This may not be true for every therapist, but I’ve noticed each year that right after the holidays I get an influx of new clients. I used to think it was like a New Years resolution for people- they wanted to start the year off working towards a healthier life. In some cases that’s true, in most cases I’ve seen, it’s not.
I’ve recognized that a lot of people seek help not because it’s a new year, but because of the thoughts and emotions that come up during the holidays.
Specifically, from being around family... and oftentimes, from going home.
Even though they are adults, they get back home and find themselves feeling the same way they did when they were younger.
Still teased. Still the black sheep of the family. The “weird” one.
Still can’t make the dish or set the table up to their family’s standards. Still asked when they are going to get a real job, or find a spouse. Still don’t feel up to par.
Still go home to the dysfunction that was never dealt with years ago, that inevitably pops up through arguments and fights whenever everyone is together.
Still feel like they need to be the peace maker. Still holds everyone’s burdens even though no one seems to care about how they are doing.
Still don’t feel loved. Still wonder if anyone cares.
The holidays can be very triggering because sometimes family is really, really hard.
I encourage you, friend, if you find yourself in this position...
Hold on to some anchor of truth..
Keep it in your mind and close to your heart. Write it down if you need to:
How you are treated or spoken to by the people around you does not in any way, shape or form change what is true about you.
You are loved. You are treasured, even.
No one has to agree with your beliefs or like what you are doing with your life.
You might be different than how they’d like you to be, but that’s really not theirs to decide.
You are you. Made with a purpose, with a plan, and made with an unthinkable amount of love by God.
Protect your heart with the truth. Cling to it.
You can love people while putting up boundaries. Sometimes boundaries that may include you not going back for now.
Even though it’s so difficult sometimes, you can choose to believe the truth of who you are, rather than believe the way they might make you feel.
I pray you get to experience peace and joy during a time that you might typically dread.
I also pray you remember who you are, and how much you are loved.
~Kelli Bachara, The Unraveling Blog