Christmas and Other Traumas
By: Beth McHugh 2006
Over the last couple of weeks, I have heard an increasing number of people, mainly women, expressing grief and sadness about the approaching festive season. And only some of them are my clients!
The majority by far are just ordinary people: neighbors, friends, acquaintances, shopkeepers. They comment that they are dreading the “Silly Season.” Yet it’s not just because of the shopping madness and parking mayhem and the financial burden of buying the right gift. It’s a deep-seated sadness about family.
Granted some of these people have lost loved ones during the year, and for them, this Christmas will be a little sadder and lonelier due to the absence of that special person.
But most of these people have not experienced a death or a divorce this year. Yet they are still expressing a sense of sadness among the joy and festivity surrounding Christmas and the New Year.
Christmas is supposed to be a time of loving and giving, but so often we hear of people who have no-one to give love to or who feel unloved by others. Little wonder that the rate of depression, suicide, and domestic violence peaks around Christmas time. When families gather, there is often trouble. It’s amazing how a highly successful adult can revert to their childhood persona once they are back in the presence of their parents and siblings for an extended period of time.
On the other hand, those who have no family may also experience crippling sadness at this time of year, and look enviously at others who are spending time in an extended family group. The grass so often looks greener on the other side, as those “caught” in the extended family situation long for their freedom once Christmas is over.
So, how best to survive the Festive Season with your sanity intact?
In the following blog, we look at ways to do just that.