A therapists' tips for dealing with family these holidays
Create a safety plan:
Leaving at a specific time (“I will be leaving at 9:00 pm”) or staying for a specific time period (“I am staying for 2 hours and then leaving”.)
Bringing a trusted friend or having them on standby OR using a supportive family member and creating a safe word for them to have you leave the room.
Finding the quickest exit out of the room if you are being emotionally or physically activated
State your boundaries ahead of time:
“I will not tolerate talk about my weight, sexuality, religious beliefs, etc)
“If you all ask me to drink or use substances, I will leave”
“I will not engage with *family member* if they…
“I will not engage in arguments about…”
Many people think they have to be around people who have caused them harm or trauma. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE IN THE SAME SPACE WITH YOUR ABUSER!!!
If you do choose to spend time with family/relatives this year, Stay Safe!