Thursday, December 20, 2007

Family Distance During the Holidays

We have been hearing from lots of clients … and friends … about struggles that they are having as they have become emotionally distant from family. The distance has arisen from conflict or misunderstandings and involves parents separated from their children and grandchildren, siblings who will not attend holiday gatherings if other family members are there and recently separated spouses who are terribly sad that they will not be with in-laws and extended family this year.

This is so disappointing and sad for many involved … especially those who have access to feelings other than anger and self-righteousness. One of the most important things to do is to acknowledge that this would be hard for you … for anyone in your situation. Allow yourself some time to grieve and feel sad, and then also to put aside, as best you can, those normal feelings and engage yourself with others who care for you. Try not to pursue the ones that you are missing, while also looking for ways to keep the door open to mend the rupture. Find ways to be useful, caring and loving to others at this holiday time as a way of taking some of the focus off of your own sadness.

Are there ideas that you can share with us … and others, about how to care for yourself during this difficult time?

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