Blogs by Linda Settles
Holidays Can Be Trouble...
9/28/2008 6:40:17 PM
Holiday wishes, Seasons Greetings, and other carriers of ambivalence...
Ambivalence. The thing that happens when two opposing feelings abide in our heart--at the same time. Like two lions wrestling over the same piece of meat, ambivalence can leave a bloody trail.
The person who has experienced growing up in an unhealthy family environment is almost certain to experience ambivalence during the holiday season. Those who have survived abuse, neglect, abandonment and/or other forms of betrayal by family members, almost always find the holidays to be a triggering event, especially when the family has not healed or has chosen to deny the survivor's pain, further exacerbating the suffering that he or she endured.
The past, in this case, has not yet arrived, because the continuing failure by the offender or colluding family members to repent and take responsibility for the damage done to the survivor, has not ceased to exist. Sadly, the damage done by unhealthy family patterns and dysfunctionality will continute to be perpetuated to future generations unless the next generation actively and diligently seeks out the truth and applies it as one would apply a cleansing antiseptic to the wounds he or she has suffered. Only by cleansing can healing occur, and only by healing of the wounds can a healthy person emerge and turn the tide of dyfunction for the next generation.
The clash of emotions: longing and dread, love and resentment, hope and fear, and many others fight for dominance in the heart that has been repeatedly injured in the haven of the soul that home was intened to be for him or her, and for every child.
We want to go home--but we want home to be safe, and warm, and friendly. We want to experience love without disdain, safety without hypergivilence, and understanding by those who know, or should have known, our pain.
Often, those who love us are limited by their own woundings and they offer a love that has been ravaged by the lies they have believed and the defense systems they have constructed in order to maintain those lies.
Time spent with unhealthy (or toxic as some have said) family members must necessarily be limited and carefully monitored by the recovering survivor, else emotional and spiritual set backs are certain to occur.
As the holidays approach, I encourage my friends who may be progressing beyond abuse, neglect, abandonment, and/or other forms of betrayal to navigate carefully through the holiday season, stay connected with other healthy people, and stay alert when you choose to join family gatherings so that you will not be drawn back into unhealthy relational styles during this season.
For more on this subject see my blog at: beyond-abuse.org
More Blogs by Linda Settles
Redeeming Our Treasures One Day at a Time - Saturday, December 06, 2008
Redemption... - Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Redeeming Our Love for Christ - Thursday, October 02, 2008
Holidays Can Be Trouble... - Sunday, September 28, 2008
Dancing Daffodils - Thursday, September 25, 2008
Assessing the Strengths of A Recovering Sexual Abuse Survivor - Saturday, September 20, 2008
Good News for Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse - Friday, September 19, 2008
My Trials Had to Stand for Something... - Saturday, August 30, 2008
Renounce Negativity! - Thursday, August 28, 2008
Antiseptic Grace - Monday, August 25, 2008
A Safe Harbor - Sunday, August 24, 2008
Honor-it is not what you think! - Saturday, August 23, 2008
Break My Heart... - Saturday, August 23, 2008
Letting go - Monday, August 11, 2008
I'm Stepping - Saturday, August 09, 2008
God Help Our Youth! - Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Don't tell your children what to think! - Thursday, July 31, 2008
On top of the mountain - Wednesday, July 30, 2008
A Wrinkle in My Spirit - Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Let us stand firm in our faith... - Sunday, July 27, 2008
From Where I Stand - Wednesday, July 23, 2008
WOW! What a Show! - Saturday, July 19, 2008
When I Can't See - Friday, July 11, 2008
Its Not Just Me - Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Complications.... - Monday, June 23, 2008