Holidays with an abuser

As we enter this Easter holiday I am filled with mixed emotions. I love seeing my children’s excitement over the Easter bunny and I value my religious beliefs around this weekend, but my thoughts also drift to another aspect of the holidays that many of us have or are enduring;


Holidays with my ex were always a time I dreaded. That and my birthday. My favourite holiday is Christmas. My ex knew this and deliberately went out of his way weeks ahead of the season to make sure I was miserable. Every year he would reduce me to tears, bawling actually, and just wishing the season would be done. My Birthday was the same. In both I was made to feel guilty for wanting to celebrate cause how could anything I like be important? I also feel he wanted that light in my eyes, that excitement, to be eternally snuffed out. He could not see me be happy.

broken  Christmas  decoration.

For many there is an increase in physical abuse during the holidays. Statistically December has the highest number of calss to 911 for Domestic Violence. Some blame it on alchohol but I simply believe abusers don’t want their victims to feel joy, to get attention, to be loved and honoured. They can’t feel those happy feelings themselves so there is no way anyone around them should. Some also say its the pressure of holidays, especially Christmas, that get to abusers, but I don’t really believe that. We all feel some pressure at Christmas but we don’t all go home and beat up our spouse.

Whatever it is that triggers abusers over holidays or birthdays it is a horrible time for their victims.

In my first year, postseperation I became really cranky at every holiday and my birthday. I could not figure out why. After some thought I realised I was still waiting for the axe to fall from my ex.  When that didn’t happen I had no idea how to cope. It has now been four years without him and I can say as each year passes each holiday becomes easier to enjoy. Slowly life is proving to me that it is ok to be happy on my Birthday and its ok to celebrate Christmas.  He won’t be jumping out of nowhere trying to destroy my celebrations.

Wherever you are at in your journey this holiday weekend please know I am thinking of you. I know holidays are not easy. Do what you need to do to get through it. Love yourself, be safe, try and let yourself feel the joy and know you are not alone. There are many of us who are having mixed feelings during this holiday weekend.

Be Safe

If you need extra support during this Holiday Season there are a number of Hotlines and Shelters Available. Please follow this link to find support near you

About Janet B

I am a Domestic Violence Survivor, who battles PTSD. I share what I know to help others on their journey and to help educate society. I also Supervise a Mentoring Program at Verbal Abuse Journals ( This program matches Survivors who have been out of the abusive relationship for a few years, and are now Mentors,  with Survivors who are either still in an abusive relationship or have just left. A mentoring relationship is set up via email where the Mentor offers guidance and support to the Survivor for as long as they need. Please feel free to sign up for this free service at

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