Christmas Anxiety

To say that this Christmas season has been easy for me would be a lie, it hasn’t been. It is not because I don’t like Christmas either, because I love the Christmas season. I love celebrating the birth of Christ, all the lights, the carols and time with family and friends. It is a lovely time of year. So why has it not been easy for me? Anxiety.

Anxiety is a disorder that cripples many. I am one of them. I was diagnosed with PTSD back in 2011 and with PTSD comes anxiety. A lot of the time I am able to cope with it. I know all the breathing exercises to calm myself. I know how to do positive self talk. In fact I am a person who often helps others with their anxiety so you would think I have this all cased wouldn’t you? Well I don’t. I have shed tears in my vehicle after shopping in a mall. I have suffered a full out anxiety attack while decorating our Christmas tree and I have had moments where I just crawl under the blankets and seek silence. To be blunt it sucks.

I know why I am suffering. Christmas was always a time when my ex husband was more abusive. He would yell more and would make sure I knew what a chore it was to shop for me. Everyone else’s gifts would be planned out weeks in advance whereas mine would be last minute. He would make sure I knew that he was only buying me something because it would look bad in front of everyone else if he did not. He crushed my self worth every Christmas. I understand that those memories go deep so of course when December rolls around I am not surprised if I am triggered and on edge.

What am I doing to cope? Well I am happy to say I was remarried this last fall to a wonderful man who loves me deeply. He has been my rock during this anxiety ridden time. He holds me when I cry or when my whole being is shaking with anxiety. We talk about what I am feeling or sometimes we just sit in silence. I also pray. I am a strong Christian believer so I have had many “chats” with God praying for peace and strength and I am also looking for the positives in every day, even if it is a small thing like going out for a walk on our farm in the snow and sunshine.

If you are also struggling this Christmas my thoughts are with you. Please know that you are not alone. I too am taking it all one moment at a time. Breathe and take care of you. Merry Christmas.

 

Janet

 

Advertisements

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;

Abusers

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 http://www.hotpeachpages.net/

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 (http://verbalabusejournals.com/). 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  http://ow.ly/LSii8

Verbal Abuse Journals facebook https://www.facebook.com/VerbalAbuseJournals

My facebook page: Freedom Within: My Journey through Domestic Violence and PTSD https://facebook.com/fw.dvptsd

twitter: https://www.twitter.com/within_freedom

LinkedIn Profile: http://ca.linkedin.com/in/janetbrownleedvptsd“>

Pinterest: Freedom Within

image