Even if I didn’t look at the calender, I still would know when Christmas & Mother’s Day are. The days surrounding both holidays are when my blog & site are the busiest. This year has been no different.
I am no exception to struggling this time of year. You can count on less than two hands how many decent Christmases I’ve had in my entire adult life. Making matters worse is the judgmental things people have said to me because I’m not happy about Christmas like most people. They say things like I just need to get over it & be happy, I need to celebrate the birth of Jesus since I’m supposed to be a Christian & more. <sigh> Got a bit of that nonsense this Christmas too, which is what made me think of writing to those of you who also have been on the receiving end of such treatment simply because of your lack of Christmas spirit.
When a person who has survived narcissistic abuse gets to this point of not wanting to celebrate Christmas, there is almost always a plethora of valid reasons for it. Narcissists love ruining things for their victims, & holidays are no exception. After all, the focus MUST be on them, & if it isn’t, they will make their victims’ life a living hell.
I think my situation was quite normal like this. My narcissistic mother in-law had to have Christmas her way. There was no excuse not to do things her way. Only her traditions were allowed & they had to be done only on Christmas day. Not Christmas eve, not the day after. Christmas day, period. This meant those of us who married into this family weren’t to consider spending the day any other way. Even mentioning the possibility was met with anger, disdain & comments like, “You will be here, right?”. This left me with two yukky options. Spend a miserable day with people who hated me or spend it alone while my husband spent it with them. As a result, I stopped celebrating Christmas many years ago. I did try to find ways to celebrate that I enjoyed or do things for my husband the few times he stayed home, but nothing made me like Christmas as I once did. People criticizing me for not being happy about Christmas just added insult to injury.
If you can relate, I just want to let you know it’s not just you! There are plenty of us out there who have lost interest in Christmas thanks to the narcissists in our lives. If you’re beating yourself up for your feelings, please just stop. Feelings show us when something is wrong, but the feelings themselves aren’t wrong. They just are. Honor your feelings. Feel them & process them how you need to.
Also remember, how you feel doesn’t mean you aren’t a “good Christian.” People created negative feelings in you because of their behavior. That has nothing to do with your faith. Your faith is there, whether or not you have or participate in a huge, fancy Christmas celebration. In fact, something I’ve noticed is many people who do have those huge & fancy Christmas celebrations have no real faith in God. They have the celebrations to keep up appearances or simply because that’s what they’ve always done.
It may help you to create new traditions, even ones that don’t celebrate Christmas per se, like going to dinner or watching your favorite movies. Sometimes those new traditions can help break the bad feelings. Sometimes, they don’t though, & you know something? That’s ok too. Not pleasant of course, but it’s ok. You can’t always help how you feel. Sometimes there was too much damage done, & you can’t fix it. Don’t beat yourself up for that & don’t let anyone else do it either! They aren’t you, & they have no right to criticize you for how you feel! Just take good care of yourself! ❤️
If you have read this & disagree with what I have said, please keep your opinions to yourself. Criticizing the feelings & views of those of us in this situation won’t fill us with Christmas spirit. In fact, it only adds to the negative feelings. I’d just as soon spare my readers from that. Also, I’d like to suggest you take a moment to realize how very blessed you are that you weren’t made to feel this way. That truly is a wonderful thing, & I sincerely hope you appreciate that!