Holiday Advice: Dealing With Emotional Vampires
How do you make it through the holidays when your family is a den of vampires, a pit of snakes, a Spanish soap opera, TMZ, or some weirder version of The Hunger Games than even Suzanne Collins imagined?
And since the Mayan calendar ‘end of the world’ is cancelled we now have to figure out, once again how to deal with the emotional vampires who visit annually wearing cute little reindeer antlers with jingle bells on them (Jingle-bells, jingle-bells, jingle all their horns away), hiding out under the Christmas tree (biting our ankles from the sleigh) or eating at our tables (complaining all the way).
How we deal with these emotional vampires is key to how we live our lives. Do you stress, worry, kvetch or get all ferklempt and shout, “Bah Humbug!” when they show up to your formal Christmas dinner with uninvited (really weird) guest in tow, or wearing baseball caps and ragged jeans smelling like smoke, or slightly tipsy, or in a bad mood, sulking all of Christmas Eve, or they sit in one place fingers ablaze on their phones, texting with friends all night?
OR are you just happy to have someone to spend the holidays with?
And I’m sorry to break it to you, but you’re not perfect either; maybe they needed a drink or a smoke before they came over, or a friend to hold their hand while they’re at your house. Maybe YOU stress them out. Remember, it’s usually a two way street. But enough with the personal accountability and back to them being the problem;
My suggestion is to write about these blood sucking emotional labyrinths. Create a story with them as the antagonist and just put them through ‘Cridmas’ hell. Have fun. Besides, the Mayan Calendar was really more about a change in consciousness anyway, right? So change yours.
However, keep in mind the key to happiness and real life dealing with them is to find your way to a happy ending. This happy ending includes the antagonist who (in your story) has seen their evil ways, changed, become a better person – quit smoking in your house, quit bringing strangers who make you want to lock up the silver, and who quit drinking, smoking the (legal-illegal?) pot, and instead comes through the door with smiles on their faces saying Merry Christmas to one and to all! And then wraps their loving arms around you. Because no matter how evil you think they are or they think you are, bottom line is; we all want to be loved, appreciated, cared for and respected.
|Me volunteering at Toy-n-joy – creating stories
So, create that image in a story, a gift you write for yourself. No one needs to ever see it. Just you. Be your own Secret Santa and manifest the life of your dreams, even if only on a blank page for now. Remember “Energy Flows, Where Attention Goes”, so take your attention off the real life drama and keep it on the story: Smile when you think how you had the antagonist (your mother, sister, mother-in-law, brother or uncle Ebenezer) walk through the door and a bucket of eggnog spilled all over them or how they slipped and tripped and dropped like tumbling penguins all over your icy lawn. Chuckle to yourself, and then remember the ending you wrote, hugging, smiling and loving. Remember the love most of all. That’s your gift to yourself. Be a generous Secret Santa.
And if it really is toxic (sad, depressing, dangerous) to be with family, then be with friends (the family we choose) or volunteer for a charity, at a church, a food bank, a senior center (far too many seniors are alone on the holidays). Believe me when you volunteer you give yourself a big warm hug that keeps on giving because nothing feels better than doing something good for someone who cannot repay you.
|My brother Clark and me volunteering artist for Toy-n-joy
After all, isn’t that the true spirit of the holiday?