When You Wish Your Parents Were Different
The approaching holidays can bring up thoughts like: I’m supposed to be with my family now; We’re supposed to be happy; This is supposed to be a good time; Why don’t I feel loved?
When the reality doesn’t align with the expectation, this can lead to wishing that your parents were different.
Then, instead of enjoying the season for what it brings, we can focus on all the things that we don’t have and what is not going right. Of course, this accentuates the negative and brings you down.
How To Bounce Back
The past can’t be changed. What happened happened. What is, is. However, you can make some changes now that can give you peace moving forward.
Here are four easy changes you can implement starting right now! By the time the holidays are here, you can ace this thing!
Accept everything. Acceptance eliminates resistance. This doesn’t mean that the past was okay, or that you’re giving up on a happily ever after. It just means that “It is what it is.” When that’s true, there is nothing to do. It’s all good. Observe your thoughts. You can’t change what you are unaware of. Building mindfulness can help you to prepare to change your thoughts. If you catch yourself wishing things were different, stop. Say something to yourself like, “I’m here now” or “It is what it is” so you energetically leave it behind you and return to the present moment.If you catch yourself wishing things were different, stop. Say something to yourself like, “I’m here now” or “It is what it is” so you energetically leave it behind you and return to the present moment.Practice gratitude. Find something about the past or present to be grateful for. It always could have been worse. Seeing the good brings perspective to the situation so you’re not drowning in a sea of horror.
Your Feelings Are Valid
None of this is meant to excuse any abuse or neglect or deny what happened. None of these strategies are meant to invalidate your experience. They are meant to help you cope.
If coping is not enough, perhaps you need trauma counseling.
Parents are people. They are not perfect. They make mistakes and if you become a parent, you will too.
Learning that is actually part of growing up and having a mature, adult relationship with them. If it still hurts, perhaps it’s more than just growing pains and a trip to a trauma therapist is needed.