Why Are the Holidays Still a Struggle?

A little over a year has lapsed since I last posted on this blog. I find myself writing only when something about my adoption/reunion experience catches me off guard, which is why it’s been awhile. On most days, I’m a pro at this entire experience, even the mixed thoughts/feelings that sometimes surface.

So, why am I writing today? Because seven years into this process, I still struggle during the holidays.

After I reunited with my (natural) family, I anticipated my holiday struggle would be gone, but that first Christmas brought many of the same thoughts/feelings I had in prior years. There was still a hole…an emptiness…a sense of loss. At the time, I passed it off as the inevitable carry-over from years gone past. Almost like muscle memory. Mental/emotional muscle memory if you will.

But seven years later, I still think/feel some of the same things. And it’s bugging me because I can’t figure it out. So, yeah, that’s all I know to write for the moment.

8 thoughts on “Why Are the Holidays Still a Struggle?”

  1. I think it’s kind of natural. Those had become your Christmas feelings and Christmas memories. So the holidays are a natural time for nostalgia and reliving those memories and feelings…good, bad and ambivalent.

  2. My heart goes out to you, Becky. I don’t have any answers – just observations. The Christmas Holidays are a challenge for more folks than we realize. During the last 48 hours, a person near and dear to me became anxious and the only helpful salve my time and companionship. This time of year affects people in a variety of ways. And I’m not immune from the Christmas emotional roller coaster either. Best to Jeff.

    1. Thank you, Steve, for your perspective and friendship. Blessings to you and Ronnie during the Christmas season, and the launch of a new year!

  3. Becky I just read your last post from 12/23. I tried to think about how my feelings are with my family in order to understand. Although I am not an adoptee, I was absent from family holidays and experiences for such a long time. The relationships that I have with my natural family are so much different than many others in my natural family. They have bonds that, from my perspective, will never be the same for me. People I have grown to accept as a surrogate family through the years have a closer much more bonded feeling when I am around them, but I still long for what seems on the outside as a “normal” natural family bond that I ache for at times. I’m not sure if I understand fully even with all of that considered, but I do know that the unsettled feeling that continues is something that wants to be healed in me. I can’t take back time, per say… Sometimes I reflect on the thought that the perfect level of relationships and family and full healing from loss can only be perfect in one way, and likely not here on this earth. That’s something I’ve been trying to keep in mind when I feel unsettled in times that many others seem to have a well bonded solid family life… Thank you for opening your heart about your life, it helps to understand more of what life is like for others outside of my own experiences.

    1. Sounds like you understand a lot – even if the reasons aren’t the same. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I feel this. Christmas and birthdays for sure. Today is my birthday and for about the 15th year in a row I have shut myself at home with my partner. The week leading upto and week after my birthday and week before Christmas are always bad times of the year for me. I think for me it’s because I live by the assumption that I was a Christmas mistake. Born in august.
    I kinda just feel empty and palmed off. Big hole in there somewhere.

    1. Josh: I hope your birthday brought some moments of happiness amid the struggles. I understand your “big hole” comment; it is real, visceral for me too.

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