drunken holiday woes

My ex-husband couldn’t, and D wouldn’t. That’s what started tonight’s first drink. About the family I don’t have, the life that every year around this time, feels like it doesn’t match my expectations. The what ifs and the might have beens get pulled up from the basement with the ornaments and lights.

Which is ridiculous, because there’s so much more to the story than that simple conclusion.

Then, with the next drink, I start thinking about presents, as I wrap one. I end up in relationships with men who can’t ever figure out what to buy me for gifts. I don’t think I have ridiculously high standards. I just want a surprise. I don’t mind giving suggestions, but I’m not going to buy it for you and put your damn name on the tag. I want something to look like me, or remind you of me, or jump out at you because you thought I’d love it.

And yet, there isn’t one thing I can say I really want. Not a material tangible thing.

I’ve had too much time to think this last month. Working 50 hours + per week isn’t enough when D is gone most days / nights. I get stuck in my own head. I get sad. Tonight, I get drunk.

I have friends, but those I’ve reached out to are too busy for me. I know this time of year is so crazy. Spending time with family, getting ready for the big day. I’ll be lucky if I see him at all on that day. I should get a couple of hours with him on Christmas, but that’s crap. I’ll be spending Christmas eve alone, and thankful I have to work part of the day, for it won’t feel quite as bad.

I want to pretend it isn’t Christmas. After all, my house isn’t decked out as usual, just the tree. I haven’t baked, or gone to a party; there’s been no light viewing or carol singing. None of the usual December traditions have occurred. I could just pretend it isn’t Christmas. If only I could.

holiday heartache

For the first time since my first miscarriage more than 11 years ago, I’m not putting the named angel ornaments on the tree. I don’t know if it’s a sort of acceptance, or if it’s just too painful to see the reminders year after year. Knowing I’ve had more than a decade of sad childless Christmases is heartbreaking.

Maybe this is the year it has to stop. Maybe.

As a child, I never understood why there were so many sad Christmas songs. I questioned, since it seemed like such a happy time of year. How naïve I was! My Christmases were full of love, laughter, warmth, family, food and gifts. I had more than I could even think to ask for now. We were poor, and I knew it, but we never went without a holiday.
I’ve had a few desolate and desperate years, ones where I couldn’t motivate myself to put up the tree, where the entire month of December seemed arduous. It’s not quite as bad now, but I feel haunted by the memories they’ve left behind. I think I have never quite reconciled what I expect Christmas to be with the reality of my life now. This is only exacerbated with the advent of social media in the last several years. It’s frustrating to see picture perfect glimpses of holiday festivities. Big families, new babies, professional looking decorations and treats. I always suffer in comparison.
As I look ahead on this year, I see the negatives, and try desperately to find the silver lining. I know the sadness, the envy, the loneliness, the heartbreak and the stress this time of year brings to so many. Some years more than others, I’m reminded that I am not alone in this. I wish I could say I wasn’t; however, I do find comfort in the company.