Holidays are a time of stress not relaxation for me

Caught in the middle!

Every year since I was a sophomore in college, holidays have been a time of stress for me, not relaxation. Every years I’d see other students get excited about holiday break from school. I envied them.

The truth of the matter is that I have a romantic partner who hates my parents. My parents hate him just as much. The situation between the two of them as gradually increased in tension since they met around the summer between my sophomore and junior year in school. My boyfriend sees how much stress my parents have put me under over the years, my parents being the very definition of toxic parents (in particular, my father). My parents don’t think my boyfriend is effectively “worthy” of my romantic interest because they don’t like how long it took him to finish college (despite how it’s not a race to begin with?).

Every time holiday season rolls around (in particular, Thanksgiving and Christmas), I get stressed out. I have tried to come up with a sensible solution where I spend roughly half my time with my boyfriend and half my time with my parents, however both have protested it. My boyfriend knows I’ve gotten panic attacks because of my parents, and doesn’t want me exposed to that kind of anxiety-inducing situation. My parents are emotionally immature and just want me all for themselves.

I am sick and tired of them fighting over me every single time holiday season rolls around. I do not have a friend that I can drive to in the tiny rural town I live in with my boyfriend that does not completely drain my gas tank, just to get a temporary escape from everything and everyone.

I’m a queer adopted healthcare worker who writers in their spare time. I have a MPH degree.