...it's the one that has the worst horrors ingrained into our brains. I learned this year JUST how much it wasn't just me that had trama triggers over thanksgiving. I wasn't the only one that literally, absolutely and completed hated this holiday. It's not the holiday it's what is behind the holiday. It's what we went through on and around this holiday. It's the fake smiles, the show, the forcefully voiced thankfulness for things we were not thankful for and we wanted to escape from. It was the hiding behind the "giant hot pink elephants" in the rooms that no one would ever face or dare to face. It was everyone having to be together and what that meant in our home was not a joyous, exciting, love filled thing.
As of 3 years ago we had started our own tradition on thanksgiving with not being home even just us at home. Thanksgiving became our big family vacation week and I was able to find a lot of healing from the triggers even the word thanksgiving caused. This year for thanksgiving we were 3 months into Natalie and Jared coming to live with us and a month into having just moved and still adjusting, unpacking and settling in. There was no way a vacation with 6 people was going to happen this year. I accepted that and we set about the task of avoiding things that would cause the most triggers and trying to make it a fun, chill time as possible with lots of alone time and process time for everyone. We laughed...a lot. We slept in...a lot. Everyone cooked their favorite food and we had a very non-traditional meal that no one had to spend two days slaving away in the kitchen for. We watched movies and played xbox and took long naps. We didn't dress up and go anywhere. We had hard moments and trigger moments and worked through them and coped and dealt and then coped some more.
There is going to be ugly. There is going to be yuck to have to deal with. Lots of it. It is certainly not all pretty and won't be all pretty. Anyone that says it is is lying. This holiday was the perfect example of that. This thanksgiving was the first one for them where the big ass hot pink elephants were not in the room. There were no horrors to face, and no tip toeing around on egg shells. They didn't have to hide and fake being proper mechanical robots. And THAT is terrifying. I know because I went through it too. Your normal, no matter how horrible it was, was what you knew as your normal. It was how you were taught, what you grew up with, what you adapted too. It was all you knew. It was what you were used too. It was your familiar. You knew how to be, how to act, how to perform in that environment. It's traumatic and terrifying coming out of that. You want too. But how do you. How dare you.
There is going to be lots of new for all 6 of us for awhile and a lot of adjusting, adapting, learning and more healing. Thriving and not just surviving...is a lot of work. It is hard work. But damn it is it worth it. We learned how true that is over the last 3 years and now all I could desire is for them to to experience and learn just how different it is to thrive and live instead of "playing the part" to survive and to stay alive even if you were really dead.