I truly dislike holidays & birthdays, & have felt this way for years. The reason I feel this way is also the reason for so much negativity in my life. It boils down to narcissistic behavior.
For all of my adult life, I’ve had demanding in-laws, both past & present, who expected my husband & I to do only as they wanted on holidays with no concern to anyone’s wishes beyond theirs. In fact, my current in-laws claimed almost all holidays before they died, not only Thanksgiving & Christmas, but also Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, etc. I’ve also had husbands who felt they must obey their demanding parents no matter what I felt. My birthday also has been ruined by narcissists more times than it hasn’t been. This all has ruined the joy I once felt about holidays. Seems quite understandable to me that I dislike special days now, but many people can’t seem to grasp this. In fact, many have been very critical of me for my feelings.
I thought I should write this for those of you who share similar experiences &/or feelings about special days.
You need to understand that if you feel as I do, your feelings are reasonable & valid. They are there for a reason, so don’t discount them. I know, most people can’t stand to learn a person doesn’t look forward to special days with a sense of glee, but they don’t understand that sometimes things happen. Sometimes one truly severe or traumatic thing can happen that instantly destroys your fondness of these days, such as the death of a loved one close to or on a holiday. How could anyone look forward to a holiday again when it’s a reminder of one of life’s most painful experiences?
Other times, you experience the same special day misery over & over again every single year. Maybe you’re forced to spend the day with someone who abused you. You know it’s not going to be pleasant to put it mildly. There is no way you’re going to happily anticipate holidays knowing what unpleasantness is coming your way.
Even if you haven’t experienced something awful around the holidays, you may have a family that only comes together on holidays, & the phoniness of it bothers you. That is one thing that rubs me very wrong about many holiday get togethers. If this group of people only sees each other on a holiday, why are they seeing each other at all? Why don’t they call each other or hang out together other times? To me, that feels incredibly fake, & it gets under my skin badly. I want no part of such get togethers because of the phoniness of it all.
Whatever your story, it’s ok to feel as you do. Accept that about yourself without judgment. If you’re struggling to do so, then imagine your closest friend came to you sharing their story which is yours. What would you tell that friend? Would you shame him or her for feeling that way or would you tell your friend you understand? Tell yourself whatever you would tell that friend.
Try to deal with your feelings however works best for you. Pray, journal, talk to someone safe & non judgmental. Talking through this helps a great deal to release so much pain inside you. Writing does, too, & it also can help to bring clarity to your situation & validate you.
I’m not going to tell you that you need to try to change your feelings & learn to love the holidays. That is up to you if you want to try to do that. I did, but it felt fake to me which is something I just can’t tolerate in myself. But, maybe it’ll work for you. If so, create new traditions just for yourself, Spend the day with special friends. Or, if you spend the day alone, make it a day just for you by doing something you thoroughly enjoy such as reading, watching good movies or going to a park.
I truly wish you the best in your situation! It’s not easy feeling like a holiday villain in a society that demands everyone enjoy the holidays. xoxo
2 responses to “For Those Who Lack Joy Around Holidays & Birthdays”
This post really resonates with me right now. As a Christian, I love certain aspects of the Christmas season. I even wrote a Christmas song that starts off with this line: “Happy birthday Jesus, it’s my favorite time of year…”
But, as a trauma survivor, I will be glad when the holidays are over. December is when some of my worst traumas happened. My mom tried to gas our whole family to death during December. Two of my friends committed suicide in December, one on the 10th, the other on the 26th.. And my uncle, who was like a brother to me, died two days after Christmas in 2006.
My neurofeedback treatments that I had a couple of years ago, have made a huge difference. I no longer cringe inside at the sound of the gas furnace going on and off, which feels like a miracle. But, still… I will be glad when this season is over.
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Wow… it’s no wonder you aren’t exactly thrilled with Christmas! I’m so sorry! So many terrible things happened to you during the month of December! I can relate to some degree to that… I’ve had many of my beloved cats die in December. It’s a month that symbolizes loss to me on top of the trauma, which makes it depressing.
That’s wonderful the neurofeedback treatments have helped you so much! That must be a relief. I can’t help wondering if someone who’s experienced what you have can get over those things completely, but it sounds like you’ve made huge progress!
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