Showing posts with label sadness at the holidays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sadness at the holidays. Show all posts

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Made it through Mother’s Day: how’d you do?

I thought I should write an update following my last blog about Mother’s Day.

Much to my relief, it wasn’t too bad this year.

We spent the day with my wonderful mother-in-law. It was great spending the day with her.

Did I miss my mom on that day? Absolutely, but my world doesn’t revolve around sorrow – there are some trigger points for me to think about loss. It’s appropriate to think about people we’ve lost, especially on special days.

And then there’s my son. Still not talking and I really miss him especially on Mother’s Day, but I’m not devastated as I was in years past. My feelings float in and out of resignation, anger, calm, hurt and so on.

Overall, I am stronger this year. Someone asked me about coping with a severed family relationship, and I think it’s like with death in that it takes time to learn to cope and adjust to a “new normal” as they say.

I’m taking some positive steps and hear my son is doing the same. I started going to a support group to reinforce how not to enable, how to let some things go. I appreciate the group and when I go, I am going in to listen to others without thinking about writing their stories. Whatever I hear there is confidential. I can see that for a few years I’ve written other people’s stories and distanced myself from my feelings. Now it’s time for me to look inward without thinking about what I will write here. I know I’ll find more things to write about and so will my contributors.

If you found this blog or read my post as you were worried about Mother’s Day, tell me how you fared. Was it hard? Easier than it was? What tips can you share to help others?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

How I’m Coping During the Holidays

I previously wrote that it’s not easy making it through the holiday season when you have problems in your family. Many shows represent some ideal we’d like, not the reality that a lot of people live.

I’d like to share how I’m getting through and hope you share your tips, too.

For the past 3 ½ years, I have been estranged from my son. I miss him like crazy and do have hope for the future, but that doesn’t make it less hurtful, stressful, sad, difficult, and so on. I wrote him another note recently and hope it's given him something to think about, something to keep the door open.

When people ask me what our family is doing, I talk about what my husband and I are doing, using the generic “we.” “We’re going to a movie.” “We’re having dinner with Mom.”

For those who know me and ask about our son, I say that he has other plans. If they know me well, I’ll just say we’re still not speaking and change the topic.

Now here’s how I’m coping: I’m taking deep breaths, doing things I enjoy doing, keeping up with family and friends. Sometimes I allow myself a little time to wallow in sadness or self-pity, whichever hits me, but I try really hard not to stay there.

I do things for other people and write encouraging notes to clients and friends. Helping others really helps me get my mind off of myself and it does something good for another person.

What are you doing to cope?

www.tellmeaboutyourself.info

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holidays are Tough for a Lot of Families Struggling with Strained Relationships

For everyone going through the holiday season without the “normal” family, this one’s for you! This time of year is filled with possible joy and emotional pitfalls.

Many television shows, commercials and many movies celebrate the sentiment of being surrounded by a warm and loving family. We all feel things differently, and for me, the greeting card commercials with all of the images of family and love wound me. I miss our son.

I’ll watch Modern Family or some other show with people and their quirks and love, but intentionally sappy family stuff isn’t what I want to see right now. I want to protect my own emotions.

These shows and commercials shape our view of the way things are or should be, and if our own families aren’t like that, there’s something wrong with us.

I know many people with happy families that are functional, at least for the most part. Then there are all the other people I know: single, widowed or divorced, people with unhappy and strained relationships with family members, and people like me, estranged from their children. There are a lot of people who are alone, hurt, angry, afraid and worried.

Each time I read or hear about some teen or young adult who is in trouble, I think: maybe there is a heartbroken parent at home. I’m not na├»ve – some families have a history of violence and many repeat those patterns, but I believe that most parents want their kids to be okay in this world. We want them to be educated, have good jobs, form good relationships and make good choices. We want them to be happy and successful.

If you’re fortunate to have an intact family with good relationships, I’m very happy for you! I hope you can extend understanding and sympathy to those who don’t have this. Extend a hand, a shoulder, a tissue to someone who feels emptiness and loss, and withhold your judgment. You rarely know what’s really happening in another person’s home.

For those of us who are just getting through the holidays: hang in there, try to do things you enjoy, visit kind people, volunteer somewhere, get out of your own way and start walking toward accepting the situation and developing hope for the future.

Many people wrote to say that my book has helped them, and there are several ways you can purchase it. You can read more at www.tellmeaboutyourself.info.

If you need personal help, please review the resource page . For personal help, the United Way site links to organizations around the country. If you go to www.211.org, you just insert your zip code and find an agency near you.

Best wishes for a better future for all.

www.tellmeaboutyourself.info