J.S. Memoirs on Jaded Savior blog
A Collective of memoirs by J.S. about Trauma + Mental Health + Abuse + Healing.
#christmas #joy #breakthecycle #catalyst #triggers #abuse
As the year draws to an end and the holidays come in like a rush of excitement and celebration, many families will enjoy abundance of all different means.
From comfort food and presents, to comforting family moments and fun traditions made once more.
Whether you have a large family or small one, are a single mom or a huge, loving family of 10 including your spouse ----> no matter how filled up your heart and home are this season, you will cherish most the love and joy you feel with one another.
That is what kids are to remember most as they grow.
18 Christmases with us until they are grown.
I've seen all sorts of ways people have celebrated. From over the TOP cheer to minimalist experience gifts and leisure.
From hosting the annual, traditional Christmas party to going away on vacation somewhere fun and sunny during the holiday week.
Some people have chosen to skip Christmas all together. Some have gone extremely minimalist. And that is great.
Whatever you choose to do during the holiday season, for all the holidays there are, do it with love.
Love. Gratitude. Joy. Appreciation.
Stripped of all the fluff, the core of celebrations are to celebrate the people in our lives. And the achievements we have.
I'd love to change the narrative of holiday celebrations.
I'd love to see families sit around talking about their goals in a positive way.
Feed positivity and encouragement into one another.
Hear about each others experiences and dreams.
One thing I have learned as a bystander in other peoples family celebrations for the past decade plus is that families do a whole lot of planning and fluff aligns the holiday but very little interaction with one another.
People go all out with food and activities, gifts and decor ---> and the aesthetic of the holidays can be quite spectacular.
Holiday movies depict heart warming moments of joy and laughter, in the same whimsical and magical setting of holiday decor and traditions.
But as dinner is getting prepared and everyone sits around the home, the small talk passed around is so empty of encouragement for the new year.
If your family DOES have deep, emotional, inspirational talks when getting together---> I would love to hear about it in the comments.
But what I'm referring to are the many families who's traditions are to numb through dinner, nod and smile through small talk and then make the focal point of the day on gifts.
For me, all of your bonds with your families are your gifts.
I would have done anything growing up to have REAL parents. Healthy parents. A family void of trauma.
In my childhood and adolescent years, I was convinced abuse and trauma were the norms for all.
My mission as an adult is to provide my own kids with toxic free holidays and a trauma free lifestyle.
Breaking the cycle is the gift that keeps on giving.
And many people wonder how they can break the cycle. Break a mold without shattering their relationships.
But how does it feel when year after year you feel bullied or discouraged by family?
When holidays feel stressful and getting together with family means preparing to be eye rolled and belittled by the people who brought you into this world....
When trauma seeps into the holidays, it looks something like "the drunk uncle", "the overworked mother", "the sit and do nothing father", "the not out and afraid sibling", "the college drop out", "the racist grandpa", "the overbearing and boundary slaying grandma".
And we break bread with, laugh with, comply with it all.
For the sake of the holidays.
For the sake of family.
For those of us who experience this, we grit and deal with it right? Just a few hours a year... just a few days a year...
The thing is, we are not sure how to change the tone of conversations or the way the evening goes.
We have not been taught how to dismantle trauma.
I want future generations as well as mine [90s baby] to learn how to and then actively do something during stressful, abusive situations.
Beyond that, I want us all to take the power we have and make the holidays something meaningful.
To introduce new traditions. New conversations.
To sit with our relatives and ask them intriguing questions. To encourage new reading and education. To open up their eyes. Inspire them.
I want YOU TO BE THE ONE to open your mouth and say "this is my big dream and I'd like to tell you about it".
Not a timid "if you'd listen, I'd like to..." or "I was hoping to tell you something".
Not a question.
Holidays are meant for gathering around and celebrating the year. The love in retrospect.
The joy of being together.
And while you may feel beaten down by past defeats, know that you always have the chance to step in. To take some control and make some new traditions that your younger family members will follow suit in after you have led.
Even more so, if you have an abusive or shitty relative, do not be quiet about it.
That does not mean you should:
●MAKE A SCENE
●SHOUT OR FLIP OUT
What it does mean is having a firm statement passed onto them.
About their behavior. About how uncool it is.
If you need to ask another adult to do so, then do that.
But make it known.
Trauma survivors often feel TRAPPED during the holidays.
Surrounded by people who are borderline or blatantly abusive ---> we tend to FREEZE.
Lastly, if you are unfortunately surrounded by abusive family and you have tried or believe it is impossible to make change happen...if you think speaking up will be a danger..
There is a new tradition you need to make.
Celebrate your own way.
Do something new.
Stop showing up.
It feels hard and like a betrayal because maybe they are all you have. Or maybe you feel like blood means never giving up.
It feels hard because you have tolerated it until now so why quit? It's one day right? Measly hours...
The thing is.. healing is a commitment.
Leading a healthy and happy life is a commitment.
So if you could trade a few hours of painful encounters for doing something that brings you joy ---> DO IT.
This is your reminder that HOLIDAYS are not synonymous with abuse.
You do not have to be a part of something you don't feel comfortable or safe in.
Next, if your family is just "used to" not being very deep or open ----> YOU can change that.
If you find yourself being a highly sensitive person or highly emotional person, then you are NOT AN OUTCAST.
In many ways, YOU ARE THE CATALYST.
You can start with games or conversations that you start with them. And you can teach them how to become open. Comfortable. safe.
You would be shocked to know how many of your family members have survived abuse and never told anyone.
How many were raised to tolerate things silently.
They are not silent to punish you.
They are silent to punish themselves.
That is what trauma looks like.
This holiday season, take control of tradition.
Integrate healthy things into the home.
Into each others hearts.
Teach the children how to have deeper conversation and play games of mindfulness.
Teach the children how to engage with the adults on a deeper level.
Use your awareness and emotional senses to make impact.
Or take It elsewhere for your own well being.
You do not have to suffer in your own story.
And you can define Merry in a whole new way.
♡ J.S. Jaded Savior
Content mention of Rape, Abuse, Neglect, Addictions, Mental Illness, Kidnap, Molestation, Child abuse, Teen Pregnancy, Abortion, birth, body image, gender/identity dysphoria, sexuality, personal trauma, domestic violence and other extremely personal stories. Please practice caution. I am not a licensed physician or mental health professional. No medical prescribing is provided on this site, Only personal insights, experience stories, and advice; All stories published have had prior authorization.
Jean Grey is a pen name that I use across socials and as a writer at my own discretion. Jean is my birth name and Grey is a symbolic addition I chose for significance to my identity.
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