I have always loved the Holidays! As the weather cools down and I start seeing mums on sale at the grocery store, I begin anticipating and planning for the season – what food we will eat, what decorations will go up, and what events we will attend. I find it all very exciting and comforting!
The first time I realized that not everyone shares my view is when I got married; my husband’s experiences of the holidays involved stress and anxiety, not excitement and comfort. I had to learn how to communicate with him and take his view into account as we moved through each holiday season.
Now that I work at Amirah and share my holidays with the women of our home, this concern is magnified. Last blog post, Stephanie shared how so many victims of trafficking have early wounds that make the holidays difficult to handle and even painful and traumatic. If I am not aware of this possibility and remain steady and patient, I can unintentionally create more difficulty for someone.
We love sharing gifts and events with our women, as I know many of you do, but it is not always received the way we expect. So, we tone down the excitement, we observe responses and find ways to talk about it together. We limit our expectations, and we give space for healing, as it is needed. We offer the possibility of renewed holiday experience and wait while a broken heart heals enough to enter into the experience with us.
I want to hold out the precious gift of patience and peace! Will you help me?
This is the second post in a series on Trauma & the Holidays.