Out of Sorts?
Christmas is almost here and for many people that is enough of a deadline. For many people it is the week after that causes the anxiety. Closing business for the year, pulling in all the receipts, completing bookkeeping audits, and chasing those last few leads causes some people to dread this time of year.
For people who have a history of abuse, the holidays can be a time to endure. Family gatherings can be uncomfortable, full of strife or absolutely unbearable. For some, family gatherings are nonexistent and that has it’s own set of issues. Feelings of abandonment and loss can cloud the present.
My husband works for an international company. He has business dealings with people from nearly all timezones. There are deadlines at all hours and requests for information that come in around the clock. He works a lot. He is supposed to take vacation, but doesn’t.
He and I planned a few scattered afternoons that he would take off this month. We would be able to spend time together, get things done around the house before the hard winter sets in, and prepare for time with family at our home. It hasn’t happened.
So, for a couple of days, I have been out of sorts. I have low energy from the Lyme Disease. The holiday family stuff plays in a bit too, but I only see maternal family and we keep strife out of our gatherings. Things that Mark and I were supposed to do together have not been done. It bugs me. I feel cheated.
He is constantly overwhelmed. Other people have taken their vacations. He takes on the responsibility to close the year with as many loose ends tied up as possible. Which means he sees requests as demands. Upper management doesn’t let up either. He feels cheated too.
I think he has his priorities mixed up. Maybe, I do too. Just because this is the season to be jolly in our culture, doesn’t mean it is for everyone. Consider how many others are in the same boat of stress. The suicide rates go up during this time of year. More drugs and alcohol problems occur statistically during the autumn months. It’s like “pressures of modern society crunch time”.
So, what can we do?
Look at life’s cycles.
- To everything there is a season. For us, child bearing and rearing is over. Our baby is 19. We have grandchildren, but they are far away, so there are no small children in our lives. Maybe, you are single, in college, newlywed, child rearing, grand-parenting, middle aged working and socializing, or retired. These big picture cycles dictate our responsibilities for the longer term. Our focus and plans revolve around fulfilling needs for the season we are in.
- Within the year, there are shorter cycles. Times for ebb and flow. In our house, the last two weeks of every quarter are full of additional deadlines. We can count on it being too busy to take time off. So, the last month of the year is extra tough. We collectively take a deep breath and plan to spend more time together in January. If you have a business or work for a large company in management, you know what I mean.
- We all know there are monthly cycles. The moon and tides shift. The monthly reports are due. We have internal cycles too. Being aware of all of these factors can help us cope with the demands and people around us. I think most people just float through life without really paying attention to the cycles around us.
- All of these cycles can trigger abuse or past abuse related affect. The abuse cycle can be clear or vague, but it looks like any other cycle. There is the honeymoon phase; everything is rosy. Then, there’s an incident; some offense that builds tension. Then, the abuse of some kind. Then, the apology; this can be very dramatic or basically flat with the blame placed on the victim. Then, back to tension building.
1,2,and 3 are normal, healthy cycles. If you are caught in number 4, you need to evaluate your situation and get help if you are in a current abuse cycle. You may need help if you are reliving emotional bondage from a past abuse cycle.
God created us with natural cycles. Our tendency in modern culture is to ignore them. In what ways do you see cycles working in your life?