Navigating through Family Expectations during the Holidays

“The Holidays!” Hallmark movies and cards present the holidays with warm, nostalgic scripts and scenes. Songs of the holidays resound with jingles of joy. Decorated homes and cookies portray all things nice and beautiful. The center stage for the holiday festivities is the family gathering. But for victims of childhood sexual abuse (CSA), being with the family of origin—where the…

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Christmas can get messy for families!

Family gatherings can be messy, especially during the Christmas holiday. For some families, it’s anything but “a holly, jolly Christmas.” For survivors of childhood sexual abuse whose abuse occurred within the family system, Christmas family gatherings accentuate the family fraud of keeping the secret. The sham of acting like nothing happened becomes a re-enactment of the trauma and threats that…

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It’s a shame that Christmas isn’t always merry for survivors of childhood sexual abuse

This week, every one of us will hear it sung, “We wish you a Merry Christmas.” For survivors of childhood sexual abuse, however, Christmas can be accompanied by heightened anxiety and shame. It’s anything but merry. The long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse are vast in that they include psychological, physiological, and social impact on the survivor’s life. They are…

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