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Archive for December 3rd, 2007

Gingerbread man (c) Lynda Bernhardt

The holidays have always been a difficult time of year for me. My friends get really busy preparing for Christmas, so I spend less time with them. I am bombarded with movies and TV shows that focus on the beauty of family at Christmas, specifically focusing on appreciating extended family, and it is just a painful reminder of all that I do not have in my life. My father is deceased, and I have not laid eyes on my mother in four years (which is a positive thing).

The holidays are supposed to be about remembering wonderful child experiences, but all I have to remember is pain. The holidays were a time in which I was cut off from caring teachers and friends and was stuck for two weeks in an abusive environment. I have some particularly painful abuse memories that happened on Christmas Eve, and I have had to work hard to push past certain Christmas songs being triggering because of past abuse.

I generally fall into a funk right after Halloween and battle depression through New Year’s Day. It is not until my son returns to school and life returns to normal that I start to feel okay again.

This year, I have decided that I refuse to surrender two months of my life to depression, so I am fighting hard to keep myself remotely sane. This is an uphill battle for me because there is so much around me to trigger the pain. Already, I am seeing less of friends. I am hearing triggering songs on the radio. If I allow myself, I can very easily spiral down the well of depression.

I am fighting back, often on a minute-by-minute basis, and I refuse to give up and accept that I must be miserable for another month. I am doing this by consciously choosing to stop all negative thoughts and, instead, focus my attention on things that make me happy, like playing “O Holy Night” on the piano. I am also doing yoga and meditation daily to help me ground myself in the present.

I was hired to write many more “How to” articles for eHow.com, and I chose to write one article entitled How to Endure Holiday Season After Child Abuse. I am following the advice I included in the article, but, even now as I write this post, I can feel the fringes of depression trying to engulf me. So, I am going to post this article on my blog and then go do something I enjoy. That is the only way I am going to make it through this holiday season remotely sane.

Related Topic:

Approach of Easter and the Abused Adopted Child

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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