Conflicting Feelings – Holidays
"We knew our parents would forget or would trivialize birthdays or holidays." BRB p. 296
The conflicting emotional shift of any holiday can trigger a tsunami of pent-up feelings that cannot be reined in by any sentimental holiday movie, song, or festive decorations.
Sorting out our conflicted feelings and perceptions is not easy. If it were, we wouldn't find ourselves attending meetings, going to therapy, and doing Step work. But we know these tools help us unravel the interwoven strands of our childhood experiences so we can understand how they affect us today.
Through recovery, holidays can provide an opportunity to reevaluate our childhood experiences and how they influence us today. We find that the disappointment we felt because of our parents' attitudes back then may have led us to trivialize present holidays to avoid our own pain and loss.
By doing ACA work, we are able to examine not only our dysfunctional attitudes and behaviors, but also those of our families. From an emotionally sober place, we may uncover the roots of the coping mechanisms we created to make sense of the nonsensical. We can now put them into their proper perspective as relics from the past to be viewed in a glass case as a distant vestige of how things were, not of how they have to be today.
On this day I will examine the conflicting feelings I acquired during my most vulnerable years, recognizing how things were and knowing there is now another way to live.
Copyright © 2013 by
Adult Children of Alcoholics®
& Dysfunctional Families
World Service Organization, Inc.
Page Number 184