Does this time of year fill you with dread? Perhaps it’s not so much that you don’t want to embrace it for all its fun and frivolity, but more that you feel shackled by the ghosts of your past.
Here, success coach and survivor Lisa Cybaniak gives her take on how you too, can thrive this festive season.
Christmas is a wonderful time to spend with family, but it is also a time filled with unreasonable expectations, and chaos.
Trying to make sure everyone has a gift they’ll love, all the decorations are perfect, the family meal is decadent, and your recreation of your childhood family Christmas are spot on, can be absolutely exhausting.
What if your childhood was abusive? What if your Christmases have been filled with the pain of knowing that your upbringing wasn’t like the upbringing of others?
It can leave you reliving the shame of your abuse, and mourning the loss of a ‘normal’ childhood. If you’re anything like me, this will fuel you to drive yourself mad trying to give your kids everything you didn’t have… And run you into the ground in the process.
Tips to Thrive
Here are 3 tips to allow you to thrive this Christmas!
1 Ditch the Shame
Your abuse wasn’t about you. If we had the ability to go back in time, pluck you out of that situation, and replace you with someone else, the same would happen to them. Your abuser was not abusing you, he was abusing, full stop. You just happened to be there, which gave him opportunity. It wasn’t about what you were wearing, saying, doing, or how you were behaving – none of it. It wasn’t about you. The shame of your abuse lies squarely on the shoulders of your abuser.
2 Honour Yourself
Give yourself what you need, especially over the holidays. Show yourself the same patience and kindness you would show someone you love, if they were struggling. What would you say to your partner, children, or best friend if they approached you about the stresses they were feeling? Would you tell them to forget the small stuff, take deep breaths, take time to read a book or have a hot bath, or to delegate to others to lessen their load? Can you take your own advice?
3 Rewrite the Script
Not only are you able to break the cycle of abuse for your loved ones, you are able to break it for yourself as well. If you’ve been playing that negative mantra in your head that you’re not good enough, lucky enough, worthy or strong enough to deserve better, then I’m here to tell you your wrong. Those beliefs stem from the words and actions of your abuser. They are not your truth, unless you let them be. It stops here and now by dispelling each of these myths. When you realise they all originated with your abuse, you are ready to face them head on. There is no evidence for any of those beliefs. When you acknowledge that, you become free to rewrite that script. Who are you, really? Forget about your past, and even your career for a moment, and answer the question, ‘Who am I?’ The answer with be your new mantra, and will change your life forever!
You deserve more
Christmas can be a challenging time, bringing out the memories of past abuse, and the resentment of not having what all children deserve – love.
It is also filled with the opportunity to acknowledge and challenge your deeply rooted beliefs, rewrite your script, and honour yourself, perhaps for the first time.
You deserve this, now more so than ever. The question is, do you believe you deserve this?