Happy Thanksgiving. This upcoming week can be a challenge for individual’s and their families. Besides continuing to manage COVID-19 this week starts the Holiday season. Thanksgiving can be a most pleasant time or the most stressful time. Whether you are hosting Thanksgiving or travelling to be with family, be mindful that you do have choices. The ramification of those choices can be positive or negative to your well being.
Man thinking about whether to attend Thanksgiving with family
The holidays trigger many painful and anxiety provoking experiences. Some of us have fond memories of Thanksgiving, but many also have traumatizing ones. We are products of our upbringing so suffice it to say, family members tend to trigger us. Not all generations do the work to leave a more healthy legacy for the next. If that can’t happen it is best to have limited contact with those who cannot or will not exercise appropriate/healthy behavior. Thanksgiving with relatives can be time specific as some family members are clueless to know how to do that. You don’t have to spend all day getting triggered. Give yourself the option to attend or pass this year. In other words, take care of yourself and your family. Don’t worry about hurting those who are accustomed to traditions that really don’t work for you. Family members have expectations that meet their needs. But do they meet yours?
If you have children it is even more important to protect them from dysfunctional people. Codependency keeps people trapped into getting other people’s needs met over your own. Keeping yourself in an environment (Thanksgiving dinner) when individuals are behaving badly (cursing, criticizing, judging, opinionated, drunk, high, etc.) is not only uncomfortable but abusive to the gathering. Assert yourself, get up and leave. Role model for them how to take care of oneself. Don’t worry about the feelings of the clueless.
If you need help with codependency as it can be draining and feels like your losing your sense of self, contact me at (858) 735-1139 or visit my website CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com