The holidays are not the easiest time of year, especially when dealing with a toxic family situation. It is like putting the toxic dynamic in a pressure cooker and waiting to see if (or rather when) it will explode.
There are ways to prepare and minimize the stress and hurt. Here are some of the resources we created over the years. Have a read through, and remember that preparing your boundaries and how you will protect them does help!
The Chill of Christmas
Making It Through Christmas
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Dealing With the Christmas Merry Go Round
How to Have Happy Holidays
There is extra strain on us to let the outside see that perfect family time, but as survivors I am sure we also all remember that feeling of putting in plenty of emotional overtime to try and make our abuser happy. If we just get him that perfect gift, or cook her that stunning 6 course meal. If only we can make the tree perfect, the table setting the most sparkly in the world. Maybe that will turn them from a Grinch into a Christmas morning Scrooge (the post ghost visit one). Maybe, like every family in every Christmas film ever made, this will be the year where they will see the error of their ways… yeah, maybe… but probably not.
Preparing for Significant Dates
But however much I enjoy the festive season, it is also something of a minefield of triggers. There is the constant emphasis on family that is just plastered all over the television. The many memories of strenuous family gatherings… there are too many to mention really.
This is a time of year when I lean into my strategies and rescue plans. I have been down this path a few times now, and I have my emergency plans ready at a moments notice. This is where strategy and planning comes in handy. So here is the thinking that has gone into my plan.