Author of "Daughter of the Drunk at the Bar" writes about Father's Day (Note: click on the tiny link below the quote to go to the page to read her whole article):
My father isn’t dead but our relationship seems to be. Thanks, Facebook. The last time I heard from him, he told me to go forward as if he were dead. A reverse “You’re dead to me.” That’s where we left it.
This week I found a post that was about something that can make or break a relationship: the need to be right. The post is at: The Wrong Stuff: Those Three Little Words: ("Honey, You're right!"): Harville Hendrix on Being Wrong. On Slate, August 9, 2010.
Harville Hendrix, author of Getting the Love You Want, is interviewed by writer & blogger Kathryn Schulz on her blog, The Wrong Stuff. Hendrix talks about couples in romantic relationships but his ideas can be extrapolated to cover many other kinds of relationships.
Being able to admit when we're wrong can be a strength for anyone in a relationship but especially in our relationships with the people for whom we feel affection and love. Relationships between parents and children, between siblings, between friends. So often relationships break apart when one or both people feel that they are right and that backing down or seeing things from a different perspective feels like giving in or being put in a bad position.
Blogger Kathryn Schulz is the author of Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error. (I am going to order this book!) On her blog, The Wrong Stuff, she features Q&As in which notable people discuss their relationship with being wrong.
As I wrote this post, I remembered with great pleasure a segment of the TV series, Mad About You, where the characters played by Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser got to wear virtual reality headpieces and to see the virtual reality of their choosing. Helen Hunt's character chose a virtual reality where her husband tells her over and over again, "You are right!" "You are right!" "You are right!" "You are right!" I laughed until I cried!
The link below goes to a story by a son on the death of his father from whom he was estranged. They were estranged because of the father's deterioration due to Alzheimer's. It is a poignant story that is accompanied below on that page by links to the stories of others who were estranged from their fathers.
Dealing with the death of an estranged father by S. C. Kleinhans
After Dr. Barker's article last week that touched on estrangement, she received so many responses that she continued on that topic today:
December 20, 2010: Learning to Love from Afar by Dr. Cara Barker
(I particularly liked what one of her readers said: "Don't trip on what's behind you.")
Thanksgiving is in the subject title but Gould writes about the entire holiday season, not only Thanksgiving, in this article that touches on the more difficult situations that we deal with at this time of year. Including estrangement:
November 23, 2010: Thanksgiving - - Sink or Swim by Roger Gould, author of Shrink Yourself: End Emotional Eating
Put away the feelings of victimization. Read what Fiona has to say about feeling like a victim:
December 20, 2010 Have Yourself a Very Merry, Victim Free, Christmas by Fiona McColl
Fiona McColl has been writing excellent posts on family estrangement and the holidays on her blog E-stranged. I am linking the posts below by dates and subject titles so that these posts can be found easily in the future since what she writes will remain true for future holidays as well as the current one.
December 17, 2010 Theme of the Week: Christmas
December 18, 2010 - Holiday State of Mind . . .
December 19, 2010 The Etiquette of Christmas Estrangement
December 20, 2010 Estranged at Christmas? Love the One You're With.
Are you looking for advice on how to cope through the holidays despite being estranged? I found an excellent article today on that topic on the Huffington Post. The title is misleading. It is more about how to heal and cope despite being estranged rather than how to mend bridges. Be sure not to miss the Comments section which you find by scrolling way down below the article. The link is as follows:
How to Mend Bridges with Estranged Family Members During the Holidays by Dr. Cara Barker
Dr. Barker makes a reference to a poem by Howard Thurman. The link to the poem online is as follows:
I will light candles this Christmas, a poem by Howard Thurman
I didn't know who Howard Thurman was. So I looked him up. Links are as follows:
Howard Thurman on Wikipedia
Wishing you Peace in the holiday season,