Q&A with Rhyll Croshaw: How can I survive the holidays when I am dealing with trauma?

Once a month on our blog, we feature Q&A’s with Rhyll Croshaw.  Today’s content is brand new and exclusive to this discussion board.  Thanks to Rhyll for her insights and willingness to share her strength, hope, and experience with all of us.  Please let us know if you have more questions for her by emailing becky@salifeline.org.

Q:  Do you have any tips on how I can survive the holiday season while I am dealing with Trauma?

A: Cry the Joy

Years ago I was given a Christmas decoration that just said JOY.
I have occasionally used that as a Christmas decoration and other years I have left it in the box.

“What is joy?” I have asked myself. At Christmas time we sing “Joy to the World” with enthusiasm and try to remember that the joy is about the Lord coming to earth.

Can I have joy in my life when everything has fallen down around me and my trauma is so deep I can hardly breath let alone feel joy?

Over the years I have asked myself that question.

There have been times when the trauma was new and so deep.  And the disclosure happened just before Christmas.

I remember one morning kneeling at the side of my bed feeling so distraught. I started to sob. The tears wouldn’t stop. I began to plead for comfort.

I was there at the side of the bed for what seemed like a long time and then a beautiful feeling came to me. It was as if some one had put a warm blanket around me.

I was all out of tears and I collapsed on the bed. I felt loved. I felt joy. The joy that comes from believing that Jesus did come to earth, that He knows my pain and sorrow and can carry me through it.

One of my dear friends went through a very difficult time that lasted for many months. One day she explained to me that very morning during this time she would go to her knees, listen to music, read scripture or pray until she cried. The tears were so healing for her. Then she could get up and deal with the day, one minute or five minutes at a time.

“Let your tears come. Let them water your soul.” (Eileen Mayhew)

Cry your Joy.

Now it is Christmas time again. A few nights ago I accompanied my husband to an event where he was in charge of refreshments for about 200 people. I wasn’t really aware of what the event was but went along to help.
In walked about 60 university students and who began to sing. Glorious music. Joyful music. Tender music. And I cried Joy. It was God’s gift to me. I knew it. I felt it. I saw His hand in my life for that hour.

So my commitment as I work recovery is to look for God’s hand in my life, especially at this season when there can be so many expectations from ourselves and others.

And when I feel it, I will cry Joy.

“There is sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition and of unspeakable love.” (author unknown)

1 thought on “Q&A with Rhyll Croshaw: How can I survive the holidays when I am dealing with trauma?”

  1. Just reading this made me cry “joy tears”. Thank you for one more tool to help in my recovery from betrayal trauma. I have a long road ahead of me but I am grateful for every little tidbit of good council along the way. 🙂

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