By Loretta Walker, Editor-in-Chief
I HAVE TO BE HONEST and share with you that holidays for a child of an alcoholic can be difficult. Each December I have to fight the old feelings of disappointment that come from my childhood. You see, we worked hard to plan the holiday season, and then someone would be drunk, in jail, or just plain angry, which killed the whole spirit. I am now in my fifties and still find that I have to work harder than ever not to allow myself to get disappointed.
HOW DO I DO THIS?
1. I remind myself that Kevin and I are now in charge of our family’s happiness for the holidays. We plan out very carefully what we will be doing, but we also leave room for change. Such is the case when K.W. got married. We talked about and told ourselves that he would need to be with Barb’s family during the holidays, and we would work around his plans as we planned our holiday. That way we would not be disappointed.
2. I keep my Bible time during the holidays. If you come from a hurt background, you need God more during the holidays. Being busy with family could replace your Bible time, but then you would lose contact with your Heavenly Father. I need my Heavenly Father to help me control my feelings during this time of year.
3. When being with extended family, limit the time and carefully plan what will be done during the visit. One of the talks I give as I travel is “Why the Hurt Won’t Stop Hurting.” In that talk I explain why people continue to deal with past hurts, and most of the time it is because they still have contact with hurt family members. Don’t make your family endure certain situations just to make yourself feel better. For example, I used to go to the home of one of my relatives in an effort to build a relationship with that person. I have now realized that my efforts were unappreciated, and I don’t want to subject my family to the hurt any longer.
Please consider these suggestions if you need them. You may e-mail me more questions about troubled holiday situations by going to www.christianwomanhood.org. I’d be happy to help you.