Christmas is a time of celebration, excitement, and catching up with family. Ho Ho Ho…How wrong that is for some. It can be painful, even an abusive time when alcohol and poor behavior abound. If this has been your unfortunate experience, please plan to stay clear of those troubles or at least have an exit strategy for escaping the situation.
Plan for PEACE this holiday season. We recommend having some clear personal boundaries when around those unsafe people who can cause you harm emotionally, physically, or psychologically. Limit your time with them.
Boundaries may include:
(These decisions are informed by your past experience of how unsafe these people can be)
- Who you are willing to associate with;
- Where you are willing to go;
- Limit your time with them;
- Plan a safe place to resort to;
- Plan how you will travel when it is time to go;
- Inform a trusted friend of your exit strategy;
- Pack a bag with important documents, your precious items, and necessities.
Sensible strategies may include:
- Take a trusted friend with you;
- Have access to a vehicle;
- Keep yourself sober and able to drive if necessary;
- Meet in a public place (if a person is habitually critical of you, they are likely to be so much more so in their own home, but less where there are others around).
An unsafe person does not have these personal boundaries and will not respect your personal boundaries either. That is why they are unsafe. Please respect your own boundaries. It is an unsafe person who becomes domestically violent (emotionally, financially, or physically). Both men and women need to know what unsafe behavior looks like and how to avoid it.
If you have a Domestic Violence Order against you, even a temporary one, please be vigilant to follow it even if it means you cannot see loved ones this Christmas. A breach can result in prison or expulsion from chosen careers. It is not worth it. A Domestic Violence Order is troublesome to live with, and expensive to remove. Again… plan for peace this Christmas.
Plan to be with Safe People this Christmas. Value you and stay safe. You are worth it!
Written by David Madsen