How To Have A Happy Christmas – despite your parents
It's Christmas day very soon and the focus is upon having a happy family time. But what if it can never be like that for you? Don't get me wrong – I don't want to burst anyone's happy bauble, but there is another side that we don't hear so much about which is equally valid for many thousands of people.
It's Christmas day very soon and the focus is upon having a happy family time.
But what if it can never be like that for you?
Don't get me wrong – I don't want to break anyone's happy bauble, but there is another side that we don't hear so much about which is equally valid for many thousands of people.
- What if Christmas is just another reminder of family conflict, manipulations and distress?
- Who would want to have to get back into the ring and defend themselves against a toxic parent's psychological ill-health and personality disorder?
- Why would you want to put the smiley mask back on and keep pretending – for someone else's sake – that things are OK?
Sometimes we just have to give up the hope that we'll ever have the TV advert happy loving family – and 'not just for Christmas'!
Are you, like me, fed up reading the naïve advice about how you only have to be 'nicer' and more understanding and accommodating to your parent(s) for you to improve your relationship with them? Because we know deep down that this wouldn't make one jot of difference, and in fact would feel so false that it'd probably make us feel physically sick.
Do all those social media memes and messages about loving parents and grateful children make you feel envious or angry about how different your parents are towards you?
Have you felt that there may be something wrong with you - because you know that your own parents will never treat you like those other happy, kind and loving parents treat their children?
Have you also had to give up on the dream that your parents will ever show that they love you, show an interest in your life, support and encourage you, and give you that feeling of safety and sense of 'belonging' that your inner child still craves?
It's not your fault that your parents treat you as they do...it's theirs!
- You don't have to continue to let your toxic parent(s) rob you of your happiness and vitality over Christmas - or at any other time.
So, what can you do about it?
- You have a choice about whether to unwrap or discard the poisonous 'present' from the past they just keep giving to you each year!
- You have choice about who and what you allow into your life and how well you protect not only your inner child, but also your own children from their toxic grandparent.
- You have a choice about who you spend time with, who you listen to and who you take notice of.
- Become your own loving parent and meet your own needs over the Christmas holidays. Buy yourself something meaningful to you and enjoy the sparkly lights and Christmas TV programmes and make sure to eat well. Maybe invite some like-minded friends round for some board games and nibbles. Keep things light, and best to avoid having too much alcohol as this can open up our emotional wounds and get in the way of making this a joyful time of celebration - and freedom from toxic parents and bad memories.
Making a stand for your own emotional well-being can feel disloyal or selfish. You may have to deal with the guilt trips and comments from people who have no idea what it's like to have a toxic parent.
Ensure that you spend happy and fun-filled time with your new 'family of choice' over Christmas – preferably have those people around you who understand and empathise with your situation.
That is the best gift you can give to yourself and will create a positive ripple effect around you that affects those you love and who know how to love you back.
Maxine Harley (MSc Psychotherapy) MIND HEALER & MENTOR
www.maxineharley.com – where you'll find a full page of FREE RESOURCES to help you to understand the effects of your childhood emotions, and how they still impact your life; and my two 'childhood recovery' coaching programes, and how to S.E.L.E.C.T. Your Life – with Self-awareness – Education – Learning new skills – Emotional intelligence and balance – Control, clarity and choice – TRANSFORMATION!
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www.qpp.uk.com - changing the sub-conscious belief system and S.C.R.I.P.T. (c) Sub-Conscious-Rules-Influencing-Present-Time