Just a quick thought for the holidays…….
I used to get super stressed about Christmas. I wanted so badly for it to be perfect that by the time the day was there I was sick. Every single year. And every year my (now) ex would look at me, a puzzled look on his face, questioning what was wrong with me that I made everything so difficult. About half way thorough the day, when there were a lot of people around, he would praise me for putting on a “hell-of-a show”. I’d bask in his words and remind myself that all the work was worth it. And necessary. And appreciated.
The 1st Christmas after he moved out my parents flew up from Florida and spent a week with us. I did all of the things I usually did, except this year without the help of a spouse. I went into it feeling certain I’d never get everything done, never manage it on my own, but I did. Towards the end of Christmas night, my father, a man of few words, looked at me with a puzzled look and said “how did you do all of this so calmly?”. It turned into a great Christmas.
Which brings me to today’s point – It’s all about the guest list.
I’ve never, since the departure of my ex-narc, been stressed about Christmas. At All!! I’ve never felt worried, inadequate, overwhelmed, overspent and stretched too thin. I’ve also never been sick.
Today, as I surveyed the mess in my kitchen, I felt I wanted to shout it from the rooftops:
It’s Supposed to be Fun! If it isn’t, Change Your Guest List!
Narcissists are sneaky little creatures. Mine gaslighted me for years, making me crazy around the holidays. I’ll give some thought later to what exactly he did, but the net effect was exactly what he wanted: I felt like I needed him. I was sure I’d be lost without him. I was lucky to have him.
You are good enough on your own! I promise, if you’ve pulled off holidays with a narcissist muttering in your ear, doing it alone will be a breeze!
So if you’re feeling too much stress, please check your guest list. I bet there is someone who doesn’t really belong.