That’s not entirely true.
I do family holidays in the most low-key and superficial ways.
Both my parents are alive, but, as part of my recovery in my adulthood, I have cut off contact with them. Because of this estrangement, I no longer feel obligated to celebrate Mother’s Day or Father’s Day on their behalf.
I refuse to celebrate parents who emotionally abused, physically beat, molested, and raped me. Never mind that neither of them has ever apologized for the abuse and I have never asked (although I was in my 40’s before I finally cut off contact with either of them).
I no longer post to Facebook or other social media sites, where other friends are posting their personal greetings to their parents or even posting mass greetings on their friends’ lists. I typically avoid social media sites where my family members post, because it triggers me to see them post pictures of my parents while declaring what wonderful human beings they are. Sadly, I did not grow up around most of my family and so many of them are ignorant of the sadistic abuse that (my brothers and) I experienced. I don’t have the courage to put either of my parents on blast and inform any of my family members, who don’t already know, of what really happened in my family.
I’m not just afraid that they may not believe me. I’m afraid that they will believe me and still insist that I make nice with the two people who tortured me while I was incapable of standing up for myself against them. I’m afraid that they will put even more distance between us, by shutting me out, completely, from what is going on in the rest of the family. I’m afraid to be completely disconnected from them all.
In lieu of celebrating the two people who gave me life, I celebrate other people in my life whom actually bring it meaning, like my partner who does a good job of being a father-figure to our kids and my siblings and in-laws who have never done anything to harm me. I try to be a better parent to my kids than my parents were to me, so that when my kids grow up, they will feel proud to celebrate Mother’s Day on my behalf. I don’t want them growing up ashamed of the life I have given them.