Tips on Getting Through Christmas and Family DysfunctionBy
I was originally going to title this post “Tips on Getting through Christmas Holidays when Family is an F Word” but I thought perhaps that would offend people who saw it here or in EFB Facebook so I amended the title, but I still wanted to share it with you because sometimes that is how I feel.
Christmas and the holiday season in general is often a really difficult time for anyone who is involved with or has ever been involved with dysfunctional family situations. It has been at least 6 years now since I have spoken to my mother at Christmas time. Each year is easier. This year when I began to think about writing something about this time of year for my blog, I realized that I don’t think about my family very much anymore during the holidays. For a minute I wondered if I ‘should’ feel guilty about that but the truth is that by their own choice they are not part of my life and when I think about it, there is nothing to miss. I haven’t spent Christmas with my family of origin since I was age 15 with my mother and age 18 with my father.
For those of us who have gone no contact with our families, the holiday season can be a time of questioning our decisions and second guessing ourselves.
For those of us who are getting ready to see abusive or controlling parents during the holidays, it can be a time of anxiety and dread mixed with the hope that things will be better this year.
Here are some Tips for getting through the Holidays;
~ Remember that you are special. You are as special as anyone else in this world no matter how you have been defined otherwise. If people treat you like you are less important than they are, remember that their treatment of you defines THEM, it doesn’t define you.
~ Remember that you are worthy. You deserve to be respected and to be treated with love and care.
~ Remember that LOVE is an action word.
~ Remind yourself that you have equal value and that no one can take that truth away from you.
Celebrate YOU this year.
~Celebrate that you are on the journey to wholeness.
~ Celebrate that you are willing to face the pain and to see the truth about where it actually came from.
~ Acknowledge the child that you were, and remember that children are not born broken or evil. Give yourself love.
~ Set aside some time for yourself. What makes you happy? Chocolate? Watching movies under a fuzzy blanket? Playing sports or watching sports? Taking a bubble bath? Reading a good book?
~ Allow yourself to cry if that is what you need to do.
~ Validate your pain. It comes from somewhere and it isn’t wrong or bad. Validate that having to face the truth about some of the relationships that you have or have had IS painful and that the treatment that we are talking/sharing about here in Emerging from Broken is really horrible.
~ Validate your existence. Validate that you deserve to be loved, respected and nurtured and give that to yourself.
~ Go out for a walk and acknowledge the beauty in nature. Turn your face up to the sun and give yourself a hug.
~ Think of 5 things that you are grateful for, even if those things are just little things like sunshine, blankets, a bed, toilet paper, or a device that enables you to read this blog.
There is no ‘right or wrong’ when it comes to how we heal. It is okay to be IN the process which means that YOU get to decide how you proceed. The goal isn’t to go no contact and it isn’t to fix the people who are hurting you. The goal is to realize your own value and worth. The goal is to find the false belief system that resulted in the messages that you received about yourself through the actions and or inactions of the people who were supposed to be taking care of you.
I didn’t learn how to think for myself growing up and learning how to think took a while for me. Learning what was “best” (which is always what love is) for me and for others also took some time. I had some stuff to sort out and it took a little time to do that.
There are many blog posts here that you may find helpful for getting through the holidays. Check the buttons under the header graphic for topics that may interest you. Last years conversations are currently active. There are huge conversations on almost every article and there are over 400 posts. Many people have written to me that they find my book a huge support in the healing process. People are printing it out and using it like a work book! Use whatever you can to continue the process of self-validation. You are worth it!
You can get a copy of the book by clicking the book image in the upper right side bar here or click this book title “Emerging from Broken ~ The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing
Please feel free to utilize the comment section of this post as a “meeting place” to share about Christmas when there are difficult family circumstances and to support each other through the holidays.
I wish everyone in the Emerging from Broken Community a wonderful Holiday Season and a Merry Christmas!
Thank you for being a part of my dream to make a difference in a hurting world.
Love and Hugs,