When I think about Christmas.

This year travelled along very quickly and we sit on the verge of another brand spanking NEW YEAR !!!

Before I get ahead of myself, Christmas is waiting around the corner to be celebrated first. I must admit my first Christmas back in 2016 was the most difficult emotionally after our family broke up and with another Christmas in between being 2017, I have sprung back to enjoying Christmas again.

Christmas 2018.

Two Christmas’s ago I felt very sad, missed my adult children and was grieving over a broken family. It was the toughest Christmas I’ve ever experienced. As I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog it is all the FIRST’S that are the hardest when life has bought about a huge change. I’ve always known that change is not my favourite experience. It throws me off somewhat and depending upon the extent of the change determines how much it affects me.

As any mum I love all of my children and it is in this area I have been forced to let go and accept that Christmas will always be different now. Not all my adult children live close by, two of them are a 16 hour drive away. I miss them all the time. Of course my adult children were always going to grow up and leave home eventually and the eldest was already living away from home when our family broke up however it usually happens slowly. This allows time for the mum to accept it and grieve. When our family broke up it was overnight, no warning with no time to get ready emotionally.

It was on that night and in that moment I had to make a choice. The choice I took led me out the doors of the house we had just moved into and led me out of a very unhealthy 27 year marriage. I had to leave my adult children behind to save myself. I took my youngest with me and knew that this was going to be very hard for everyone.

As we are all on the verge of Christmas 2018 I am thankful that I made that choice. I can look back to where I was and appreciate living a healthy life. I love my new life. I no longer need to live on egg shells or cope with anxiety most days. I am experiencing a whole new world of healthy.

It is important to recognise what healthy looks like. We are happy to recognise the need to be healthy physically however often overlook what healthy is in our relationships. Unhealthy relationships impact psychologically, emotionally, spiritually and physically. I’m not talking about the little arguments couples have, I’m talking about mistreatment. Mistreatment that continues year after year.

It’s the mistrust, hurtful behaviour, manipulation, neglect, selfishness, sarcasm, emotional abuse and for some physical abuse. We often hear about this happening not realising how very real it is and how much it hurts people. No person on the planet deserves this form of treatment. If someone truly loves you they will not treat you that way, that is not love. A person who carries out this type of behaviour has deep issues and you will never be able to fix them.

SHOULD by some miracle that person sort themselves out and get better it will be too late as the damage is done and you will never trust them again. They have wounded you.

This Christmas when we celebrate lets not ignore the people around us as they could be dealing with something very painful. Christmas has a way of reminding us about the people we truly care about. Some of those people may live far away or may have even moved on into eternity.

If you know deep down that your relationship is very unhealthy and you are hurting more than anyone knows, remember that regardless of how scary it might be to reach out to others you cant do this alone. Its not your fault and you don’t deserve to be treated badly. If someone close to you was being treated very badly in a relationship would you accept that? If not then why would you allow someone to treat YOU badly? (food for thought)

WISHING YOU ALL A SAFE AND LOVELY CHRISTMAS 🙂


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The Bitter & Sweet taste of December

The most sentimental month of the year is upon us…. December….

December sneaks up quickly every single year. Most people tend to shake their heads in disbelief that the year is nearly over. As you consider the other eleven months of the year it is December that succeeds at building anticipation into the lives of people. The anticipation begins in the shopping malls. Christmas decorations create an atmosphere of joyful celebration. Individuals visiting shopping malls may be battling all sorts of issues in their lives or their families yet the Christmas spirit provides a tiny distraction from the reality facing them.

Boxes marked ‘Christmas deco’s’ are pulled out of storage cupboards. These boxes are filled with Christmas treasures collected over the year’s. Some of the decorations may hold special meaning especially the ones handed down by someone in the family or the ones handmade at school by young children. The inside and outside of homes are decorated and tell a Christmas story unique to each family.

Over the years life changes and life happens. These changes can affect our families and lives drastically representing various joys, challenges and events. Depending on the types of challenges and events we each face determines the various emotions we have to deal with.

The intense and difficult events we face, the ones that take the wind out of our sails can leave us hesitant at facing the month of December.

December represents family, celebration, giving, sharing, holidays, laughing and fun. It also represents the end of the year. Most people begin considering what the next year will look like while others go a step further and make plans.

If you have been blessed to have had a relatively pain free year then Christmas is always a great way of winding it up. A good year lays the foundation for excitement to build in the home. Family members begin thinking about which gifts to buy each other. Christmas presents are stashed in secret places to keep them hidden. The smells of Christmas cookies or cakes send out signals from kitchen windows signifying the arrival of this special anticipated day.

I’ve had some difficult Christmas’s in times past in which the lack of money made it difficult to relax. Or the crazy Christmas house move that invaded all of the typical traditions that would have normally taken place, leaving everyone feeling as though Christmas didn’t really happen. Those types of Christmas’s although challenging were lived through as one family unit, a family of seven.

We all hear about families that break down. Sometimes we hear about it and gasp in shock at the news.

The shock and surprise is even worse when it is your own family that has broken apart. This is the reality of my year.  My recent blogs share about this journey filled with more downs than ups.

Christmas time marks five months of being a single mum to a 9 year old. All four of my other children are adults and live in Queensland. This Christmas I will be celebrating with my parents and sisters including their families. We won’t be alone. Knowing that I won’t be celebrating with my adult children is daunting. Just the thought alone has sort of been put to the side for the moment as I don’t want to feel the hurt of that too early.

On a normal Christmas month I would have already put up all of the decorations in the house and around the house. In fact that always happened on the 1st of December. I was never one to have had the presents purchased early. This would normally happen about a week before Christmas. I would spend hours with my husband shopping for all of the kids. We would stop for coffee on regular intervals just to keep our energies up as we navigated the shopping crowds. It was fun in a crazy way. I would also purchase all the ingredients to cook up a Finnish feast for our large family to enjoy!

Given the massive changes this year my Christmas is very different. No crazy decorations around my small two bedroom unit, just a small tree. No crazy Christmas shopping for all of the kids. Just a little shopping for my 9 year old as my peanut budget restricts me. For my adult children it will be equally hard and difficult as they spend Christmas without their mum and young brother. That thought alone breaks my heart in two.

As others plan and consider the New Year I can’t even fathom the year ahead. I’m still dealing with loss and hurt. While the pain has lessened it hasn’t disappeared. Some days I just hurt. It is no easy task to have had your identity as a mum of a large family switched to a mum of one 9 year old. My identity has changed and my responsibilities. I’m also my son’s only provider financially and emotionally. He is the one I am focusing on for the time being.

When you are in the middle of heart break the anticipation of Christmas becomes diluted. It is diluted in pain and hurt. My story is one of many. Many families experience breakdowns, tragedies and loss.

If you are one of the many who happen to be experiencing heart breaking events leading up to Christmas I only hope that my blog has a way of letting you know that you are not the only one. You are not alone. Others too are facing a Christmas not quite the same as previous ones. And that’s OK. There are no rules for how to feel. Allow yourself to feel the pain and the hurt. Talk about it with your family and friends.

As I consciously repeat to myself over and over again that “this pain will pass”, I’m aware that there are no short cuts through. I acknowledge my pain and have come to accept that this Christmas will be different…..

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