If you're blue and you don't know where to go to
Why don't you go where fashion sits,
Puttin' on the ritz.
It's been really hard for me. This past year. It's been the absolute worst. To say that I hate this would be an understatement. To say that I saw it all coming a year ago would be truth. I'm the type of person that imagines the worst possible outcome for myself and usually I am right. Suffice it to say it's become a sort of coping mechanism. If I prepare myself in advance, I won't be as shocked when the bottom drops out. Say what you want but when you grow up in the home I did and suffered in the unimaginable ways I did, when you lose both your parents and close friends to death, when lifelong best friends turn their back on you and get married without a phone call, when you live it, then you can truly get it.
But this past year I found God. I found Him in unexpected places that I never imagined I would. It's been great and real and such a blessing amidst such a cursed time. But that doesn't stitch back together my broken heart. To say I'm dreadfully approaching this holiday season would be another understatement. The thought of it can cue the tears instantly. I'm in such a raw emotional place right now. I'm in the exact place I expected to be. I knew things weren't going to work out for me. He called me crazy, I said wait and see... I'm not crazy. I mean, I am, but not in knowing that being hurt and let down is such a place of familiarity for me.
Everyone expects I have dealt with this. I don't even know how that's possible. But I can tell that's what they are thinking and feeling even if they don't say it. I can tell when they nonchalantly ask me how I'm doing, expecting the answer 'good' and accepting 'good' as an answer. I can tell in the way that the messages have stopped and life for everyone has continued on in it's usual way. If I begin to say something about how I feel the conversation carries on without a chance for me to get a word in. It's so frustrating. I feel so isolated in this great big world. Like there's no one out there who really cares about me anymore. I know this isn't true. I know people still 'care' but really, if I don't message, call, text, email them.... Then the world is quiet.
So how in Gods name am I supposed to face this holiday season? When every night I wake up crying because of the dreams that haunt me. When I find myself joining with a family that never asked for me. When I sometimes still wonder why they even keep me around.
I can't even really vocalize it. Writing this post I have that burning sensation in my throat where I keep telling myself 'Don't. Cry. Not. This. Time. Do. NOT. Cry.' But that's all I do anymore.
Christmas was always my favorite. Don't ask me why. I suppose it was the hope that for this one day everyone would be on their best behavior and we could push past all the pain, for a moment of family and togetherness. Every year in my house my dad ruined our Christmas. One too many drinks takes a man from Jolly to Scrooge. Actually, Scrooge is a bad example, because he went from Jolly to Violent. Tearful holidays. Crying in bed wondering why I couldn't just have a good Christmas for once. I remember the days of waiting and waiting for a tree to decorate. One year it was bought on Christmas Eve. Right off the store display. Lights and all. No planning, no excitement from our end. Just lots of threats that we weren't going to get anything because apparently we were the worst behaved children in the world. Hard to reason with an addict.
Yet I still looked forward to it every year. I'm the girl who used to listen to her Christmas CDs in July. It was the whole season. The twinkling lights. The coziness. The decorations. The music. The food... The smell of the food! I loved the time spent with my grandmother decorating her house. Holding the knot in place with my finger while she completed tying the bow. The year we decided to hang different sized ornaments at different heights with a ribbon in her bay view window... I'm looking at you, Pinterest. Decorations at grams house went from teamwork, baking cookies and listening to holiday music, to me digging out her tree and setting it up by myself. Last Christmas I just knew that it was our last. I knew life was changing. I could sense it though I wasn't sure how I knew. Again, call me crazy... But now my uncle has put her in a nursing home and won't let us take her out. When I go to see her I often find her crying. She doesn't always recognize me. I cannot have full length conversations with her because she doesn't understand what I'm saying. She is so depressed she doesn't even try to look happy anymore. She wants to go home, she can't understand why she can't go home. My uncle doesn't even visit her. When I go, the nursing home asks me to buy her new shoes and pants and each time I have to say that I don't have the means to do that. It's my uncle. He has all her money and all the authority and all the power. But they can't reach him. He's no where to be found. He's dropped her and took off and I'm just wondering how a soul can be so mean.
So how could I possibly endure this holiday season? When I don't have a constant anymore. Everything has changed and the person who will listen to me and care and try to help, he left. He's gone and I'm left by myself wondering if maybe all my problems were just too much for him. How he so easily made the choice that he wanted to marry someone else after all this time. After he asked me to give it time. To take it day by day and I'm just wishing I had the guts to go through with ending my life last year. When I sat on the bathroom floor crying with a bottle of pills in my hand. Because there's nothing that has changed for the better. There's only so much a girl can endure.
