It’s a strange thing to watch yourself slowly retreat from the world around you. Normally I never know it’s happening but right now I can feel it and am doing absolutely nothing to stop it.

The closer we get to Christmas, the harder it is to breathe. I still have things to do but I neither care nor have the energy to do anything about it. I would usually have myself in a panic, but I’m not panicking. I actually don’t care if I get it done or not. Nobody will suffer because I forgot to put something in a stocking or the mail. Nobody will cry if they get a letter after Christmas.

I met with T on Wednesday. We talked about Christmas and how it feels hard right now. We talked about when I was younger–the people, the chaos, the being left behind and the fear of punishment. We also talked about pretending. There was so much of it when we were with my father’s family. Pretending we were happy and that nothing was happening. Pretending we weren’t being hurt all the time and that we liked it. Pretending we felt safe and cared for and loved.

T says we don’t have to pretend anymore. He says that nothing bad will happen if we stop pretending we’re okay. There won’t be any punishment or consequences if we tell him everything that happened and how we feel about it. We don’t have to be quiet and sit on a couch in the corner feeling like someone will hurt us.

I don’t want to feel like an asshole at Christmas, so it feels easier to pretend for just a little while longer. I keep telling myself that this is the last year and then I won’t ever have to do it again. T says they won’t live that far away when they move (only about 8 hours) and that we may have another Christmas together one day. I don’t believe so though. In my heart of hearts it feels like the next time I will see any of them it will be at a funeral.

So, for now anyways, we retreat into our safe space. Moving and thinking slowly. Watching the soft snow fall outside of the window insulating the noise from the world around us.

3 thoughts on “pretending

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