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Adult Children of Alcoholics – Surviving the Holidays with Their Dysfunctional Families

Vacations are particularly stressful for most people, let alone ACOAs and those who are survivors of emotional abuse and neglect.

The stinking presumption that families should be together and that everyone should have fun hangs in the air.

Some of us have family members who want to believe that the holidays are a time to let the past go by, as if any abuse they have done in the past should be discarded. For many of us emotional abuse and ACOA survivors, these stinky and sticky assumptions that linger over the holidays only add to our enormous burden of guilt. We question ourselves incessantly, once again, as we did as children, wondering if the problem is us. We hear ourselves asking, “Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m difficult or I can’t forgive?”

Any ACOA or EAS (Emotional Abuse Survivor) can tell you that part of your recovery work has involved setting some kind of personal boundaries, as well as physical boundaries with others.

We are wounded beings, and many of us still have open, festering wounds that we need to heal.

Just because ACOA has embarked on a recovery program does not mean that they can endure the holiday season without some sense of anxiety. In fact, the holidays are an incredible trigger for most of us during the holidays, and it pays to prepare ahead of time for what may happen at the table when all the dysfunctional members of your life are together, as you do your best. to pretend they are like any other happy family.

1.) Don’t allow yourself to slip under the veil of denial. It is better to accept that you are spending the holidays with energy vampires, and emotional lions, than to pretend that the people you love do not have the ability to hurt you. They do, and if we let them, they will.

2.) Clarify your personal boundaries. If Daddy likes to scratch your wounds, or Mommy likes to passively and aggressively hint at something she knows will provoke a reaction in you, accept it, feel it coming, and then calmly say, “I don’t want to talk about what.”

3.) If you feel that you are being attacked, even slightly, and that the rabbit hole is imminent, kindly announce that you are not feeling well and that you think it is best if you leave. Then get up and go.

4.) If you leave, leave your house with lots of hugs with a confident tone of voice, “Oh sorry mom, oh sorry dad, but I feel like I’m about to get sick and I don’t want to.” spoil your holiday meal. Have a wonderful family celebration, I’ll call you tomorrow. “

5.) If you leave, leave with a big smile on your face and in your heart, because you only have to control what is in your power to do it, and no one was able to throw you down any rabbit hole. , or run out of your energy. Congratulations! You have just learned to take responsibility for your happiness.

6.) Put on your headphones and immediately do an affirmation meditation, or one to stay calm. I will include one below. Take a deep breath and focus on the fact that you took control.

7.) If you feel like crying, then cry, let it all out … but when you’re done, know that you took care of it and that perhaps for the first time in your life, you learned that ‘you are the boss of yours’.

8.) Go to bed early and prepare a wonderful Christmas breakfast in the morning. Light a candle for your table, “just for you.”

9.) Keep a journal about your feelings and thoughts, and get in touch with the personal power within you that enabled you to set personal boundaries with your family.

10.) Call a friend or coworker who you know accepts you for who you are. Just enjoy the simplicity of the conversation, and think that if you learn to keep setting limits, your life will start to change for the better, and maybe next year, you will be surrounded by people who will respect your limits as well. like your soul. And brace yourself, you may not be surrounded by the people you think you are.

This holiday season, know that you are not alone. This is a particularly difficult season for all of us.

But let’s not forget that the hype we see and feel is generated by the economy. The holiday season is all about making a profit for retailers, and the extra buzz we feel in the air, and all those presumptions we can’t help but notice, yeah, it’s all marketing, dear ones.

The human masses are seen as little more than cattle, which have the capacity to feed the source of income.

Do not fall prey to the subliminal messages that advertising is throwing at our stores.

Don’t fall for the illusion that all the Christmas music you’re listening to is being pumped through every store you walk through this season.

Don’t let invisible or visible forces dictate your mood, or how you perceive yourself, or this world any longer.

Wake up dear, everything is an illusion.

You are the boss of you.

You have the power.

You are loved.



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