Archive for December 7th, 2007

Christmas Tree

When I was a child, I suffered some traumatizing abuses on Christmas Eve. Christmas was difficult every year because I lost my support system of caring teachers and friends when school closed for the holidays. However, one Christmas in particular was really hard.

My parents took my sister and me over to visit with their friends on Christmas Eve Day. This was the couple who ritually abused us and brought us to the cult, where we suffered all sorts of atrocities. The husband got me alone and did some terrible things to me in front of the Christmas tree in his den. I went home from that trauma to open presents around our Christmas tree at home.

On another Christmas Eve Day, my parents brought us back to visit the same couple. I brought along my guitar and played a Christmas song that I had been practicing. The couple abused me again, and to this day, hearing that particular song is triggering to me.

I have been trying to make Christmas a happy time, particularly for the sake of my young son. I want him to have happy memories about the magic of Christmas. However, forcing myself to listen to a bunch of Christmas music is starting to feel like I am continuing to abuse myself. I thought that building new associations for Christmas would undo the damage, but I think that I am skipping a step. Before I can make Christmas positive, I need to undo the negative.

So, I am going to listen to what my soul is telling me that it needs. I will keep a couple of Christmas CDs in the car, but I will also bring along my Avril Lavigne and Pink CDs as well. I do not have to make this time of year about Christmas nonstop. I need to give myself the room to get away from the constant reminders of trauma and, instead, allow myself to do things that I enjoy. I think I need to disconnect the bad stuff before I can connect the good stuff.

Regardless of what anyone else thinks I should feel about this time of year, my reality is that it is painful. I need not apologize to anyone for that. If other people had experienced the same traumas that I had, then they would struggle, too. Many people do.

So, I am finished with forcing myself to listen to Christmas songs. Finger Eleven’s “Paralyzer” fits my mood much better. :0)

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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