The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives.
can be a wonderful thing. Personally, I love the idea of being with family and celebrating Chanukah, but when I’m actually with them, my feelings change. I feel out of place and overwhelmed and like I don’t fit in. I ask myself: “how can I stop myself from spiraling downwards?”
Find one person you can talk with. For me, I’m one of the youngest cousins and it’s hard to break into the group. By finding one cousin, they can bring me into that group. It makes me feel wanted. But, when I feel overwhelmed, I’ll single out a cousin outside of the group or an aunt or uncle who I can talk one on one with until I’m less overwhelmed. Using your phone as a crutch is alright, but I found that you’ll continue having feelings that you don’t want to feel.
Know that your feelings don’t need to be validated. I always have a hard time keeping a clear mind around lots of people, especially if they make comments I don’t want to hear. Although it’s good to go in with a clear mind and try to be rational, it doesn’t always work that way. Just know that it’s important to believe you have the right to get upset by things. However, I know that I’d be more stressed out creating a scene. If you need to excuse yourself, do it. It’ll give you some time to wrap your mind around the situation.
While these people might be your family, it isn’t blood that makes you family; it’s loyalty. You’ll see them for the holidays, but then you’ll go home and return to your normal life. If you can’t stand a family member, stay away from them. I know for me, as an LGBTQ+ teen, I stay away from the relatives that are homophobic so I don’t get too anxious or depressed.
Just know your limits and that you’ll get through it. As frustrating as it is, just know that there are people who always are out there rooting for you.
Do you think that your child has a support system during the holiday season? Are there instances where you notice that they need to be alone?