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Forums / PTSD & Trauma / Worried about seeing my parents over Christmas

Topic: Worried about seeing my parents over Christmas

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. Alexlisa
    Alexlisa avatar
    196 posts
    21 December 2020

    I’m really worried about Christmas. There’s been some things that have come up recently that have reminded me of how my parents treated me growing up. Not well. I’m 40 now and as an adult I’ve always tried to keep the peace and be forgiving. We have a pleasant enough relationship these days. But they’ve never acknowledged any of what happened and I often wonder if they have any regrets or have just minimised it in their minds. I’ve worked on it a lot with my psychologist over the years, but the cPTSD never really goes away.

    Anyway, it’s all felt very raw for me lately and I don’t want to see or speak to them at the moment. Bad timing right. I feel angry and sad and like I just can’t put on a happy mask with them right now. But I’m also scared to rock the boat (I’m scared of any confrontation because it never went well growing up) and feel guilty for possibly making my mum feel bad. It’s so messed up in my head right now.

    3 people found this helpful
  2. geoff
    Life Member
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    geoff avatar
    16254 posts
    21 December 2020 in reply to Alexlisa

    Hello Alexlisa, a warm welcome to the forums.

    cPTSD is a complex PTSD, not that I'm a doctor to be able to say, however, is there a possibility that your parents have decided to try and put it behind them because if any of it is brought out to the open, then they and/or you might react in a negative way.

    Xmas time can be difficult for many people where families decide to air their differences, especially when alcohol is involved, but you are entitled to either see them for a few moments only or make up an excuse to avoid them.

    Sometimes it's better to mention why you can't see them beforehand, rather than the actual day when they're straight in front of you.

    If you can I'd be direct with your psychologist and tell them that this current problem simply isn't going away and are they able to address it another way.

    You have to look after yourself, and what happens if you're wearing a blue coloured dress that you like but your mother doesn't, then the same situation would arise.

    Take care.

    Geoff.

  3. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    3151 posts
    22 December 2020 in reply to Alexlisa

    Hi Alexlisa,

    Thank you for your post- I can relate to it a lot, and actually just posted in this forum section about 'Christmas not being very jolly' and how it flares up my own trauma as well. I did get some really lovely support there so you're welcome to find the post and read it and maybe it can support you too.

    I think what I'm going to do is to try and put on a brave face and reassure myself that it is only temporary. Christmas will be over so soon and then you and I will be safe and back inside our homes.

    Of course, if you can make different plans and not see them that might be worth exploring- but if you're anything like me you're stuck too. I'm here if you'd like to talk more.

    rt

  4. Kat_
    Kat_ avatar
    8 posts
    22 December 2020 in reply to Alexlisa

    Hi Alexia,

    I'm sorry to hear about everything that has happened to you in the past, and hats off to you for all the work you've done on recovery and getting better. It sounds like right now you're really hurting and that they're specifically sources of distress/triggers for you. Christmas is especially a tricky time. It is scary rocking the boat or confronting people - I can definitely relate to that as I am very confrontation averse.

    Personally, I tend to try and put myself first and go down the path of least suffering. Sometimes that might involve going, giving myself a time limit (i.e., I'll go only for a few hours, etc..) and trying to re-frame what this holiday is about with them (e.g., for me this Christmas - it's about spending time with my siblings and putting my parents in the periphery). Other times, that might involve a white lie ("I'm really unwell") so that I can take the time I need without creating a confrontation. Other times, it is the confrontation itself that is really what I need.

    Hope you're allowing yourself the space to feel what you need to feel and can do what's best for you, rather than others. Wishing you all the best

    Kat

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