Nov 20, 2023

Getting Through the Holidays: A Message From Adult Children

by Lisa A. Romano

adult children of alcoholics invisible wounds language of trauma managing holiday stress

 Healing Together: Understanding the Invisible Language of Adult Children

It's that time of year again when the 3D world infuses our senses with concepts of festivities, happy times, peace, goodwill, and family get-togethers. From grocery stores, department stores, and even online shopping, adult children can sense the fervent energy of commercialism breathing down the back of our necks.

For those not impacted by family trauma and who have somewhat of a semi-normal, semi-peaceful, semi-tolerant family, you can coast through the season without much angst. And even though Mom or Dad aren't the most cheerful, you know they aren't the type of parents who will go out of their way to intentionally wound, embarrass, or punish you for just being you.

However, many of us dread the holiday season for reasons that are uncomfortable to admit. The holidays are the times in our lives when isolating and going no contact no longer make us feel safe. This time of year can cause us to feel shame, unworthiness, extreme loneliness, and kick up all the worry over whether or not it's us that's crazy or our family.

Adult children of alcoholic, narcissistic, mentally ill, or emotionally abusive/neglectful parents who have awakened to the degree that we know we must avoid our families to remain emotionally sober, who at the same time, carry the burden of shame and abandonment wounds, are forced to do what is the most unnatural thing in the world!

We must distance ourselves from those we love, who were bestowed with the privilege of protecting us, nurturing us, and helping to shape our internal perception of the self.

Through no fault of our own, to survive another day, we must go it alone, knowing those we love will tell the world and themselves that we are the one in the wrong. We ache with an invisible, gangrenous wound that we know the world cannot see and may even accuse us of causing.

Our journey toward emotional recovery is akin to the sacred seed of a sunflower rejecting the water from the heavens and having to search underground for the sustenance it needs to hang on one more day. What should come to us, like water flowing downstream, does not and never has.

We, adult children who carry these invisible wounds, wear masks we know others prefer we wear, and we also know others would never be able to understand the wounded language we speak. We fear the puzzled look on the faces of others when we dare to try and explain the hole in our hearts, so we smile and pretend we are more okay than we are, for your sake and ours.

We don't blame others who can't see us or understand. We get it; it's not your fault, but we can't help but wish the world wasn't so unwelcome to us sharing our pain.

We are loyal people whose families have programmed us to live in fear of getting too close to others while at the same time craving an oversized hug and a gentle shoulder to cry on. We hate ourselves for needing you or for needing love because we have been taught that emotions are a sign of weakness, so we hate that you might see us this way and that we have an aching need at all.

Slap on some lipstick, gulp down some self-loathing, suppress the cries of our inner child, and off we go to walk the dog, answer emails, buy some milk, and wave at the neighbors.

We promise you'll never see us sweat.

Our childhood trauma lives on, and yes, during the holidays, the fumes left behind caused by that trauma are more challenging to ignore.

So please cut us slack as we do our best to white-knuckle it through this season. We are doing our best to make peace with what is and surrender to what we cannot and never could control and regulate our amygdala to the best of our ability.

-We will continue to break the chains of the past, rescue our wounded little selves, and teach ourselves to believe we are worthy to receive the good in life, even if it means waking up at 5:00 a.m. to meditate, journal, and get our hearts and minds straight so we don't burden you with our stuff.

-We will continue to self-care and practice self-love because we know no one can save us from what's missing inside but us, and we don't unfairly resent you for not rescuing us from the boat you didn't set on fire.

-But make no mistake, we know we are Warriors through and through. We may not look like it, but we are Warriors of Love and Light, battling the darkness of the world within.

No fault of our own has attempted to dim the light we are, yet we wake each day determined to awaken the holy flame within our hearts because we know our inner child deserves a champion who will fight for their right to live an empowered life despite a painful past. And we know our healing will benefit you as much as it does us.

What heals in the individual self also heals in the collective.

I learned long ago to stop trying to get others to understand my language. I learned that it hurts more to try and get someone to hear me who was designed not to hear me than it does to focus on listening to myself or to those who understand the language I speak.

That's why I turned to YouTube in the first place. I felt the calling to share what I had learned, and because the frustration was so incredible when I tried to speak to those I knew and loved, I decided to take a chance and start speaking to the world on YouTube. Since then, over 650K of you have subscribed to my channel to learn, heal, and grow beyond the chains of the past, and my videos have been viewed over 70 Million times.

If you'd like to subscribe, you can do so here:

I want to encourage you to keep steady on the healing path despite the holiday stress that may lie ahead.

Join me on Thursday, November 30th, at 6:00 pm Eastern for a live Q&A webinar. I want to hear from you, answer your questions, and simply be there as someone who has proven that healing and recovery work works!

So click the link below to register!

Dear One, to truly live, we must die to the old way of being, thinking, behaving, expecting, assuming, feeling, and reacting in this world.

Please know that life is worth living once you understand the power of an organized consciousness.

You are enough!

All my love,

Lisa A. Romano