dinner table

‘We still have to invite uncle Tommy to Thanksgiving.’ I will not be part of a family who chooses my abuser over me.’: Rape survivor ‘thankful’ for second family who takes her in during the holidays

“For years, my anxiety was high during the holidays, my emotions an all-time low. Nobody knew the cause. After I came out about my sexual assault, my family didn’t know what to believe. My uncle was a ‘great guy.’ When, the shock wore off, my mom hugged me. ‘Everything will be alright.’ Yet, she continues to invite him to every holiday. No one should have to exist in the same room with the one who makes them want to vanish within it.”

‘This Thanksgiving, I refuse to share what I’m ‘thankful’ for. Grief and gratitude can sit at the same table.’: Mom of child loss abstains from holiday traditions, ‘I’m still grateful, but bereaved’

“I get it. The holidays bring in the time of year when I’m supposed to focus on what I have and not what I want. Well, no thank you. I’m grieving that empty space at the table. No matter how many times I write down all I’m ‘thankful’ for, someone is missing. Excuse me if I seem hesitant to participate in your sharing around the table. Please trust that I’m still a grateful person.”

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