Merry Christmas… made it through. I had a wonderful happy day…..woke up this morning day after Christmas with that all mighty feeling of dread. Deep slow breathing…………
One of the not fun, horrible, things about happiness for a survivor of childhood abuse was the predictable hell you pay for being happy. That’s right. Abusers do not like their victims to be happy and if they should dare to be so, there will be hell to pay. The abuser will increase finding ways to hurt and make sure their victim knows that their happiness is the cause for bad things to happen. This is not true for every survivor….I’m talking about those that were under the thumb of cruel people that enjoy watching others suffer. They actually will point out to their victims that their happiness is the cause of suffering. Every person recognizes that there are ups and downs in life. Sadness often will follow happiness but the two events are usually separate and random. I am referring to the diabolical delight taken by some to make those that dare to be happy to suffer. A good example of this type of behavior is in the Devil Wears Paradas. (By the way, that book really creeped me out reading it.) The abusers intent is to destroy what possible happiness might exist. When a survivor feels happy, the feeling of dread is like a dark shadow right beside, especially the day after a happy event.
What to do about it?
A. Recognize your own pattern of anxiety when happy.
B. Plan enjoyable events after a big happy event to reaffirm you deserve happy.
C. When sad events occur acknowledge that they are separate events not tied to the happy ones. For example, if you get sick after Christmas it is not because you were being too happy. It is because you were run down, over tired and germs got the upper hand. Break the connection that happiness brought on illness or other upsetting events.
D. Be kind to yourself.
E. Increase nurturing by not looking for possible mistakes that occurred during happy times.
F. Remember time passing softens all things and think in 10, 20, and 30 year increments not days and weeks.
Looking forward to a Happy New Year.