30 Nov Surviving Xmas
Sometimes for survivors, Xmas can feel traumatic, anxiety provoking and a sense of dread can descend. I know that for some of us, the worst of experiences occurred over this timeframe. Xmas usually meant that family members or their friends had more access and time to make our young lives miserable. What that translated into was rather than looking forward to the toys under the Xmas tree, we felt we could not get far enough away from people, which translated to trying to find a place to hide, hardly Ho Ho Ho material.
If that sounds like you, incredible survivor, you are not alone and although this can be a time of year when you feel triggered, it just makes sense to include some self-care and self-love in there. As an adult now, you have that option and if your partner, and friends understand your history they will be fully supportive of you doing just that.
Perhaps it could be useful to plan ahead and have something in mind for that ‘just in case’ moment that could set you off into feeling low.
Crucially there is potential in there for you to gift the most important person in your life with the honour and kudos that is so deserved, I am of course talking about you.
Look at what you have managed to survive and even surpass.
That is a massive accomplishment and one that is not always recognised. So, take some time to do just that, you have made it through to be the beautiful person you are today, and I salute you. Even knowing that You are not your abuse, and Your childhood does not define you, it is still huge to assimilate and accept that, as your reality.
This time of year, could potentially also provide an opportunity to take charge and do some things differently. I am not suggesting this will be easy or even feel achievable but what I am suggesting is that there is always something you can do that could help shift the mood and energy you find yourself in.
A good start may be acknowledging how you feel right now, think about how you would like to feel and even one thing you could do that could move you closer to that!
You might choose a walk on the beach with the dog or doing some karaoke with friends or you may even choose dropping some baking off to an elderly neighbour.
It doesn’t much matter what you choose if it has you feeling more rather than less than.
The point is doing something activates that part of your brain that can feel possibility and even hope.
Some other things that may help:
1. Notice the birds singing outside more
2. Notice the flowers growing in the garden
3. Notice the kindness on people faces
4. Notice the warmth of those around you
5. Notice what is beautiful in your world.
Sometimes it will still feel a bit overwhelming and in those instances, distracting yourself can be a good idea: Favourite movie on Netflix, Swimming or even playing scrabble. Whatever you choose is not the point, the point is you get to choose, thereby honouring yourself.
Take the time to be gentle with yourself, try to acknowledge the truth of how you feel, and know that before too long, the Xmas tree, decorations and all the food will have gone, and you will start feeling the countdown back to work beginning.
You can get through anything, and knowing you already have, just makes you a hero in my eyes