For Anyone Who Dreads the Holidays

woman in rain

image from Pinterest – HERE

Another holiday is upon us. I know that many of us dread the holidays for one reason or another. Some of you will be alone and others have to tolerate relatives they would rather not ever see.

Divorced parents have to coordinate with their ex, or miss the holiday with their kids all together. Memories of traumatizing past holidays trigger emotional flashbacks while you try to maintain your holiday cheer for the sake of your children.

Adult children of abusive parents suffer a triggering of old emotional wounds. Memories of traumatic experiences creeping into your mind, or bombarding you with full frontal assault.

People with chronic illnesses, progressive diseases, and chronic pain feel the weight of knowing it was not always this difficult, and it should not be this difficult.

Many people that have chronic pain and illness will be isolated, or struggling to keep up with things only to have a less than pleasant day.

Depression is often amplified during a holiday. Whether you are self isolating or are isolated because people got tired of dealing with your mental illness, being alone can make feelings of hopelessness worse.

young girl sad face

image from Pinterest – HERE

Some people will end up in a room full of loud, busting people only to feel more alone in the middle of the crowd. Being at any kind of gathering can be terribly draining and depressing for people who already suffer from depression.

OCD, PTSD and anxiety disorders can all be triggered to be worse in the midst of dealing with the expectations of friends and family. Even the media and society seems to judge and mock those who just cannot feel the “spirit” of a holiday.

So to all of you I send compassion. Feel free to provide links to your holiday posts on my blog, if you want to share how you are dealing with the holiday. I will post something on Sunday for this purpose.

Peace of mind is the most important thing for you on the holiday. So prioritize your mental well being. Don’t be afraid to say NO to people, and use the “spoonie method” to get through.

Much love,

Annie💕

Strawberry Memories and Baby

When my daughter was less than one year old, I bought her three strawberry shortcake dolls. She loved them so much and called them “Oh baby” when she was looking for them. I spent the rest of the summer stopping the car at every yard sale I saw, searching for more. 

She ended up with about 6 of them, by the end of that summer. She always knew how many she had, even though she could not count…well, she did not know the numbers. She would always look for the last one, if she was missing one in her hand. 

I still remember when I handed her two dolls and she was upset and began searching for the third one. I was surprised that she knew how many she should have, because she was just a baby. But she certainly did know. strawberry shortcake dolls

Self Love is not Selfishness

self care

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Mother’s Love for Teenage Daughter Poem

*This is a poem I wrote for my daughter when she was 16 years old, after a traumatic sweater incident.   As out children get older, we come to the realization that we will not always be able to protect them from the troubles in the world. The ideal of “Mommy can Fix Everything with a Kiss”  becomes something like a dream from a past life.  There is a sadness to this realization that they will be going out into a world that often has darkness to it. So the little “fixes” we can offer take on a whole new meaning. 

 

With my Own Two Hands

Sirens whiz by on the road outside
Someone unknown to me is in trouble
I say a silent prayer.

The six o’clock news shows a video
People are homeless from a hurricane
I offer a silent prayer.

An accident occurs on the road as I drive
A person is in trouble
I call 911 on my cell.

My daughter spills hair dye on the new sweater
Her grandmother gave her for Christmas.
She cries.

I take her to the store and buy her an identical one

I tell her Grandma will never know
Happy to do it because

at least
for now…
She still has problems I can fix
With my own two hands.

Baby Sunflower

kayla baby sunflower

I just came across this baby picture of my younger daughter, as I was cleaning out some old boxes. I remember putting this sunflower head piece on her. She was such a beautiful baby 🙂

And now she is still beautiful 🙂 

 

Follow Your Dreams

People will try to force you into a box. You are supposed to fit into one of the pre-made boxes of society. Your family may also expect you to fit into a box that they have assigned to you. 

You only have this life to be free and to experience all that you can and all that you want to. If you are stuck living in someone else’s box , then you cannot spread your wings and fly. 

The boxes are all the same ones that other people have fit into before. It just makes you a cardboard cut-out of other people. But you are unique and unlike anyone who has come before you.

