December 23, 2009
Mini Carnival: Holiday Survival Tips for Survivors
Happy Holidays, all! Stay safe, stay sane!
To All My Poly Pals: by Marj aka Thriver on Polyvore.com
First, I direct you to a list found on Dr. Deb's blog, entitled, "Ten Tips to Keep You in Yuletide Cheer." Especially helpful for dissociative survivors or those with PTSD: "Avoid triggers that set old traumas into motion." Easier said than done, but definitely something to be aware of is her advice to stay in the present. I also like, "Use your senses to find beauty and peace in small moments around you." Especially if you find yourself around your perpetrator or someone toxic or abusive, remind yourself that the beauty and peace you discover with those senses of yours can never be taken away from you.
The next blogger I'm highlighting is new to me. The blog is called Healing Stream for Survivors. The insightful, useful post is called Holiday Tips for Incest Survivors. If you are still in a quandary about whether or not to show up at your family of origin gathering tomorrow or Friday, you may want to check out this post. It gives useful ideas for weighing the pros and cons of attending family of origin gatherings or passing on them. There is one word of caution here, however: Don't spend the holiday alone. I agree. Even if it's simply taking a book to read at a Chinese restaurant or going to see a movie--get out there. Crunch in the snow. Take a drive and look at the Christmas lights. Grab an eggnog latte.
Another blog that is new to me that I am loving is Grace Davis' State of Grace. Her post, An Adult Child Abuse Survivor's Guide to the Holidays makes the point that you don't have to go to any holiday gatherings of your family of origin, but gives many helpful tips for if you do go. As a dissociative, I particularly like her idea about sitting next to the window and looking out. For me, I find looking at falling snow, birds at a feeder, frosted trees, etc. quite grounding. You need to stay grounded so that you can keep yourself safe.
I found Grace Davis through Patricia's blog, Spiritual Journey of a Lightworker. State of Grace was a wonderful resource link Patricia provided in her post entitled, Help Getting Through the Holidays. When you visit Patricia's blog, stay and take a look around. Her two most recent posts are about feelings and the spirit of Christmas. Her post on December 2 talks about shutting down to get through the holidays. I always find something I can relate to at her blog.
Patricia was, actually, the spark that motivated this mini carnival for me. Thanks, Patricia! Her post that I just mentioned also points to Colleen's blog, Surviving by Grace. Her posts, How to Help a Survivor of Child Sexual Abuse, and If You Want to Help a Survivor are not exactly holiday tips lists for survivors, but they have some wonderful ideas for how your healthy, non-toxic friends and relatives can be helpful to you during this stressful, often triggering, time. You might just want to copy off these posted ideas and have them in your pocket in the next couple of days as a reminder for you to be assertive and ask supportive loved ones for what you need.
My blogger friend, Clinically Clueless is anything but. She is making her own holiday-time changes and is passing them on to other survivors in her post, Holidays ~ A Time For Change. This is an amazingly helpful, powerful, yet short and succinct list that we can all adopt as we make healthy changes in our lives. I especially like her advice to "make your own family traditions." I started doing this when I was single and on my own and have really enjoyed adopting my own holiday family traditions with my husband and my son. Remember: just because Grandma did it doesn't mean you have to do it...particularly if it is stressful and/or triggering! We have choices now. Let's make them!
Finally, I leave you with Amy's blog Smelling God. Amy is an amazingly prolific Christian writer who has created her own four-part series of posts about getting through the holidays, aptly named "Surviving The Holidays." Part four of four is about finding and celebrating your new beginnings. Part three talks so importantly about breaking the cycle, protecting yourself, saying no and starting your own new traditions. Part two is my favorite and is really the tips list, starting off by saying, "you are enough!" and explaining how to let go of your abuser's brain washing. On the list itself, I really like her advice about copying kids at Christmas. Make a snow angel! She also gives us this gem: "Reclaim their joy and make it your own." Yes! Amy's part one of four explains how to overcome fear and dread, which may really be mounting for some of us as Christmas Day approaches.
My thanks goes out to these helpful bloggers for letting me highlight their holiday posts. Thanks for reading. Won't you stop by their blogs and tell them you appreciate them, too? As always, I appreciate all of you for letting me into your lives. I'm looking forward to continuing our bloggy buddy relationships and survivor solidarity in 2010. If any of you think you may want to host a monthly edition of The Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse in the New Year, please leave me a comment expressing your willingness to do so. Thanks, in advance!
We are leaving early in the morning for two days of visiting family first in Louisiana and then in Texas before coming home late Christmas night. When I get home I will post a link to this Mini Carnival.
Have a safe and loving holiday with your family. Make it a glorious day of good memories for you, your husband and son.
Happy New Year. May 2010 bring you joy, good health, success and an abundance of all good things.