The holidays are here again and I’m not sure how to describe it other than; this sucks.
The music, the lights, the decorations and the constant ambience is creating a dilemma for me.
I always loved the holidays and part of me still, even now, has a giddy happy dance at the whole affair. That is tempered and edged with such a sharp pain of loss and hurt, with memories from that last Christmas that my boys and I were all together, that I’m not sure how to deal with it.
I’ve been advised that life changes, that kids grow up and move on and that the lives we live are always on flux… that even if Willie hadn’t gotten sick and suicide hadn’t taken him… that there would have been a time that I would have had to face “the holidays” not being what they were. I couldn’t agree more. Yet the issue I am dealing with is that life did not progress like that, and it hurts. I’m not dealing with empty nest issues; I’m bouncing between hurt and sincerely wanting to be able to just love this time of year again…
Instead of thinking of what is a time of family and time together and food and sharing and just being able to slow life down and be, I am plagued by memories of that last Christmas. How surreal and wrong it felt. How it was merely going through the motions. We were all reeling from weeks of hospitalization and counselling and the chaos of dealing with a not-really-managed mental illness. The joy of that holiday time was gone. Killed by exhaustion and fear.
It’s not a case of me not being able to just focus on the good and on what’s still here. It’s being hit by the memories, by the loss.
The anger and frustration that I have for myself for NOT just being able to pick up and smile and decorate and be thankful for what is now and not be mourning what isn’t… that anger and frustration gets worse each year. Even writing this I feel the self-hatred for how pathetic that sounds. I want to shake myself and scream and tell myself to stop whining and just suck it up and put it behind me and move on. And I can’t. I hear the well-meaning friends voices in my head that say that I’m making a choice to keep dwelling, to not move forward… and that it’s not that I “can’t” move on, I can if I “want to”. I feel like no one gets it. Then I wonder if it’s me that’s the one who doesn’t get it. The anger and frustration and self-hatred spins around and around…
Happy fucking holidays.