Updated: Dec 16, 2021
We don't have to talk about it if you don't want to. There are plenty of other posts you could read, but I think you need to talk about it.
I spoke with a church leader who said they just cannot stand all the hubbub of the Christmas Holiday season. Although they appreciate what it all stands for and they recognize that it is important to celebrate, they simply have too many horrible memories of the Christmas time with a parent who became toxic and abusive during the holiday season.
This may or may not be your exact experience with Christmas and it might or might not cause you to have an aversion to this particular Holiday season. There is no quick fix. If you want to see this holiday experience improve, you will have to work consistently to make it improve by gradually changing your perspective on the matter.
I would like to share an experience with you that may help. When I was young, going to sleep at night was a hellish experience. I would close my eyes and almost immediately see monsters, evil and dark figures haunting my dreams and thoughts. So for me, evil was associated with sleep, and sleep was associated with night. Instead of the evening being an enjoyable, peaceful time, it was the dreaded part of every single day.
I do not want to discount the power that my religious experience had. I did have an experience at church which helped me greatly. Prayer and Bible-reading brought peace. However, the psychological scars that made Night-Time a dreadful time of day did not simply go away... as a little boy, I began to intentionally fun times with my family, my brother, my friends. I would go so far out of my way to enjoy time with my brother every evening so I could find a little happiness each night. Movie nights, game nights, sleepovers, cooking and eating together and even snacking late at night and breaking the rules to stay up just a few minutes later than usual made "Night Time" a little more fun.
It didn't transform over night - in fact, it took years. Even in recent years, I notice that I hate when the day ends and my wife and I have to call it a night. But there's no more fear, no more dread.
If there is a Holiday Season, or a time of the week, month, or year that is associated with dread or fear in your heart and you don't know how to make the transformation, here are somethings you can try.
Speak with a partner.
This can be a spouse, close friend, parent, or other who is willing to talk with you every time you feel this way.
Plan to make a positive memory.
Even if it is only the conversation with your partner, there needs to always be a new, positive memory made around this time to help associate the time with something better. A suggestion would be to go and do something that you really enjoy about that holiday or time. Maybe something productive or just fun!
Finally, leave the past in the past.
There's no reason to rehash the past. You also do not need to take part in toxic behaviors to mask your emotions - remember, bypassing emotion is choosing to bypass growth opportunities. And as painful and slow as growth can be, it's worth it in the end!
I hope you were able to glean some wisdom and some encouragement from this vulnerable topic. I know that holiday seasons can be difficult for some of us. If you need to talk further about your own experiences and seek a counselor who can teach you how to find healing for the mind, please go to our contact page on the website www.conciergecounselingservice.com
Thank you for reading!
The Editor Ramzi Elassadi