yourself, either alone, or finding at least 50% of your friends and acquaintances, nowhere near.

Pre-plan every holiday going forward, where you are doing something enjoyable.

Actually, loneliness can be an everyday event, met, not just on holidays.
This, if you allow it to show up, without an invitation.




KB-
 
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I am in similar shoes as you, this is my first holiday after splitting/divorce (divorce is still going through) and its been hard for me as well鈥.I am not close to my family, for various reasons but my wife is close to her family so enjoyed her family time over mine. First year without her so its definately more lonley and different. I put up christmas decorations yesterday and about had an anxiety attack thinking about her being gone. How old are your children? If they are old enough, ask what they want to do for christmas and if there is anything special they wanted to do鈥ill that time with joyous occasions like go to a christmas parade, walk around looking at lights, etc with them鈥
 

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My first holiday after my divorce, my ex had the kids for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I was all alone on the first holidays. At first I was pretty depressed about it. Then, for Thanksgiving, earlier in the day I volunteered at the homeless shelter. I was the hostess and took people to their seat and gave them a beverage while they got their Thanksgiving dinner. In the afternoon, I held an open-house, potluck meal and invited everyone in my divorce support group and my abused partners support group if they didn鈥檛 have a place to go, they were invited to come to my house 鈥攋ust bring something to share. At the end of the day I learned the homeless are people just like me, and I felt very grateful for the life I had.

For Christmas, my ex literally took the children to Disney. (I had to giggle because he was literally a Disney dad.) Anyway, I was super sad because there was no way I could compete with a Disney trip for Christmas. When my kids came home, they told me 鈥淒o you honestly think we don鈥檛 know who takes care of us every day?鈥 I asked them what they wanted to eat for Christmas Day. They said they wanted spaghetti and pizza鈥 So we put up a tree and ate pizza and spaghetti with our fingers! LOL! It was actually a great tradition!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am in similar shoes as you, this is my first holiday after splitting/divorce (divorce is still going through) and its been hard for me as well鈥.I am not close to my family, for various reasons but my wife is close to her family so enjoyed her family time over mine. First year without her so its definately more lonley and different. I put up christmas decorations yesterday and about had an anxiety attack thinking about her being gone. How old are your children? If they are old enough, ask what they want to do for christmas and if there is anything special they wanted to do鈥ill that time with joyous occasions like go to a christmas parade, walk around looking at lights, etc with them鈥
My sympathies. Definately brings up lots of memories. I dont even know if my son will be with me on Christmas Day. Court is a process. I hear you on the anxiety attacks. I enjoyed making Thanksgiving dinner so I am doing it. Is it as happy as it was before? No, but I would have felt worse later if I hadnt. I feel good that I am. Also how is that a child beats his mother 2 of 3 times at Uno??? Doesnt experience count for anything?
 

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Hang in there. I assure you, it DOES get better. I spent the first Thanksgiving after I left my husband alone. But I took comfort in the fact that I wasn't dealing with the drama and downright insanity of being with an alcoholic for the holidays. What kept me in a good frame of mind was remembering all the holidays he ruined by being passed out drunk or hollering and carrying on prior to passing out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My first holiday after my divorce, my ex had the kids for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I was all alone on the first holidays. At first I was pretty depressed about it. Then, for Thanksgiving, earlier in the day I volunteered at the homeless shelter. I was the hostess and took people to their seat and gave them a beverage while they got their Thanksgiving dinner. In the afternoon, I held an open-house, potluck meal and invited everyone in my divorce support group and my abused partners support group if they didn鈥檛 have a place to go, they were invited to come to my house 鈥攋ust bring something to share. At the end of the day I learned the homeless are people just like me, and I felt very grateful for the life I had.

For Christmas, my ex literally took the children to Disney. (I had to giggle because he was literally a Disney dad.) Anyway, I was super sad because there was no way I could compete with a Disney trip for Christmas. When my kids came home, they told me 鈥淒o you honestly think we don鈥檛 know who takes care of us every day?鈥 I asked them what they wanted to eat for Christmas Day. They said they wanted spaghetti and pizza鈥 So we put up a tree and ate pizza and spaghetti with our fingers! LOL! It was actually a great tradition!
I don't think I have to worry about Disney trips (that would tick me off though) Their dad is not a holiday planner at all. But my kids are boys and have that male bonding thing going on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hang in there. I assure you, it DOES get better. I spent the first Thanksgiving after I left my husband alone. But I took comfort in the fact that I wasn't dealing with the drama and downright insanity of being with an alcoholic for the holidays. What kept me in a good frame of mind was remembering all the holidays he ruined by being passed out drunk or hollering and carrying on prior to passing out.
Well just last year I invited guests over. We got into a fight an hour before they arrived and then he didn't even come out for dinner. Awkward embarrassing. Thankfully I never had to deal with him drunk like that!
 

