Christmas Graffiti: An IFS Strategy to Coping Throughout the Holidays


1 Month | 3 Days | 15 Hours Until Vacation Season Ends 

Yearly I battle despair in the course of the holidays, and yearly I choose myself for seeing the world via glass-half-empty lenses. As a result of let’s be actual, nobody truly likes the glass-half-empty relative or co-worker!  

 This 12 months is a bit totally different although. Make no mistake, I’m nonetheless depressed! However I’ve a 12 months of Inside Household Methods remedy underneath my belt this 12 months. And the cardinal rule in IFS is: all components are welcome. Even the grouchy ones! 

What’s Inside Household System?

Inside Household Methods (IFS) is a psychotherapy method that identifies and addresses sub-personalities or households inside an individual’s psychological system.

Each a part of my system has an identification, a goal, and a narrative. And collectively, my components’ diversified pursuits, emotions, and issues created one thing lovely. 

My inner household created: my survival.

 I’ve an Anxiousness half, an Anger half, an Interior-child, and even a Disgrace half. 

On the great days,  I deal with my CPTSD triggers by letting my components converse to me. By letting my inner household converse via me. Whether or not it’s artwork or poetry or music-  I really feel extra grounded and grateful after my components say their piece. Their worldview makes extra sense, and I can’t assist however really feel an inflow of radical empathy for them. For his or her tales. 

So right now, I allowed Christmas Graffiti, the fiery, cynical, and unhappy a part of me who hates Christmas, to share her story. I nicked named her after graffiti as a result of, very similar to the fashion of artwork, her views defy societal norms. And Graffiti might care much less about anybody’s expectations.  Right here’s a little bit of her monologue! 

Meet Christmas Graffiti 

Christmases had been persistently unhealthy from 12 months 7 of this lifetime ahead. 

That was across the time my mom buried her ache in church and was all however consumed by the Prosperity wave of the Pentecostal motion. … In the event you simply thought: “Properly, Whereeeeee was Brittany’s Dad?”

I’ll reply your question- with a query: 

WHERE WERE MOST OF OUR DADS?!? Like most of my shut pals rising up: 

  1. Church was norm 1 
  2. Poverty was norm 2 
  3. Battle- stage emotional violence was …

Graffiti’s Favourite Christmas

Anyway, my favourite Christmas of this lifetime is 12 months 17! 

It was so easy and candy! Everybody was completely happy that day. Dream Women on a loop. I keep in mind Chinese language meals and Starbucks and smiles and laughter. I keep in mind WARMTH. 

Nonetheless no Fathers 👀 however … If Adam would have been there, I’d stamp that reminiscence #perfect! 

I consider that reminiscence typically when my thoughts and my coronary heart get actually quiet. You already know, once I’m lonely.  I strive to not let my thoughts wander there this time of 12 months although. As a result of, inside seconds, my nostalgia settles into the depths of what Abraham Hicks calls: distinction. That’s the a part of our existence that train us what we don’t like … what we detest. 

After I sit in my darkish room for too lengthy…  I’m reminded of the nuances that make me detest our favourite Christmas. 

Graffiti’s… Not So Favourite Recollections From 12 months 17

You see, in 12 months 17, we ALSO lived off Avenue Okay in Arlington. There have been as much as 8 of us in a 1 bed room house. 

1234567 … EIGHT! 

No beds, no furnishings, no abundance, and nonetheless no Fathers 👀. 

Simply sleep pallets! The few pals I had at Lamont Excessive by no means understood why I refused to ask them into our shabby house after college. 

I’m positive they assumed I had a gorgeous crib. As a result of youngsters with dad and mom who drove Audis and Hummers often had lovely cribs! In 2006 anyway! 

Tracy from UTA was the primary good friend I invited inside that vacant, dingy little house. I felt secure letting her witness my disgrace. Tracy grew up center class, however someway it felt like her coronary heart held as a lot sorrow as mine. By some means I knew she’d be variety. And I used to be grateful that she by no means requested why I didn’t have my very own room or a mattress or perhaps a sofa! 

I’m nonetheless grateful right now! 

Anyway- it bothers me that I’m such a cynic.  Largely as a result of it bothers Brittany. She’s on the entire: be optimistic, manifest the life you need, and write a gratitude checklist wave. 

So, I’m the grinch destroying her Christmas season, so to talk. 

 I’m a bit like a recurring thumbnail that received’t erase irrespective of how a lot Brittany tries to bury me. However I can’t assist what replays in my head consistently. I can’t assist that I keep in mind the worst components of our favourite Christmas one of the best. And I can’t assist that the worst Christmas on this lifetime is stamped throughout each vacation season. Undoubtedly, our worst 12 months was 12 months 14! 

Graffiti’s Worst Christmas Reminiscence 

Hand me that little canvas would ya? It was my, I imply her, Brittany’s freshman 12 months of highschool: 

  • Haltom Metropolis 
  • Park Vista Part 8 Flats 
  • Filth 
  • Me, mother, and my brother shared a room in Jessie’s home 
  • Jessie had 4 sons 
  • We had no beds 
  • NO fathers (👀) 

There have been pallets! One for Brittany, one for her child brother, and one for her Mother. 

