Lisa A. Romano is a life coach and author specializing in codependency and narcissistic abuse. On our live Christmas night show, she joined host Connie Willis (info) to discuss issues people have during the holidays and ways to get through it. Romano described the holidays for many as a pressure cooker experience, especially when around caustic family members. "I grew up like that, walking around on eggshells... the tension was so thick in our family," she said, noting this is what happens in families with a lack of boundaries and no authenticity.
"We don't know how to talk about being disrespected, we don't know how to talk about being guilted and shamed," Romano continued. There is an expectation of compliance which creates familial oppression that goes against one's healthiest emotional state, she added. According to Romano, those who feel powerless as adults also felt powerless as children. The ability to master your emotions, set boundaries, and express your true self starts with parents who showed their children how to emotionally regulate themselves, she explained. It's not your fault for having a brain that is wired to not feel safe or trust people socially, Romano revealed, pointing out therapy can be helpful to teach people that they are enough and they are seen.
MJ Wayland is a writer, researcher, and historian specializing in ghosts, supernatural belief, and fringe history. During the latter half of Saturday's program, he shared real Christmas ghost stories, many of which are not well-known or have been in print since the first experience occurred.
One story he recounted took place in the 1800s in Emmitsburg, Maryland, where a well-known composer would climb the hill to St. Mary's church, hide in the woods, and play "O Come, All Ye Faithful" on violin as churchgoers arrived for Christmas Eve services. After the composer died, his son took up the tradition, visiting his father’s grave on Christmas Eve and playing one of his compositions on the flute. According to Wayland, the son did this from 1884 until his death in 1923. "Over the years the sounds of the flute still came down from the hillside on Christmas Eve," he revealed, noting there are reports of flute music being heard in the vicinity as late as 1967.