Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Why is Christmas so emotionally draining?

I burst into tears last night for no good reason. Not just tears, but heart-wrenching sobs. All from watchig the Terri Irwin interview on the Barbara Walters special. She said that she misses the fun that she used to have with Steve. I miss having fun too.

Most of my time is spent taking care of others: I'm the assistant to the unit director of a cardiac unit in a hospital, I support about 10 other people at the hospital, I have a 4 year old, an ex-husband with no short-term memory and family members who love to guilt me into doing things for them. The only thing I do for myself is manicures, and I only do that once every 2-3 weeks. I used to go to the movies a lot, but all the Christmas tasks have gotten in the way of doing that lately.

Christmas brings up all kinds of memories, both good and bad. Families tend to try to bridge gaps during this time with varied amounts of success. My family is no exception. There are people I just don't want to deal with, and at this stage of my life, I'm no in the mood for playing games. I'm not going to pretend to like someone just because they are family and I'm not going to be forced to break bread with them at the dinner table. I lied to myself for a long time with disastrous results and I'm not doing it anymore. There are members of my family that are just plain destructive, and I won't subject myself to that any longer. I'm sick of pretending, I'm sick of kidding myself and I'm not going to perpetuate the insanity by subjecting my daughter to it.

Perhaps this is a hard stance, but I just don't want to live in a world of make-believe. Why should I pretend that my family is great and all is well when it's really not. Some members of the family get treated better than others and I want them to know that I won't tolerate being treated like a second class citizen any longer.

But on to nicer and more pleasant things. I need to purchase one more gift. FRU asked for two things for Christmas: A dancing Genevieve Doll (huh?) and a Snow White Dress. My ex found the doll; thank heavens, because I didn't know what da hail she was talking about. I'm going to find her the dress today. Then I'm really REALLY done shopping...and then, let the wrapping begin. You know, the process by which all gifts are wrapped in pretty paper, only to have it all torn off within seconds and stuffed into the garbage. I swear, whenever I think of whoever came up with the all-Christmas-gifts-must-be-wrapped rule, I hope they have a nice warm spot on the bench sitting next to Brutus in the ninth ring of hell!!!

Folks, let's start a new tradition this year. Spend Christmas with whomever makes you happy. Don't do any pretending. Do not, under any circumstances, feel that it's necessary to wrap any present that are bigger than your dining room table. And last but not least, remember to hit the liquor store to stock up on your favorite makes the holidays soooo much more tolerable...

1 comment:

Jenee said...

I can IDENTIFY girlfriend! From your post I can really tell that you are taking care of yourself. By making a hard stance you show yourself and your daughter that you are worth better. My family pretends all the time too, and I hate it.

I remember a few years ago I suggested to my family that we give gifts of "fancy food" all that stuff you wouldn't think to buy for yourself the rest of the year. They thought I was nuts. So f*** 'em. Now Bruce and I spend Christmas together and eat fancy food. You spend Christmas with the people that make you happy BB, I agree, I agree, I agree!