Oh December, why do you hate me so much? Thirty years ago you decided that December 20th would be a great day for my 39 year old mother to die, leaving a 12 year old pre-pubescent seventh grader with buck teeth and a mullet left to figure out life on her own. Fast forward 29 years and you decide that December 27th would be a fantastic time for my husband’s mistress to call me to let me know about their year and a half long affair. Why, why must you hurt me so?
I have hated the holidays ever since that fateful December day in 1985, when my family decided that even though my 39 year old mother’s funeral was on December 23rd we should move on like business as usual and celebrate Christmas Eve as we had in years pass by eating an amazing meal my Aunt would cook and all the adults would drink too much while all of us kids waiting eagerly for the large sum of money waiting for us in a card from our generous Aunt. I remember that particular Christmas Eve as if I was watching it from a dream. I was 12 years old, and my life as I had known had been turned upside down. Everyone was acting as if nothing had happened even though just the day before they had attended my mom, their Aunt’s, their daughter’s, their wife’s funeral. But, that’s pretty typical of my family and so many others. If you don’t talk about your hurt/anger/frustration it’ll magically go away. Isn’t that how it works? Not so much.
It’s three days before Christmas and I’m STILL waiting to get into the Christmas spirit. But, having a six year old little girl who loves this time of year means that I need to suck it up and put on my happy face. I am so grateful that in the first holiday season since my divorce I get to spend it with my daughter. I am not sure how I would have survived this holiday alone. But, I don’t know how I’m going to survive next year, or the next. It seems that no matter how great my life is, as soon as December hits all I want to do is lay in bed, pull the covers over my head and not get out until January 1st. EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. I have self-diagnosed myself as having PTSD. I believe that as soon as December hits I morph into a confused, naïve, shy twelve year old girl who’s life is about to change the course forever.
I feel guilty when so many people are gushing and shouting from the rooftop how magical this holiday season is. I feel like a scrooge and I want to tell these people to fuck off. I can’t even muster up the energy to listen to Christmas songs in my car. I bit the bullet one day while my daughter and I were in the car and I asked her if she wanted to listen to any Christmas songs and by the grace of God she didn’t want to.
Whew, got out of that one.
What’s strange is that as miserable as I have felt all month, on the actual anniversary of my mother’s passing, I didn’t feel anything. Nothing! And this was the 30th year she has not been in my life. Isn’t that weird?
I guess the beauty of life is that in order to truly enjoy the good moments, we need the bad in order to feel true happiness and be grateful for those amazing moments. As I have come to realize life is a roller coaster. And when push comes to shove, I’ll take the bad because I know how good the good can be.
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