This has come up from a different angle on another thread
, and there I suggested that we don't have to settle for whatever crap memories we have of the holidays of the past. We can do whatever we want to make our holiday time fun and meaningful in whatever way suits us. That is, we can start some traditions of our own.
Like everything else in recovery, the decisions are ultimately down to us. It's absolutely understandable that many of us would look back with sorrow and anger at holidays in the past - we did deserve better, and we have a right to that sorrow and anger. But we can also do something about it to change things in the present and for the sake of our own futures.
One thing that made me REAL determined about all this was to realize that every time I give in and dwell on things past, I am handing control of my life back to the abuser. I can curse him and wish him torn into a million pieces, sure - and I would have every right to do that. But the ultimate I can do against him is to deny him any chance to continue to hold power over me; that's what he really wanted, and I now have the ability to take that away from him.
For example, yesterday my wife and son and I went over to the next village to pick out a Christmas tree. It was pissing down rain and I slipped and slopped around in the mud and came home a total mess. But we got our tree, it was fun, and afterwards we all changed clothes, dried off, and sat around over tea talking about what we want to do over the holidays. I didn't think of the abuser a single time - not even ONCE. I didn't give a thought to how many Christmases he ruined for me with the abuse, the humiliating mind games, or the alcohol and drugs that I took refuge in after he was gone. Just that one day yesterday was worth all the work I have put into my recovery so far, let me tell you.
We can do it. We're WORTH it!