And now I am crying. Because I can't help it. This is my life and it's so depressing and I can't get out of my own way. Cheer up, have faith, trust God.... I can hear all of you already. I've tried. I've tried all of these things a million times over. Desperate. Pleading.
So now I do what everyone wants me to do. I put a smile on. I buy Christmas gifts and promise I will bless people as much as I can because that's all I can do. It won't change the way they feel about me but maybe it will change the way I feel about me. I decide I'm going to decorate this year. Instead of crying when my sister puts up the Christmas tree, I'm going to make room to put it up. I will go through the motions and put on the faces because right now my life is like a play. Where I need to get into my role and become my character. I need to impress the audience. I need to convince them that this character must certainly be real. I will take my bow and I will let the curtain close before I let anyone see me cry.
This is what I have to do. What other choice do I have? This is life. I could sit still, I could kick and scream and cry and ask God for mercy, but each day creeps along faster and faster to the dreaded holiday season. How much does this season hurt? How many things happened this time last year that I still don't understand? Happy Anniversary to heartbreaking adoptions and break ups and broken promises. Happy Anniversary to a move I still question and to a guy who showed up at my house in a tux begging me to give it time because he can't live without me. Because so much of his drive in life is because of me. And now it's Welcome to RI. Take a look around and stay forever. Merry Christmas and Happiest New Year. Hope you enjoy what used to be my life. You obviously deserve this more than I did. Congratulations on being the chosen one of God and the chosen one for him. Love that family. Cherish them. Pray for them. They are amazing and you probably don't even realize how much so. But I guess that doesn't matter anymore, does it?
Suck it up, buttercup. This is life and this is what God designed. Like it or not. Friends or no friends. Future or no future. Hope or no hope.
So how the heck will I get through this? I don't know. Just like I don't know how I've survived every day since the end of July. It's been pretty painful and it's been extremely difficult. All I can hope for is that sometimes God allows his blessings to be delayed for His glorification. I don't like to say it, because then I get angry at God for delaying in something good simply so He can get the praises. All while I seemingly suffer this season alone. It's my only hope, though. That there are blessings just waiting. Around some corner. Each day I drive into work wondering if this will be the day that I turn the corner. Yet so far this road is just a straight path into the desert of loneliness. I question God a lot, but then feel convicted just the same... Who am I to question God? "On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?" Romans 9:20-21 And furthermore who am I to even cry about a pain so small in the grand picture of the world when there are Christians halfway across the world being tortured and persecuted for their faith?
I don't know. I'm sure somewhere in here is a lesson about acceptance and letting God have control. That's all fine and dandy but when I let go some days it doesn't even feel like there's anyone there catching it. I'm trying to trust that I'm where he wants me to be. For the most part I've convinced myself of that. But sometimes I just wonder how this messy, broken, barren, quiet place is really where He wants me to be. Sometimes I can't help but think how I did this to myself. How I allowed my emotions to run rampant and push away someone I loved with all my heart. Someone I would have, and probably still would, do anything for. Can love really be one sided? Has everything been a lie? If the answer is no, that it was real at one point, then I am the one who blew it. Round-Robin.
I guess all I am hoping is this year someone will recognize that the people who are hurting don't always wear it on their sleeve. You know, not the people like me who can't seem to not wear it on their sleeve. Sometimes we only brush the surface of a persons true emotions. Too busy needing to bake those holiday brownies and wrap all those gifts to stop and have a real conversation. I feel it all around me. In every interaction I've had lately. It's been rushed and shallow.
And please, celebrate life, celebrate family, give thanks for all the wonderful blessings you have - but don't let it become boastful. Silently the internet is competing to see who can brag the loudest. Who has the best family and the most wonderful husband and the cutest kids and the photos to prove it? I see it everywhere, everyday. Hello, MCM. (Ugh, by the way). Meanwhile some followers watch along wishing they have a small dose of all your blessings. Perhaps a little compassion and maybe a little reservation with the oversharing. Remember the true reason for the blessings we have and don't forget those that are hurting.
"Everybody needs a little loving around Christmas-time. Somehow you've gotta know you're gonna be alright."
-Hanson, Christmas Time
-Hanson, Christmas Time