Mendiola’s father, who lives in North Carolina and works in the aviation industry, insisted that planes were still safe and was disappointed when her family refused to fly over the country.
Her mother, who lives in California, also wanted Mendiola and her family to come over, but Mendiola declined the invitation because she said her mother would probably not be quarantined two weeks earlier.
By this point, her mother seems to have resigned herself to spending the vacation alone.
I think I’ll be alone, she often says to her daughter.
“Yes, it’s fun,” said Mendiola dryly.
Craig Sawchuk, a clinical psychologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, said he sees similar dramas in his clients, some of whom have feelings of guilt that prevent them from setting boundaries with their relatives.
When feelings of guilt are strong enough, they can become “incredibly sticky and overwhelming too” until some people decide to violate their own values in order not to feel like they are disappointing someone, said Dr. Sawchuk.
“Every time we make choices in our lives that reflect our values, we will always end up in a better place,” he added. “You are not responsible for the emotions, the well-being, the decisions, the behavior of others. They may play a small role, but maybe not nearly as much as you feel. “
Start the conversation as soon as possible.
If your relatives are expecting a Thanksgiving visit – or if they expect you to be hosting dinner as usual – it can be difficult to tell them they aren’t. On the other hand, it can also be disappointing when a relative wants to stay at home and is resistant to any kind of compromise.