Yep, that’s right… I SURVIVED! If you’re reading this, it means that you survived too… CONGRATULATIONS! We’ve made it another year!
What is it about the holidays that drives everyone crazy?
I know for meeee, it’s:
– Annoying shoppers making it hard to even grab a bag of chips
– Crowds everywhere
– Christmas music being played until ears bleed
– Interruption of normal life
– and… family… did I mention family?
I have a complicated family history, riddled with fights that had no resolution and hatred that burns all the way to the bone. While it’s a lot smaller now, having lost all 4 grandparents, 2 uncles, and 1 aunt, what’s left is still as uncomfortable as ever. Without much extended family, Christmas was very small this year, only including immediate family; Dad, Mom, brother, sister-in-law, niece, nephew, and me. It was utter chaos… kids running around breaking things and faces, sister-in-law’s loud mouth, Mom trying to control everything, Dad staying uninvolved quietly, brother always on the phone, and me… trying to appear involved, trying to look like I care, just wishing I was with my friends… away from these people who’ve never accepted me. I am the only non-believer in the family as well, which isolates me even further than my personality had. After they said grace before dinner, we had to have yet another long conversation about why I don’t believe and if I’ll “enjoy Hell”. Merry Christmas, right?
I was dreading Christmas this year, probably more than ever, simply because everything had been strained lately. The “relationship” with my mother gets worse every day, with hopeful bursts of light every few days. My dad and I are always “okay”, meaning he doesn’t seem to care enough to get involved in my life at all. My brother and I never fight anymore, but because of how much we’ve been through, we don’t even feel like family… he’s that guy I’m forced to be around sometimes. All of this is status quo, the norm, and I’ve adapted and have achieved a certain level of comfort regarding my familial status.
Until the holiday season…
Then I’m forced to watch Christmas movies that show loving families, I’m seeing people out with their loved ones, with boyfriends and husbands… and I’m here. Single, insanely busy work schedule, always fighting with family, my friends don’t live around here anymore… it’s just me… surrounded by groups… happy groups everywhere. EVERYWHERE.
So how did I survive?
– I got a lot of my work done ahead of time
– I bought gifts that I knew everyone would love (or at least, I think they did), even the gifts I had to buy
– I stayed away from happy chick-flicky type films for a while, ironically that is what depresses me
– My friends
I know I mentioned that my friends no longer live around here. The friends I’m referring to are scattered all over the country, yet they still got me through this season without hurting myself or anyone else 😛 Endless text conversations, IMing, and Skype calls kept me smiling, kept me laughing, kept me feeling like I do fit somewhere in this world. I can’t, well, I don’t even want to imagine what it would’ve been like without them.
For that, and so much more, I owe them a huge THANK YOU and I hope that I made it easier for them as well.