For Those Who Live In Broke(n) Families And Are Triggered During The Holidays

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The holidays are a suppose to be a time of joy, love and family matters.

Good food, quality time, reminiscing and moments focused on giving and showing appreciation.

During the holidays traditions and household values are passed down from generation to generation.

In the words of Dru Hill "These are the times we all wish for!"

Whether it's catching up on your favorite Rankin Bass Christmas Specials, creating that special gift for Kwanzaa, or building Gingerbread houses there are memories we all cherish from November and December.

But, for many of us the soulful holidays  just seem to be losing soul. Each year a tradition or family connection is lost due to hardships, death or even terrible memories of what was and no longer is.

With the new year around the corner we know that things don't change until we get up and wash our ass.

Even with a fresh start to the new year it seems every time the  holidays roll around we've  realized we're in the same position as last year.

For some, instead of the holidays fostering joy it has become a time full of depressed sentiments and moods that remind us that our lives are not where we want them to be individually or collectively as a family unit. The holidays are filled with traumatic experiences and constant reminders of what is just not right in our family.

Your issues may consist in your extended family of:

Adults who have not resolved issues that have damaged the family dynamic.
These issues are too big and devastatingly painful to be brushed off and so the “I love you from a distance” becomes the mood and movement!


Terrible communication skills exist. Fear of the reality of and the lack of confronting trifling personalities.


Hateful and jealous movements exist within the family.

Although not ideal the children who may have been guarded from the toxic behavior and family matters are now negatively impacted.


The acceptance of f*ck sh*t, drama and behavior present even among elders in the family (fixituniverse). Here, there is nothing more than negative cycles of complacency.
You might have family members who tend to live in the facade and hype of the holidays and won’t check the bull where it’s smelling. You get my drift.


Maybe your fam just doesn’t understand why the family is this toxic state.

Internally with your immediate family issues you may have:

Parents who did their best but, for whatever reasons you may not have strong relationships with them.
Parents who are in need of therapy because of their own traumatic experiences they’ve failed to resolve.

A parent who is ill...whose health has failed to the waist side or perhaps a parent who has purposely let themselves go.

Perhaps you have a loved one that has been locked up and it’s creating a strain on the family.


You and a loved one are depressed and instead of releasing and finding means to therapy you’re stuck in the room hiding from the world like Uncle Pete in Soul Food.


You have nothing to eat for the holiday or any random week and your life in Poverty is just a struggle.
Financial woes are hidden and you're hiding your pain and struggle from the world.

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You can chat repeatedly about the problems that may exist in your life but one thing is for certain: Your mood is impacted by your family dynamic even "if it is what it is".

No need to ponder but, in the most delicate of Maurice White whatever the reasons, the reasons that we’re here, the reasons why the FAMILY. IS. BROKEN. we know that a serious therapeutic session is needed.

As joyful and happy as we see other families on social media during this time (yes these people have their own problems) in your family it’s been ages since everyone has been able to get together in a room besides showing up for a funeral.

You've become numb to the broken family dynamics. There are bandages stuck on open wounds that tend to leak at the intersections of these multitude of issues.

So, what do the Broke(n) families do for the holidays?

Spend the holidays separately, in cliches or alone?

Go another holiday without cousins and uncles reconnecting? Or having cousins who don't know each other's name?

Dream that one day we can pick up the pieces?

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Admire our friends who families welcomed us with open arms? Let's not act ignore the fact that folks who are not our blood at times have treated us better than our own flesh.

What ever the broke(n) may do whatever is being done, is it not enough to foster change even among those who have an inkling of change in their heart. Unlike most posts this post does not have a solution but more so suggestions of self care that anyone in these challenging family dynamics can use.

1. Don't compare your family to anyone else. Please remember that all families have secrets and their own problems.

2. Be open to people who want to assist and open their families to you. Also be open to understanding that if the holidays are a traumatic time for you, it is okay for you to space out PEACEFULLY and get some self care time. *holding in anger is not self-care*

3. If you have the means and resources to have a conversation with someone in your family who has hurt you state your peace. If you feel like it's too traumatic or toxic to waste your energy simply DON'T.

4. Sometimes you have to bring the changes to your family you want to see. With any change, it comes with patience and time.

5. If someone texts you how's your holiday going? and you don't feel the need to be a scrooge don't answer.


At last, remember no matter the circumstances or how you feel in the words of Donny Hathaway everything has got to get better. I DECLARE. I BELIEVE. 

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Keep on keeping on, because that's all you can do!