And all we bought on 12 months 14 had been socks and these off-brand candies. They had been these tri-color gummy, spherical candies! Our presents together with the Turkey loaf Jessie doctored up for us had been from an area charity in Fort Value. It was chilly and lonely and terrible at Jessie’s home year-round.  And I cried so much in 12 months 14. I cried for God. Particularly on days, I assumed  I used to be house alone.

 👧🏾🙏🏾: “Our Father who artwork in heaven” 👀

One in every of Jessie’s sons heard me screaming and crying whereas praying in the future. 

I assured him I used to be okay. However I wasn’t … And neither was he. Oh, how I’d pray and pray and PRAY… 

“Please! God assist me.”Please God assist my household!”👧🏾 🙏🏾: “Our father who artwork in heaven” 👀

On this lifetime, even the divine Father located in heaven was … ABSENT! 👀… Particularly throughout 12 months 14. 

He by no means got here to avoid wasting me. He by no means got here for us. Brittany’s Dad by no means got here for us. Brandon’s Dad by no means got here for us. The one one that got here for us was Brittany, however that was 6 years later!

 It was too late. 

Abandonment dipped in holiness continues to be abandonment is what I’m saying I assume. I used to be very depressed and confused throughout 12 months 14. All of us had been. 

However technically, Turkey loaf is manner higher than nothing in any respect! 

I’m simply saying that it bothers me a bit that I keep in mind extra about my worst Christmas than my sweetest one. I appear to solely keep in mind the unhealthy. But it surely occurred … okay. The unhealthy occurred. And shutting your eyes and pretending that it didn’t is how unhealthy issues proceed to occur. 

Graffiti’s Early Recollections 

Brittany’s dad and mom informed me I used to be spoiled, from years 0 to 7, of this lifetime anyway. 

These years are foggy. It’s like making an attempt to put in writing a novel with the small print from 3 blurry Polaroid photos. Fortunately I’ve a literal image from that period. And there was an enormous Christmas tree and plenty of shiny present bins. My blood family are there. Even Brittany’s father.  These are my “regular” household recollections. However I don’t consider them for too lengthy as a result of…

Graffiti’s Ethos

There are barely a handful of completely happy, wholesome recollections. However for the sake of simplicity and optimism, let’s say I-, I imply Brittany had  2 “good” Christmas recollections and 1 terrible one. 

And it’s possible you’ll ask, 

“However … isn’t 2 good recollections higher than no good Christmas recollections, Brittany- (I meant Graffiti)”? 

“Shouldn’t you simply be grateful that issues weren’t worse?”

There are the glass half full and the glass half empty of us. After which, there’s me Graffiti, waving my arms and angrily asking who’s being stingy with the [expletive] water pitcher. Everybody deserves overflowing cups. That’s what I learn. That’s what I prayed. My cup runneth over. Certainly goodness and mercy.

I’m utterly satisfied I’d be happier if my silly glass was empty! ~

I’d fairly don’t have anything than not sufficient, so yeah pour this out proper now. Simply Empty my cup and go away. 

My Gratitude for Graffiti 

Although it appears intuitive to carry compassion and empathy for the components of me that stubbornly latch onto righteous anger, most days it’s extremely arduous for me to sit down down and do it. There’s part of me that is aware of  I suffered sufficient as a child. And, now that I’m lastly secure, I ought to deal with happiness and abundance. Some confer with this as religious bypassing. 

It’s nearly like I’ll myself into being this healed, a complete, superbly religious archetype that doesn’t truly exist. The true world is dominated by duality. 

And, there’s magnificence within the nuances of our tales. It’s the place our distinctive tales and our legacies start. 

I’m excited to proceed creating the mum or dad I by no means had as I proceed therapeutic.  However 12 months 14 and 12 months 17 deserve reverence. They deserve area. They need to be seen. They deserve security. They deserve LOVE.  Even when their tales aren’t stuffed with sunshine, rainbows,  or Santa in a winter wonderland. It’s mine! That is my inner household. 

These are the wonderful tales of how I survived Complicated Trauma.  1,000,000 love tales stuffed with triumphs and despair and life- classes. And each half is worthy. 

Might I hold striving to by no means take my components with no consideration. 

Feeling impressed? Take a number of moments to replicate in your finest and worst vacation recollections. Jot your ideas down and share them along with your therapist or somebody you belief! 

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Brittany Dickey’s a CPTSD warrior making her mark by selling self-care.  She’s a go-to advertising skilled for purchasers throughout industries. She has a powerful background in strategic and artistic planning, social media administration, and content material technique. With over 8 years of expertise, she’s labored with a various set of purchasers together with Fortune 500 Firms, Advertising Companies, Tech startups, Non-profits, and extra!



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