Public Service Announcement – Holiday Edition
The holidays are hard for many people. It is inescapable, all of the focus on family, family togetherness, family gatherings, love of family….it’s in commercials, TV shows, movies, social media, at the grocery store, on the radio, on billboards, it is everywhere.
But what if your family is the source of your trauma? What if your family has rejected you? How might this time of year feel? It can evoke PTSD symptoms of reliving and emotional overwhelm. I can evoke sadness and depression, anxiety, and anger.
And for people who have a problematic and possibly toxic family that is somewhat in their lives, this time of year evokes a lot of difficult decisions on what is best for them as they may have a number of competing desires, hopes, and obligations.
Now add to this, some well meaning friend or stranger who wants to know why they won’t be celebrating the holidays with family. There are a lot of platitudes offered about forgiveness, family togetherness and judgements about selfishness. This only adds to the burden the other person is carrying.
Please resist this urge, it makes it more about you and your own values and interests rather than the person who you are talking to and can cause more harm in the process.