Why Do Soppy Xmas Images And Messages Upset Me So Much?
Christmas isn't merry and bright for everyone - it can also trigger painful memories of what is missing.
Q - I seem to over-react to those slushy TV and internet images and sayings about happy loving families at Xmas. Don’t they realise or care how hurtful these are to those of us who had a miserable childhood with mean and nasty parents?
On one level I think good luck to them with their happy family, but on another I feel envious and wonder how much different my own life would have been if I’d had parents who loved me, and who I wanted to visit and spend time with.
I wonder why I haven’t got over this yet - and why I feel such sadness and anger in both my heart and gut when I see these things. Why does all this still upset me so much?
A - It’s not surprising that you have a deep mind and body response to those messages which are so different to your own experience.
Our subconscious mind is where we store our early memories, and it’s closely related to our ‘out-of-awareness’ bodily functions. It’s our bodies that are the first to be impacted by emotional (as well as physical) trauma. Anything that reminds us of that will be felt in the body before we realise it with our conscious mind.
Knowing the reason for, and accepting, your feelings will help the ‘adult’ you to soothe the pain that your ‘inner child’ feels. Those feelings of deep sadness and disappointment at what you did and didn’t get as a child, the anger at the way you were treated, and the feelings of powerlessness at not being able to change anything back then.
It’s never too late to re-parent your inner child – I call it ‘Care & Repair From The Inside Out’ ©.
You can now adopt your own inner child and treat her in the way that she needed all those years ago. The pain of what you missed out on will subside when you replace it with love.
You can’t still expect this love to come from your parents, but you can instead have a purer type of love – the unconditional and reliable love from your adult self to your inner child.
If you have difficulty finding and loving your inner child then you may have a bit more work to do in this area.
That doesn’t necessarily mean months or years of therapy! I have several articles here on Life Labs that I suggest you read - especially How To Heal & Re-Parent Your Inner Child (click on the link in the text). You can also see my website below for lots of free resources to help you to recover from a troubled childhood.
You can learn how to heal your emotional wounds, and in time these ‘happy family’ images and messages will bring only a neutral response from you. You’ll still see them but you won’t be ‘hooked’ by them, and your old wounds won’t be activated.
Awareness is the first step towards change… and you’re now taking that crucial step towards making peace with the past which will bring you a calmer, happier life - and merrier Christmases ahead.
Maxine Harley (MSc Psychotherapy) MIND HEALER & MENTOR
www.maxineharley.com Where you'll find FREE e-booklets, videos, and articles to help and inform you as you take care of your wounded inner child. There's also an online guide/course called - '3 Steps To Sort Yourself Out - without therapy!' which might interest you (it's only £37 - or £27 if you use the discount code TENOFF at the checkout)
www.maxineharleymentoring.com - Therapeutic self-development mentoring for women who want to understand and manage their emotions, boundaries and behaviours - and to stop the past from messing up the future in both their home and working lives!
www.the-ripple-effect.co.uk - 10 online self-help workshops to help you to manage different troubling aspects of your life - anxiety, stress, depression, anger, self-esteem and confidence, how to calm down and think straight (mindful living), how to balance your mind body and weight, how to be happier, how to understand yourself and how to understand your relationships
www.qpp.uk.com - the new paradigm in therapy - which reveals and revises those unhelpful sub-conscious beliefs which have been getting in your way! You can change your life in 24 hours when you change your S.C.R.I.P.T (c) - Sub-Conscious-Rules-Influencing-Present-Time!