After I came out, my relationship with my mother was strained which made celebrations, holidays, and even regular visits challenging. Most of my family was supportive but there were a few who were not which made things awkward at best and sad and scary at worst. I learned a lot from those experiences and realized that I could opt out and/or set boundaries.
I like to remind people every once in awhile that I have a Master's degree in counseling psychology and worked as a social worker for 15 years. I reflected on both my personal and professional experience in order to come up with concrete advice for those who may be facing contentious family dynamics as Thanksgiving approaches. I wrote a piece for Mom2.0 today that gives suggestions on how to plan for this:
Remember when people said they couldn’t wait for election to be over so that the country could move on from negativity? That seems so quaint now. The election is over but emotions are running high and many of us are vacillating between anger, despair, and fear. Our country is deeply divided, so it is not surprising that many of our families are as well. As the holidays approach, many will be faced with that division in real and concrete ways; so, how do you sit down for Thanksgiving dinner with people whose beliefs and values are drastically different than yours? How do you stay at the table – literally and figuratively?
So, click that link and head over to Mom2.0 to read it and I hope you'll find my advice useful.