For those of us caught up in domestic violence or recovering from abuse, Christmas can be especially tough. It may be the season to be merry for some, but for many people the festivities mean tension, fear, loneliness and sadness. Whether you have escaped your Grinch or haven’t yet pushed Bad Santa back up the chimney, here’s a couple of ideas to help you be good to yourself this year.
Your Grinch-free Christmas
If the wounds are still fresh, you may be feeling conflicted: grieving over the loss of happy Christmases with your ex (back before he or she turned into the soul-stealing Grinch) and probably suffering flashbacks to the festive times that he merrily destroyed with his chaos and abuse. Acknowledge that what you feel is absolutely normal. Everyone feels philosophical at yuletide, as we reflect on the year gone by. And, if you’ve escaped an abusive relationship, you often have far more on your plate than turkey with all the trimmings!
So this year, I want you to do something for yourself. You deserve it. Go buy the most beautiful greetings card you can find. Look for one with wording that resonates with you. Have fun picking out a funny picture, or design that best fits your quirky personality.
Now, do you have a half an hour to spare? Well, I want you to grab a cup of cocoa and a pen, and curl up on your sofa to write out the most important Christmas card of the season. And, guess what? It’s for you! Use the Reclaiming Christmas with Avalanche card to fill it in.
What you do with the card is up to you. Whether you put it in pride of place above the fire, or store it safely in your bedside cabinet – open it up and read it at least once a day, as a reminder of how much you have achieved and how far you have come.
Yuletide with Bad Santa
Living with an energy-vampire makes it so much harder to enjoy the small things that make Christmas magical. You try to make the most of the season – for the sake of the children or because that’s what so-called ‘normal’ people do. But it is unbearably hard, because everyone else seems to be having a much more merry time than you! You continue to put his needs first, as you try to cope with the extra demands and pressures of the yuletide.
Do something for you. A small (but safe) rebellion against the Bad Santa in your life. Don’t do anything that may put you at greater risk, but pick out one thing that you used to do for your ‘me-time’ – and do it.
Great secrecy is advised – your abuser is designed to prevent you from any action that seems like you are carving out some independence, even if it’s just taking 20 minutes out of your schedule for a luxurious bath. So, if you can, choose a time when he is not around.
For some ideas, check out my Safe Christmas Me-Time sheet.
* This post is adapted from my 12 Days of Christmas series, published in 2013.
How are you planning to be good to yourself this Christmas? Do you have any tips to share for those of us dealing with or recovering from domestic abuse?
© Avalanche of the Soul, 2013-14 https://avalancheofthesoul.wordpress.com