The holidays (and even now into January) are a tough time of year for me… dang tough. It’s a time where I must connect to and embrace my resilience.
For as long as I can remember Christmas time was always extra-tough on me. But now instead of blaming and chastising myself for being weird or different, I know why. I’m an empath, introvert (96% to be exact), INFJ (the rarest of all!), highly sensitive person, and intuitive. I was literally absorbing everything from everyone (hello dysfunction and unhealthy energetic patterns!) thanks to all those forced and imposed “traditions” throughout the holidays. Naturally I rather hated Christmas. I would’ve so preferred to have just been at school or actually, just alone with my sticker book.
But I no longer feel guilty for it, which is a win, and I accept who I am, which is another win. And I’m so grateful I have tools now to help me through. Knowledge + tools I couldn’t have expected myself to have as a young ‘un.
Throughout the holidays and even now, I’m fighting feeling wiped and exhausted – which is also weird for me. I usually have a ton of energy like the energizer-bunny. But right now it’s a LOT of work to accomplish simple mundane and small things. Can you relate? If so, take note at the bottom of this blog I offer to share some links with you of resources that were helpful for me to connect to knowing who I am and accepting myself.
So when there’s not a whole lot of Christmas or New Year cheer up in here, I remind myself of my own resiliency. And I remind myself of who I am – who I am at a dna level. I love that I now know and accept I don’t need to fake it to make it or pretend I like Christmas when I don’t. I can acknowledge all the wounds and trauma I’ve been through and understand the massive “why” behind it all and be okay with that. I’m going to be vulnerable and share a glimpse into that “why”.
Life as a child with a toxic parent is one full of chaos, criticism, humiliation, degradation, shame, bullying, and well you name it – it went on. All of it. A toxic parent, in my experience, has got to be one of the most traumatic and problematic things that exists. It’s soul-destroying. It’s daily trauma, often multiple traumas piling atop each other in one day. And it takes really hard work (energetic work!) as an adult to process through, heal, and come to a true comprehension of.
It took me 35 years to even come to the realization that I had a toxic parent. (And y’all know that ain’t Maggie! Maggie was and is a guiding light to this day…) And unfortunately, this isn’t rare. I’m certain everyone has toxics in their world. Everyone. Realizing I had a toxic parent was thanks to energetic training when even just with my training wheels on, I could finally start to see the truth of the family I was in. And the fact is, we all carry unhealthy unhealthy energetic patterns. Some of us just manage them better than others.
All of that really surfaces at Christmas for me and then lingers for a while into the New Year. The confusion as a child hearing about “Christmas spirit”, the “magic” of Christmas, Santa Clause, hearing the songs like “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”, and noticing everyone’s joy in the season yet nothing changed for me at Christmas. If anything the toxicity kicked up several notches. Traumas were extra whiplashey. I felt such sadness, apathy, lack of joy/ love/ connection… and I didn’t really know what else to do but to pretend. I learned to role-play to fit in and to attempt to minimize the harm. Turning all my true feelings inward, though, got me really angry. I hated Santa Clause. All I ever wanted for Christmas was the toxic parent to be healed. To have love and acceptance within those walls that no one truly knew the truth of. Santa never brought that.
Typically, people say, how can you not like Christmas? You get presents! The gifts I did get were always met with a verbal backhand – something to pit me against my sister or vice versa, comparisons, competition, triangulation, an insult or poke disguised as a joke – anything to not give me that moment of magic, or of feeling loved or special or happy. Or that gift meant the abuse and toxicity was justified – I gave you this, now you owe me. Nothing could ever be just given – toxics never just give.
This blog is for all of you out there fighting as I am to hold true to who I am. This is for all of you fighting grief, whether that’s a loss of a person or a lost childhood. Fighting sadness, anxiety, depression, people-pleasing, to hold a boundary, anger or irritability, or whatever emotion is running your show. And, if you’re fighting, I’m standing with you and you’re not alone.
Are you interested to know if you’re an empath? What about if you’re an introvert? or your personality type? or if you’re an HSP (highly sensitive person)? I’d love to share links to some of my favorite resources on this topic with the hope they help you to see who you really are, accept yourself, and understand why you too maybe closet don’t-really-love-Christmas, or why you don’t get all pumped about the New Year.
If you’re interested in such links, contact me! I’d be happy to email them to you! Or if you’d prefer, you can definitely search though my social media to find them – on Facebook and on Instagram the links are included with the post that has the same featured image used in this blog post. On that image is the quote “Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit”. And hey, if you have any resources you’d recommend, please contact me! I’d love to know your go-to’s on the topic of knowing + accepting who you are.
Thanks for reading.