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My sympathies. Definately brings up lots of memories. I dont even know if my son will be with me on Christmas Day. Court is a process. I hear you on the anxiety attacks. I enjoyed making Thanksgiving dinner so I am doing it. Is it as happy as it was before? No, but I would have felt worse later if I hadnt. I feel good that I am. Also how is that a child beats his mother 2 of 3 times at Uno??? Doesnt experience count for anything?
Just make the best of it with your children and you/the kids will have a good holidays..then maybe over the next few years you could make some traditions with them that you do every year鈥ike maybe go on a small or big vacation around christmas time. My child is only 1.5 years old now so might not do much with her this year but am definately going to do more the older she gets. Like take her to a indoor waterpark lodge or something around xmas time. Endless opportunities and the bonds you hve with your children will be even stronger
 

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You are forging a new path, and that always disturbs your comfort zone, which hurts!!

When I left my first husband, I went with my 3 little kids and hid for almost a year in a shelter about 1800 miles away (as far away as I could drive without stopping in 20 hours). It was grueling and stressful, but the following year, when I actually moved into a new place, my OWN place, I felt depressed and lonely for several weeks!!! I couldn't understand it!! Lol!

But I came to realize that my mind and heart had adjusted to the shelter environment, and it felt like HOME to me because it was familiar and I had memories there! But once I had created new memories in my new place, I felt warmth and comfort there as well, and it became my HOME too!!

Change is always hard and unsettling, even when it's change that you want, and change for the better. People seek a measure of predictability and familiarity for themselves, it's human nature. But once you create new memories in your new life, you will feel comforted and hopeful again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You have so much strength! And you had 3 littles! My kids are far apart in age and my first born has been a tremendous support. Having littles is so much more terrifying and with no back up!

There is laughter here. Little memories being made. Even though I hope this phase is temporary!
 

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Happy Thanksgiving All!

Title says it all. This is first major holiday after split. Have a no contact order against ex. Struggling with guilt (keeping kids dad away) depression. No nearby family. None of my friends invited my family and would not dream of inviting myself. Didnt prepare well for a nontraditional holiday.

Please share your story!
I have a friend who's going through something similar, but it's not my story to tell. This is the time to try to carry on as normally as possible for your kids. Just be a good role model and put one foot in front of the other and don't show that you're down all the time. But be sensitive to them if they are or want to talk about it.
 
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My sympathies. Definately brings up lots of memories. I dont even know if my son will be with me on Christmas Day. Court is a process. I hear you on the anxiety attacks. I enjoyed making Thanksgiving dinner so I am doing it. Is it as happy as it was before? No, but I would have felt worse later if I hadnt. I feel good that I am. Also how is that a child beats his mother 2 of 3 times at Uno??? Doesnt experience count for anything?
So just start making NEW traditions for you and your kids. Is there something you always WANTED to do on holidays, but didn't because you were compromising with your spouse? So now you CAN do those things.
 

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You have so much strength! And you had 3 littles! My kids are far apart in age and my first born has been a tremendous support. Having littles is so much more terrifying and with no back up!

There is laughter here. Little memories being made. Even though I hope this phase is temporary!
It was tough, I won't deny that. But it was almost 20 years ago, and just a phase of my life - a harsh valley that I had to walk through in order to create a BETTER life that my kids and I deserved and needed!!

You don't stop and look around at the horror (as much as you feel compelled to!) -- you keep your head down and MOVE THROUGH IT, until you are on the other side.

Making new memories is a great idea!! We started some things when they were little that we still do today, and my kids remember that time as very happy and fun, which I consider to be a victory for me and my attitude, because I was terrified and couldn't imagine what the future would look like. But I made it, and you will too!!! Just keep focusing on the next step forward, and try not to look behind you, because that isn't where your path goes - it goes into the unknown. And as scary as that always is, it's still THE BEST path to follow!!
 
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