The first few days of 2016 are already behind us, and I hope that—like me—you are excited at the prospect of a whole new year in front of you. But how about those last couple of weeks of 2015? Did you make it through okay?
I remember that the holidays always used to make me feel exhausted because of all the pretense and emotional blackmail. My parents, and my mother especially, were always keen on keeping the holiday vibe going as long as possible. She often rearranged all the furniture before Christmas, so she could create a prominent place for her Christmas tree to create a great-hall-like dining room. The couches in the mean time were moved to the back room (what was usually the dining room) so they were all clustered around the piano. She could have us all play our instruments while the family gathered… just like in the movies I suppose.
Keeping up the appearances was always hard, and I cannot remember a single special occasion, where I did not at some point was having a fight with someone. As the scapegoat of the family, the strain of the pretense was very often directed at me. Any crack in the veneer would be blamed on me, and my mother’s frustration would follow.
It is now that I am away from that toxicity that I am realizing that – even though holidays are often emotionally charged situations – not EVERY SINGLE family ends their gatherings in fights and arguments. It is just not normal, and it is not healthy or acceptable.
That’s why I asked. Did you make it through the holidays okay? Or are you an emotional mess, do you feel unbalanced, insecure and drained? Perhaps it is time to have a good long look at your family dynamic. Is there perhaps a toxic dynamic? Have a look at some of these articles, and see how they relate to you family.