Christmas time ......

JGTRG

New Here
Christmas is a real hard time for me. The time I have to put on a brave face and pretend to be ok whilst melting inside while everyone plays happy (definitely not) families. I have to do this for my Son, otherwise I really wouldn’t.

Long story short. My therapist says the emotional abuse I experienced as a child was some of the worst she’s come across (I haven’t even disclosed all). Yet, she’s astounded by what I’ve achieved for myself and how far I’ve come. My therapist is the first person to ever say that to me - isn’t that sad?

I have to re-live this trauma all the time. I hate, I hate being around my family, especially my Mother because I feel so much anger when I’m around her and it just sends me into the deepest sadness. She doesn’t treat my Son the way she treated me, neither does any of my family, they treat him very well, I wouldn’t allow it any other way. It makes me angry - why did you treat me the way you did? Why couldn’t you love me that way? Urgh. It pushes me into some real dark place.

Today, I visited my Fathers house. Things aren’t bad with my Father, he wasn’t the one who caused my trauma. But he’s a very emotionally unavailable man - emotions are not in his vocabulary. He does try, he really does, he shows love through practical means. But it makes me sad too.

Nonetheless, I left my Fathers house feeling so sad, so empty and so lost. Why can’t I have a family? Why can’t I just be with my own family at Christmas? I feel so empty. I have a Son, he is my world, absolutely every reason to be alive, and thankfully, I do not resemble my Mother in any way, shape or fashion, and we hold a very strong loving bond. I guess he’s the reason I am trying so very hard to get on top of the way I feel. His Father isn’t around - well, he’s currently making my life hell (he’s in the US, I’m in the UK). He emotionally abused me horrendously - would you believe? I re-lived my relationship with my Mother with him, and that puts me at such unease.

My night terrors, re-living of such specific moments with my Mother as a young child haunt me. I really want them to go away. I’m in Trauma Focused CBT, and I guess it’s bringing up all the dirt and my mind has almost gone numb. I am not in a good place - yet externally I look well.

Does anyone else feel this way at Christmas? Or generally?
 

Sues

Confident
Hi and welcome. Yes, many of us have a hard time at Christmas and other holidays. I hate this time of the year. I struggle a lot as well. I'm sorry you're going through all of this.

It sounds like you have a wonderful family with you and your son. I know you want the rest of your family to be "your family," but we can't control what others do. Please be safe and continue to cherish your relationship with your son.

I am a bit worried about your therapist saying your abuse was some of the worst she's come across and "Isn't that sad?" Our therapists are not supposed to tell us we had it worse than someone else or react negatively to our trauma/abuse. They should never be shocked by what we tell them. Your reaction of "I haven't even disclosed all" makes me wonder if your therapist's reaction was negative towards you.

I had a therapist do that to me. It was the first time I'd been to a "trauma therapist". All I could think was 'if a trauma therapist says this is the worst she's seen, then it must be really bad and I must be really messed up.' I found another therapist and it is so much better and I'm doing a lot better now.

The truth is we are all experiencing trauma and we all need help and support. Please talk to your therapist about it and ask about support and not being negative. You should never be hesitant to talk about or disclose your experiences because you're concerned your therapist might think badly about it or you.
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
Hi @JGTRG, yup families can be tough. I don't go to my parents house hardly ever at all. It just reminds me of the trauma and violence. I'm glad to hear that you have a therapist. It does stir up alot of bad memories, however that's part of the process. They can't navigate how to help you unless they know the truth of what happened. It gets better!
 

Sadielady3

Confident
I have to re-live this trauma all the time. I hate, I hate being around my family, especially my Mother because I feel so much anger when I’m around her and it just sends me into the deepest sadness. She doesn’t treat my Son the way she treated me, neither does any of my family, they treat him very well, I wouldn’t allow it any other way. It makes me angry - why did you treat me the way you did? Why couldn’t you love me that way? Urgh. It pushes me into some real dark place.
I get this 100%. I actually made the conscious choice years ago not to have children because I was worried that my mother would show that she could love, that she had the capacity, children just not me. I never had children as a result of this thinking from way back when I was rather young but my brother did. And I watch my mother with my nieces and her constantly doting on them and treating them like little princesses. There is still a part of me, despite being 40, that gets hurt and jealous watching this. It's really difficult for me and I can completely understand how someone else might feel similarly.
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
This is the very worst time of year for me. And I used to feel so much of the feelings you do. I finally cut contact with my bio-family because the abuse was continuing and because it was just too triggering. And... over time, my feelings have eased. I still sometimes have that ache. That wish that I could have that family others seem to have. From what I've learned in life, those that didn't have family or who had abusive families have that ache, but the pain eases. And it really has for me.

Having said all that, this time of year really is shitty.
 
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