I’m lucky. So lucky.

Nobody threw anything. Nobody yelled. Nobody told me I should have been aborted or that I ruin everything for everyone. Nobody twisted my arm behind my back, slapped me, pinched me, throttled me or used a belt on me.

Instead, my phone was full of happy texts and my inbox was full of emails from people who, despite everything, apparently like me. My children are both healthy (well, they both have a cold, but that’s small potatoes) and affectionate, and they deliberately spent the after-dinner food coma time in the living room with me. The dogs were ecstatic at the advent of ham in their dinner bowls. There was enough food, it was quiet and calm, the roof kept the rain out, and when I went to bed, shaky from residual holiday stress, I knew I’d survived another one.

Not only survived, but actually had a pleasant time. Each holiday season that passes, the stress is a little less.

If you’re in recovery from toxic family, you’re not alone. It’s okay to protect yourself, and arrange your life so the toxicity won’t overwhelm you. You’re not required to give your attention and emotional energy to people who behave badly.

Over and out.

3 thoughts on “Lucky”

  1. *hugs* It has taken a while but the hubs and I have been figuring this very thing out ourselves. This year was so damn peaceful without certain toxic members in attendance that the rest of us were shocked at how easy going a celebration could be. There is nothing wrong with keeping your distance from these individuals. If I keep saying it and keep reminding myself of the proven validity of that statement, perhaps one day the residual guilt will go away too.

    • I found that the guilt doesn’t go away, for me. But, as my therapist gently told me, maybe the guilt is better than (or outweighed by) the havoc a toxic person can wreak. I’ll take the guilt any day of the week over that havoc. Once I started thinking like that, it became much easier, and paradoxically, the guilt started to shrink. It hasn’t vanished yet, I’d be lying if I said it did, but it does seem to atrophy.

  2. My family always has some sort of drama during the holidays, so this year, I was able to get out of Thanksgiving at least by staying on campus. Unfortunately, I’ll have to go home for a month in a couple weeks, and I know that one thing or another is going to happen. I hope that one day my holidays will go like yours.

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