Christmas: Not always the season to be jolly.
Christmas time is fast approaching. Whilst it should be a wonderful joyous time of year to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and the togetherness of family, for some it can often bring many mixed emotions for those who have experienced childhood sexual abuse.
A challenging time of year
For these people it can be an exceptionally challenging time of year. Some may have to physically face their perpetrators. Others can reflect on what they have missed out on through their experience, and compare themselves to all of the ‘advertising’ associated with the season. Others are reminded of their secret, and in fear of hurting others, stay silent and hold it inside.
And unspoken truth
Sometimes the ‘secret’ is simply an unspoken truth – The family may know some (or all) of the story, but they choose to dance to the tune of ‘we’ll sweep the problem under the rug’ or ‘let’s ignore the dirty little secret’, all whilst pretending nothing ever happened.
Even in the busiest room, surrounded by the biggest family and greatest friends, victims can feel a complete sense of isolation and loneliness.
Take your eyes off the turkey
It takes someone truly special to take their eyes off the turkey and see who is struggling at Christmas. Sometimes the best people to surround yourself with are not those of blood relation, but people who can hold a space for you, love you and empower you. If they are the same thing – great! If not, then perhaps choose to spend your Christmas with someone who will love, support and empower you regardless of who they are.
And if you notice someone struggling – be kind, create and hold a space, check that they are OK. You don’t need to hear their story, just provide them a place to be who they are beyond the victim.
Merry Christmas from your friends at Restoring Hope.