You have can blossom and follow your own dreams. Listen to your true inner voice. Every time you push your true voice down, your authentic self is rejected. This rejection lowers your self esteem and self confidence. 

It is bad enough that other people minimize you, reject your ideas, and try to mold you into something you are not. You do not have to do it to yourself. 

The tendency to undermine yourself, and minimize yourself is something that was programmed into you by other people, when you were young. Any guilt you feel about expressing yourself, is also programmed into you by society and / or your family. 

Beliefs that you hold must be examined carefully , so you can let go of any beliefs that no longer serve you.

Your ideas are valid. They do not have to be perfect.

Ideas are starting places to create your unique path.

Your dreams are there for a purpose.

Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and cannot accomplish. You can figure that out as you follow your heart, your true thoughts and your real values. 

Single Moms Have Heart

single mom

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Shine and a Cure Bunny Pic

shine

bunny edited

Amazing Resemblance Genealogy

kayla with great grandmother

This is a picture of my great grandmother on the left. She is my father’s mother’s mother. Her name was Mary Pacholski. 

The picture on the right is my daughter. My father sent me these two pictures together to show me where my daughter gets her beauty from the Polish side of my family.

My other daughter resembles my mother’s side of the family. My younger daughter , pictured above, was so happy to  finally feel like she looked like someone in the family. My father noticed this resemblance just after I had emailed him the picture of my daughter.

Teaching Children to Have Self Esteem

While it is true that life can dish out some unfair circumstances, we do not need to “prepare” our children for this by treating them unjustly.

Children and teenagers are very aware and sensitive about fairness. It is emotionally and psychologically painful to them to be treated in ways that are unjust.

They need to be heard and validated. If we are to teach them to have integrity and to treat other people fairly, we need to do the same with them.

Children and teenagers do not learn by what we say, as much as they learn from what we do. Our actions are far more powerful that our words.

Children learn what they see and what they experience.

They should have a chance to tell their side of things and to talk about their feelings. We cannot teach them that our legal system offers a fair trial and then turn around and punish them without hearing them out.

Let us treat our children that they matter. Their integrity and self esteem matters.

This is the way they can learn to set boundaries with other people.

They can learn how to explain how they feel about things and why they feel that way.

If a situation arrises that the child will experience consequences then they should understand what is happening and why.  Those consequences should be equal to their behavior and not overblowing what actually happened.

Teachers that punish an entire class of students, for the bad behavior of 1 or 2 students, are not teaching the children that they are individuals with individual rights.

Sometimes there are unavoidable consequences for a child due to something their sibling or their classmate did, but consequences should not be inflicted upon innocent bystanders just to exercise control or to make a point.

Children need to grow up in a safe emotional and psychological environment.

Imagine if you were at work and forced to do overtime without pay, all because of a disruptive co-worker who slowed down the progress of the workday.

You would feel angry and mistreated. How would this affect your feelings about the supervisor that made you work extra hours with no pay?

How would this affect your overall morale?

There is an old saying that you may have seen on an office poster….

“Until morale improves…the beatings will continue..”

You cannot punish people into wanting to behave better. Children and teenagers are people and they need to be able to trust their environment.

This will allow them to blossom and learn. A benevolent and just environment will allow children.  To feel valued as individuals.

The ability to express one’s emotions and thoughts is a learned skill. To be able to present your side of a situation in a logical and understandable manner is a critical life skill.

Let us hear our children and teenagers out. Teach them respect of others and respect for themselves.

Let us celebrate the young minds and remember that those minds can tell when they are treated unjustly.

There is a psychological consequence for every negative experience and there are associations wired into the brain im regards to repeated experiences.

If we want the respect of our children, we need to treat them with compassion and empathy, as best as we can. There is no rule that says the adult cannot apologize if you make a mistake.

It shows the child that you respect them when you admit when you are wrong. It teaches them that everyone makes mistakes.

When you forgive your children for their mistakes they will learn to forgive you for yours. This will help to build their self esteem.

Self esteem is critical for survival. If we bring up children to be adults that cannot self-generate self esteem then they will be targets for predators and abusers.

Children and teenagers that learn to express their feelings and expain their side of things will be better equipped to deal with the people they meet as adults.

 

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