• Wed. Aug 17th, 2022

Ask Ashlee: Feelings of guilt during the holidays

Dear Ask Ashlee,

I have been working for the same company for the last 15 years and I make pretty good money. Every single year, I have hosted Thanksgiving dinner. I have a very nice home, spacious, multiple bedrooms, and rooms to entertain so I understand why my family enjoys coming over. This year I decided against holiday dinners at my home for multiple reasons, with the number 1 reason being I am so tired of everyone’s families coming to my home and I don’t have a family of my own. I know that sounds selfish and petty but for years I have watched my cousins and aunts and uncles come in with the spouses, and children and their children’s children with families of their own and I am legit just “The Rich Auntie”. I am single with no children, no companionship of any kind, dating seems ridiculous at this point, and I just want to be alone. Of course, I haven’t shared this with my family, I just told them I didn’t want to do the holidays at my house this year. I know you talk a lot about being present with the way you feel and being honest with yourself, but my question I guess is how do you not get consumed by the guilt you feel when you know the way you feel is wrong?

The Lonely Rich Auntie

Dear Lonely Rich Auntie,

So, here’s the thing, the way you feel is not a matter of right and wrong. It is more of a matter of how you’ve dealt with past traumas and hurt or if you have dealt with them at all. That guilt is you internalizing what you assume others feel about your decision. It is completely ok for you to take a year (or two) off for you to process how you truly feel about where you are in your life. The Rich Auntie can take time off to just be Auntie. You know your family better than I do, so I can’t say speaking with them as a whole about how you feel will be the right decision for you, but maybe there is someone within the family you feel close enough to, that you can confine in them. This person would be the kind of person that would not judge you for how you feel, and you can feel safe sharing your feelings and thoughts with them. If there is no one in the family you feel safe enough to do this with, then maybe you have close friends that can be there to help you through this season. Be careful with the sense of jealousy you feel towards your family members happiness. Jealousy at its core is just fear manifesting itself as it relates to someone else’s success or joy. Don’t allow your fear of never having a family of your own become the thing that separates you from the family you do have. Also, don’t let that fear win because our thoughts become our reality. I hope this helps.

Love & Light,