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#417869 - 12/01/12 05:35 PM Christmas abuse memories hitting hard right now
ShortedDiode Offline

Registered: 11/26/11
Posts: 121
Loc: Hamilton, ON Canada
Christmas stuff's been showing up everywhere now that Thanksgiving and Rememberance Day are over and fall's winding down, and last night the first substantial snowfall really completed the picture of the season. This is time of year's hard on me because of a long history with Christmas and family problems. All the colourful lights, the beautiful displays in the shop windows, everything in the media, the snow on the ground and cold in the air are a pretty image but it's only an image, that hides what really goes on behind closed doors.

For me, it's a very painful reminder of some of the things that happened so I'm usually pretty good about avoiding the really painful reminders but I work shift work so I'm stuck at work right now and I can't leave. There's a Christmas special being recorded in the big open area a few floors below with a small band, a choir, and someone playing a grand piano with an audience singing along. It's really evoking memories of one of the worst Christmas seasons I ever went through back in high school when the situation with my family was hitting rock bottom for many reasons. I got stuck in between my parents who were demanding that I buy gifts I couldn't afford for everyone even though they knew I had no money and the guy who abused me at my summer job who was offering me money to come back over the Christmas break. I made the decision and sold myself for $20 that he said he didn't think I was worth once we'd finished up to buy gifts that my parents and grandparents exploded over because the gifts weren't good enough.

Someone just called me for help with something and I made up a weak excuse why I couldn't right now when the truth is, I don't want to be seen having just been in tears. The whole Christmas season's an inescapable reminder of how it got to the point of me choosing to go back to prostitution (I'm finally being honest about what that summer job really was) than face the consequences from my parents and it hurts. I recognize now that decision was lifechanging because ever since even now, the thought "there are men that'll pay to have sex with me" comes to mind right away whenever money's tight almost like once you're a prostitue, you're always a prostitue no matter how hard you try to avoid it. That concert downstairs is a very painful reminder and I can't leave and go somewhere else to avoid it and the feelings it's bringing up because I'm supposed to be working but I'm not getting much done. I wish it was January already so it'd be over for another year.

#417877 - 12/01/12 07:39 PM Re: Christmas abuse memories hitting hard right now [Re: ShortedDiode]
Mountainous Buck Offline

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1631
Loc: Minnesota
That sounds painful.

please know that Reclaiming and reframing difficult reminders of our past is possible.

I've had to PLAN on doing healthy connecting and fun Things deliberately on certain dates and for detain places I cannot avoid. This is Something I often share about and ask or help from my support network in advance. "So how am I Going to do this differently?" Is a helpful question I can ask myself.

Edited by Mountainous Buck (12/01/12 07:40 PM)
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

�It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

#417881 - 12/01/12 09:25 PM * [Re: ShortedDiode]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline

Registered: 03/26/12
Posts: 2217

Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (04/29/13 05:10 PM)

#417883 - 12/01/12 09:45 PM Re: Christmas abuse memories hitting hard right now [Re: ShortedDiode]
SoccerStar Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 929
It's horrible that no one appreciated how much you are *really* worth. None of those people even deserved to know you.

You've been obligated to do so much - to put yourself so far beneath the wants of others who were totally undeserving and twisted. Maybe consider giving yourself a vacation from this season? There's no avoiding the media, but you may be able to find ways to oh-so-unfortunately miss the events themselves and their emotional trappings. What's the worst that could happen - it would strain relations in the family?
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

#417912 - 12/02/12 03:10 PM Re: Christmas abuse memories hitting hard right now [Re: ShortedDiode]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4284
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
SD - and everyone,

i think many people have a difficult time with the holidays - for varying reasons. for those of us that have CSA issues that are also intertwined, it is even worse.

one song that always chokes me up is "I'll be Home for Christmas" - not because i have good memories of home and family at that time - or any other time - but because i don't. i don't even know where "home" is - i've had more than 30 addresses so far and there is no hometown or old homestead to return to.

we are brainwashed into thinking it is supposed to be a warm-fuzzy-Waltons-Hallmark season - not just one day - but weeks if not months of peace and good will and sentiment and family love. but for most of us - it aint! so we feel excluded and guilty and like misfits on top of the personal baggage.

one of my best holiday seasons was while in college. i was determined not to go "home." my family had moved while i was away at college and i knew no one else at their new location. the last thing i wanted was to be trapped with them for the entire break.

i signed up to volunteer delivering food baskets to needy families in inner city Chicago and putting on parties and giving gifts to underprivileged kids. we slept on the floor at a community centre and ate lots of baloney sandwiches on donated day-old bread. but it was great! more love and genuine Christmas spirit than any other year in my life to that point. it sure got my mind off my own problems and i felt like i was making at least a little difference.

i'm sure most communities have some homeless mission or feeding program or some charity or church that would love to have volunteers at Christmas to help serve meals or whatever.

my wife and i have also tried several years to invite people who are far from home or have no other family or have no other place to go - to come to our home. it is not the same as family - and that is just the point!

no - something like this doesn't solve the underlying problem - but it is a good distraction - and it helps somebody else too.

How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3

#419454 - 12/18/12 03:12 PM Re: Christmas abuse memories hitting hard right now [Re: ShortedDiode]
ShortedDiode Offline

Registered: 11/26/11
Posts: 121
Loc: Hamilton, ON Canada
Thanks for the suggestions - they're all very good. I should probably post an update on the situation. I've been feeling better since things bottomed out that day at work.

Christmas with the family is something that I've been able to avoid for quite a few years now. I ended up working Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year's day when I was in college since I had no financial help at all, and my family pretty much accepted that I had to work the whole time between semesters to make ends meet as close as possible, especially on the statutory holidays since those paid time and a half. I've also worked the holidays since graduation because I don't have enough seniority at work to get them off, so I'm off the hook that way still.

What I guess it all means with the way the whole circus playing out everywhere leading up to Christmas sets me off with very little warning sometimes, even though I haven't been to a family Christmas in about 7 years, is that I still have a lot of recovery ahead of me to get through. I'm still going to be breathing a bit easier in a couple of weeks when it's all done and over for another year though.
If it's a choice between laughing or crying, I'd rather laugh.

#419586 - 12/20/12 12:05 AM Re: Christmas abuse memories hitting hard right now [Re: ShortedDiode]
WriterKeith Offline

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 980

I wish I had something wise, or comforting, or witty to include in your post, but I don't. All I can offer is to let you know that I and many other here share your pain and triggers and sadness at times like this, and that we're sitting here with ya.

Sometimes silence says everything in itself when a friend is with you.


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