Last Updated on November 21, 2018 by Cindy Bekesi
Let’s Give Thanks for the Hidden Gifts Acquired from the Childhood Domestic Violence We Faced and Reinvent Thanksgiving!
Turkey, stuffing, the Thanksgiving Parade, spending quality time with family, and giving thanks for one’s blessings. These are just some images/memories most people are reminded of
when they think of Thanksgiving. However, those who grow up with Childhood Domestic Violence (CDV) don’t typically have fond memories of Thanksgiving and warm family dinners. They may remember their parents fighting and their feelings of pain, fear, and hopeless, because they weren’t able to stop it.
CDV vs Thanksgiving
Adults who experienced CDV or children currently growing up in a home with CDV have a tough time during traditional holidays, as their family is/was anything but traditional. Adversity faced in one’s childhood home can make the holidays a tough and unsettling time well into adulthood.
If you grew up with CDV or know someone who did, more than likely, family togetherness and celebration during the holidays are marred by your/their childhood experiences and the trauma that followed. The impact of the past doesn’t magically go away during the holidays – it lingers behind and most likely haunts you/them every year around this time.
What Thanksgiving CAN Mean as an Adult
If you grew up with CDV or love someone who did, you do NOT have to carry the emotional scars from your past throughout your life! If you still struggle to fully embrace the spirit of Thanksgiving, there’s good news. Adversity faced in childhood can also impart unique strengths and hidden gifts in exchange for the high price you paid as a child that you can tap into, to help you face and conquer any challenges that may arise later in life. This year, instead of dreading Thanksgiving, you can chose to reflect on these gifts and how you can apply them daily to build a home that is very different from the one you grew up in. This year, you can give thanks for persevering, surviving, and moving past that home, to a place where you now are able to shape your own destiny. You can now reflect on how far you’ve already come and how accomplished you already are because of what you have already endured and overcome, and take new strides in pursuing the life you were always meant to have. Thanksgiving can also be a time to build on the compassion, gratitude, and love that are already in you and share them with your own family, as perhaps they may not have been shared with you in your childhood home.
What You Can Do Today
CDV no longer has to hold you hostage or bring bad memories on Thanksgiving. Today can be an opportunity to set a new precedent by rewriting the future in a positive way so that holidays like these can once again be happy occasions of celebrating family and giving thanks.
Here are 3 things you can do this Thanksgiving holiday, to transform your meaning of Thanksgiving and change your life:
- TALK ABOUT IT! Awareness Itself is Curative. Share your experience of CDV with family and friends this Thanksgiving. Talking about CDV is one of the most effective ways to heal and overcome the past. Talking about it transforms the meaning because it allows others to offer a unique perspective that you may not be able to see. It also spreads critical awareness of a endemic social issue that affects 1 in 7 people and has a profound impact on a life, but still has less than 15% awareness.
- LEARN MORE & BEGIN TO TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE. If your childhood experience is still holding you back in life, visit CDV.org to learn more about how CDV impacted you, as well how you can regain control and transform your life. Today can be a new beginning. Take advantage of our unprecedented evidence-based resources, developed collaboratively with leading researchers in the field. Many are free and a few are offered as a significantly discounted cost.
- DONATE TO HELP OTHERS WHO FACE CDV. In the spirit of giving that Thanksgiving ushers in, why not help others impacted – and particularly the children who are experiencing CDV right now? With your small gift, we can train professionals nationwide who work with impacted children daily in a high-touch way to much more effectively intervene and foster optimal long-term outcomes for these children. DONATE NOW!
Wishing you a healthy and happy Thanksgiving!