December 28, 2013

Stress and the holidays

I needed the workout the day after Christmas. I needed it for stress relief. This Christmas was horrible, I'm still stressed out and heart broken. I grew up in an abusive family. When I was a kid holidays and vacations were the times of my life that I'd suffer the most abuse and stress. Most people who grew up in an abusive family abuse their children, and their children abuse their children, and the cycle continues indefinitely. I'm one of the few who has been able to stop the abuse cycle. I'm a great parent.... most of the time. Still to this day I get stressed out when we have large family functions, ESPECIALLY when it is Thanksgiving or Christmas. But for some reason this Christmas this year was even worse than usual.

My wife, 3 children, and I decided to spend Christmas holiday with my in-laws. From the time we got to their house I was a nervous wreck. I couldn't relax, I couldn't sit still, I kept pacing, I didn't want to play with my kids, I didn't engage anyone in conversation, and when anyone tried to talk to me I did everything I could to end the conversation as quickly as possible. I didn't mean to be, but I was an ass and I'm sure I made everyone feel uncomfortable. I never yelled at my kids, said hurtful or abusive things to them.  But by the end of Christmas eve my 6 year old had a melt down. On Christmas day my 4 and 8 year were grumpy. I'm certain it was because they picked up on my anxiety.

Next week I have family coming to visit for 6 days. I don't want to act like I did at Christmas, but I'm afraid it'll happen again. I seem to be broken.

1 comment:

Mona Malec said...

Oh my dear gentle with yourself. Those of us who have committed to breaking the cycle are not broken, even thought we believe we are. Large family gatherings are such a challenge. Honor the work you have done by being respectful to yourself....leave if you need to....blame a bad stomach and take a walk.

You are amazing...know that.... much as you need to....

I'm here for you!