10 Survival Tips for Holidays for folks with a Parent who has Borderline Personality Disorder

The holidays can be tricky to navigate, but it can be made so much more difficult when dealing with a parent who has borderline personality disorder. That’s why I put together these 10 tips to help you prepare and survive the season.

Wrap yourself in magic gift wrap. Metaphorically, that is. Protect yourself with sparkly tinsel that deflects negativity that’s not yours.

Well, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. Temperature extremes are so familiar! With your parent you never know what you’re going to get. They flip from hot to cold without notice. Remember to keep your psychic gloves on hand to protect you, whatever the temperature. 

Tis the season to be jolly- this is the messaging that we get from every direction. You’re accustomed to feeling pressure to feel a certain way given your upbringing. Give yourself a break. It’s ok to feel a range of emotions. 

Making spirits bright: If you’re reaching for sugar, alcohol, etc even more than usual,  know that you’re in good company. Many people use substances to soothe themselves to get through the challenges of the holidays. If you’re feeling extra blue tomorrow, this may be why. 

All I want for Christmas is You. It’s tempting think it’s all about you and to feel responsible for other people, but please don’t take things personally! You are good even when people around you are having big feelings. 

You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why. Because there never has been room for your emotions, only your parent’s. Bearing this in mind, make sure you carve out time to check in with yourself. Journal, call a friend, take a walk. Seek contact from someone who will listen to your feelings and experiences.

Jingle bell jingle bell jingle bell rock— A rock might come in handy, actually. Keep something in your pocket to remind you that you’re ok. 

Be the snow globe— imagine a clear bubble around yourself and fill it with sparkles.

Over the river and through the woods… Get a good dose of nature. Even if this means stepping out onto the fire escape of an apartment, breathe fresh air. Dance in the snow or whatever the elements. Take as many walks as you can. 

One for each night, they shed a sweet light to remind us of days long ago.

Holidays carry layers of history— and can heighten loss, grief, joy, basically, all the emotions. Be kind to yourself, and remember this quote:

“If you think you are enlightened; go home for Thanksgiving.”
Ram Dass

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