(These are my boys, Napoleon and Sappy. The best holiday companions ever)
I spent thanksgiving alone, all alone except for my two loving dogs. I was just too sick with the pain of surgery and a flare from one of my autoimmune diseases.
At first I was horribly sad and angry as I pictured people I knew being together, laughing, enjoying good food, and each other’s company. What I really realized was making me angry is that sickness, whether it has been my CPTSD or my physical illnesses has stolen so many holidays away from being with my son. My son is 11 now and I love spending time with him as he’s just a very unique, bright, and outside of the box kind of kid. He’s a lot like me.
The anger about that came knowing he’s with his other parents, which normally doesn’t bother me, but my son is terrified of his step mom, which he doesn’t express to any but a couple people. You see, she was substantiated on charges of abusing my son this year, but as politics go and they’re upper middle class white people, it got swept under the rug as several investigations have before this one. Every time I try to fight for my son to be truly safe, I get sick. I get so mad at my body because it’s not fair my son lives that way. There’s not much I can do in my weakened state. Honestly, it’s an extremely screwed up situation I won’t go into more as this wasn’t what I was going to write about, but it weighs heavy on my heart and does everyday I don’t see my son.
Anyway, back to being alone on thanksgiving. The thing I realized is that I had no expectations. I was just going to be lying alone in my bed, so nothing.
The thing that disappoints so many of us about holidays is we have this expectation that it will be one of the happiest days of the year, when it’s usually not. I don’t know about you, but I’ve set holiday expectations high to where I think they’ll be magical. I’ve never had a magical holiday and I usually just want them to be over so I can climb in my bed and cover my head! Perhaps that’s why thanksgiving was so great, I stayed in bed with my head covered the whole day!
It was just a good lesson in expectations. Holidays at my house in my youth usually started out ok until the liquor came out. My mom would drink too much and then my parents would get in a nasty fight where my dad probably went out and sought solace with one of his mistresses while I was left with a violently angry mom. No wonder I used to hate holidays so much. Didn’t mean to write about that either.
Anyway, the next holiday for me is Christmas. I’m doubtful I’ll have my son, so I’m not setting any expectations except I like to decorate my house. My expectation will simply be to make my home pretty and really appreciate it on the day whether I’m surrounded by people I choose or absolutely alone. I’m realizing that no matter what, it will all be ok. Nothing has to be magical. Holidays aren’t magical, it’s those tiny moments that sneak up on you, like my friend helping me so much today. That was magical.
Sorry for the disjointed post. Hopefully you still took something from it, and I especially hope you aren’t feeling too disappointed about your holiday.