An unexpected healing experience during the holiday season image
Trauma Healing

An unexpected healing experience during the holiday season

I am writing this on 31 December 2018 and so far this holiday season has proven unexpected. For first time ever my partner, son and I got to stay at home for the holidays. No travelling, no other people’s traditions or expectations – we put the start and foundation of our family tradition. This is something I’ve longed for for a very long time. I’ve never had a strong family of my own and I barely have any memories of our time together, if there was any “togetherness” at all. Having my own family has always been like a guiding star for me – something I’ve always, even subconsciously, strived for. But even after the start of our family, we spent the holidays with our families of origin. For the first four years we spent the holy days with my partner’s relatives and after we moved to Bulgaria we spent two Christmases with my family.

This year I was determined to have our own version of Christmas. And that is not to say that I disagreed with what we’ve been doing so far – after all we usually only get to see most of our families during holiday times and that’s important. But this time I wanted to stay, at home, in our rented apartment that has turned into our home for the last near two years. I did not want to worry about travel and sleeping arrangements, or even excessive cooking and presents-buying, only to find yourself exhausted at the end of the evening, sitting on a table with no appetite at all and trying to keep a smile. No. I wanted it to be real this time. Ours.

Perhaps, many won’t understand my meaning and would perceive it as too extreme or black and white, and perhaps it is. What I can say is what I mentioned earlier:

For someone who never had an experience of a real family it was crucial for me to build one of my own and establish our own family tradition; it was for myself, yes, but also for my son so that he, unlike me, will have family memories. 

Even my partner couldn’t grasp the full meaning and reason behind my wishes perhaps because he has had his fair amount of good family memories and he didn’t want to miss another opportunity to create some more. And I understand that too – when you have family traditions that you cherish and even rely upon to hold you, you don’t necessarily want to let that go.

We decided to stay and see our families on another occasion and use that as an opportunity to expand existing traditions and create new ones. The funny thing is that, as usual, the universe had different plans. As it was planned my father was going to visit us a week before Christmas. He was seeing off his wife to spend Christmas with her family in England and he needed to spend the night at our place before going back to his place. Later, it transpired that he was going to be alone on Christmas which I didn’t know of prior. Eventually, we decided that he stayed over until Christmas, which was a total of 10 days visit.

This was the unexpected, unknown part which also proved to be extremely healing and transformative.

If you’ve read this blog for long enough you will know that I haven’t been on the best terms with my father. Looking into my childhood and upbringing made me realise a lot of harsh truths about my parents. There were things I was still holding onto and couldn’t forgive them. I was bitter and disappointed. I blamed him and was raging internally because many of the things I couldn’t speak aloud. The whole situation was poisoning me.

On the first days of my dad’s visit I was cautious but determined to be firm and true to myself. He, on the other hand, was yielding and not pushy or controlling. Our energies clicked and we started talking. I found myself pouring my heart out with what was and has been weighing me and he listened and offered advice and support. One night he told me the story of his life without me asking – I know some of it but he never shared willingly and openly like this before.

The holidays went is a sort of a haze but very comforting and healing one. We talked, we cooked, we shared, we saluted ourselves and drank our glasses empty. It was really peaceful for most of the time but full and emotional. We fell into a routine and we mended many parts that have been broken. My most important realisation was that I have missed that so so much. Indeed we used to be very close with my dad but then we separated and we both had to deal with great difficulties on our own. I realised I’ve felt so lonely and disconnected for such a long time that I’ve forgotten what is to have such a bonding experience. And to have that with my father, whom until recently I’ve perceived as the reason for a lot of my suffering, was like a miracle.

I feel like I want to put an end to my suffering. I’ve suffered alone enough and I also understand that much of that was my creation. I did not need to be alone but that was my path. Now I can see it could be different. Oh, how much I’ve missed this feeling.

Happy New Year to all of you! And may you never fall short of miracles ✨🌟✨


Vilina Christoph is a spiritual writer and uses the power of words to help others on their journey of healing and recovery. She distills challenging life experiences into meaningful lessons and practical wisdom. She believes that finding our voices and speaking our truth empowers us to transform our lives and reach long-lasting fulfillment.

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