Guest Author - Kelli Deister
The holidays can be especially difficult on survivors of child abuse. While many people in our country will continue traditions that have been passed down through the generations in their family, those that have survived child abuse don't have any healthy or fun traditions that were passed onto them. Instead, their memories of the holidays can be painful and sad.
I understand what it is like to try to salvage some good memories from the holiday season. Just because a person has a Christmas tree or a fully loaded Thanksgiving dinner spread, doesn't mean there is happiness in that home. Everything is not always what it seems to be physically within the home. We all know that most times child abuse is hidden out of the sight of others and the children suffer alone.
How can we, as survivors of child abuse, be thankful during this time? How can we find joy this holiday season. I am on a quest, of sorts. You see, I experienced my first fun Christmas when I was forty years old. My children and I were invited by a very special person to participate in a Christmas event in December of 2003. It was like nothing we have ever experienced. We sang songs and laughed. We built gingerbread houses and laughed. We opened presents and laughed. Santa even appeared at the event. This event was absolutely beautiful for all of us! I intentionally added that we laughed, after each example, because it was the first time we had experienced such a joy. I will never forget that day. Here it is, nearly six years later, and I still cherish the memories of that day.
The quest that I am on is to help those survivors of child abuse that want to begin new traditions this holiday season. I want survivors of child abuse to see that the holiday season can be one of joy, surprise, laughter, and precious memories. Therefore, during the holiday season this year, my articles will be focused on things that we can do to have fun and build new traditions and create happy memories.
I have a guest writer that has a very large family. She has awesome ideas for the holidays that we can pass onto our children. She will be writing a two-part series on just that. I encourage my readers to utilize her ideas this holiday season. It is so important to begin to create sweet memories.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!