On the outside I am totally rocking it and keeping my shit together and appearing to be an awesomely-awesome functioning member of society. On the inside though, where it’s just me and my thoughts, everything feels so fucking complicated.
There isn’t a place that’s comfortable right now. No matter where I sit it feels like something is poking at me and I need to shift to try to find a place that feels better, but I just can’t. Like a yo-yo–up and down and all around–nothing seems to help me settle. I want to hide from the world. From everything that doesn’t make sense to me. From this place of messed up people and chaos and things that I don’t understand.
I’m trying my best to keep it together for the boys sake. They’re just little after all and Christmas still holds a lot of magic for them. Truthfully though, if I had my way, I’d totally prefer to skip over the next two weeks altogether. It’s not that I hate Christmas. It’s just that I hate feeling like I am being forced to keep up with people I neither know nor care about.
I don’t remember a lot about Christmas growing up other than it being completely chaotic. Lots of drinking, lots of partying, kissing and hugging and being touched by people I didn’t want to by touched by. Just feeling completely out of my body overwhelmed with it all, really. Comparisons, competitions and constant threats about being on our best behaviour for days on end, lest we want to get a harsh slap or punch from our father. Spending countless hours pretending that everything was okay and feeling like you were going stark raving mad from the sheer overwhelm of it all. There was no way to escape it. Trapped in hell for days is the the only way I can think to describe it.
I’ve done a good job of mainly avoiding that chaos for a number of years. The simpler the better made things easier for me. Slowly we moved away from giving gifts just for the sake of giving (no more secret Santa with the adults). Then went the turkey dinners and hours spent making them and cleaning up afterwards. Dressy, itchy clothes were replaced with comfortable ones or even better, pajamas. Loud family gatherings gave way to quiet days in the yard or in the basement watching movies by the fire. No more forcing myself to pretend around people I didn’t want to share the same air with.
I did good for awhile but it’s starting to feel like this year is shaping up to be anything other than how I planned it. It’s fine for people to make plans for how they’d like to spend the day, but they really don’t have to include me. They also don’t have to get all pissy about it when I’m not sharing in the excitement the same way that they are.
This year, my mother has gone and decided that because it would their last Christmas before moving, it would be a good idea to invite my aunt and uncle for Christmas dinner. Normally, they go away for Christmas to visit one of their children, but this year they decided to stay home. I didn’t know what to say about it. I wasn’t very excited when she told me but I was trying not to be a total asshole about the situation either because once they’re moved, there won’t be anymore seeing them.
So, while I wasn’t ecstatic, I pulled up my knickers and at least managed to set some ground rules with my mother–just a simple dinner; the boys are allowed to wear their pajamas; I will get dressed, but only in comfortable clothes; tell them they must be prepared for last minute changes (like the dinner may end up being Christmas Eve if my ex deems it necessary to fuck up the plans); and they couldn’t stay for hours on end, or if they do, I will slowly find my way to the basement. My mother wasn’t all that happy about my rules, but I told her that it was the best I could do and she reluctantly agreed.
Then, just as I’m starting to not freak the fuck out about it, this past weekend my mother goes and suggests inviting my other aunt and uncle because they might be alone as well. I was trying to be nice. I was trying to understand. But basically I hate it all. I don’t want to entertain people. I don’t want to put on a happy face, make small talk and pretend that I wake up every day, look in the mirror and say ‘gee, I’m glad I’m me‘. I was pretty certain I could handle my one aunt and uncle for a short period of time, but the other ones drive me nuts. I also couldn’t help wondering why they wouldn’t be with their own son who lives in town and asked my mother that very question.
Cue the evil, I hope you don’t say that out loud in front of your Auntie, glare of death from my mother.
The one big kicker is, these people aren’t even from my mom’s side of the family and basically since my father died almost 9 years ago, the only aunt and uncle I ever see are the ones who are moving away in March. Oh, and did I also mention that those would be the same aunt and uncle who just so happen to be the owners of the house where the majority of the sexual abuse took place and are therefore the parents of the cousins who abused me?
Like I said, it’s complicated.
Oh, and as if planning a dinner with people who make me want to crawl into a corner and hide isn’t bad enough, lets not even get started about the Christmas therapy break.
I. Can’t. Even……