What the holidays mean to me

The holidays are a tough time of year for a lot of people. I say holidays because maybe you don’t celebrate Christmas and that’s fine. I like the word “holiday” because it covers whatever the hell you celebrate. I could care less honestly. I don’t celebrate Christmas any more, at least in the traditional sense. The thing is, I don’t have a significant other, I don’t have parents or grandparents or great grandparents, and I don’t have human kids. I live alone in my nice quiet home in Maine, just me, my two cats named Mario and Yoshi, and my dog Peach. Man, I have a really boring name now that I look at their names all together. I created a Mario Brothers family and I don’t even have a character name for myself. I’ll work on that. I think I’d like to be Toad. Not very feminine, but I feel like it describes me perfectly.

Anyways, so yeah. The holidays are tough for some people. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever had a genuinely nice holiday where I was happy and things were good. When I was with my boyfriend of 16 years, we did the same thing every year. Wake up, do presents (which he made everything out to be about how much money we spent on each other and it got really old quick), go to his parents house, do gifts, eat food. I did enjoy going to his parents house. I would help his mom with whatever she needed in her tiny kitchen. I would help them with anything they needed moved, found, rearranged, etc. They were older, in their 70’s and 80’s during my relationship with their son. Despite me being very unhappy in my relationship and my boyfriend being painfully arrogant and talking down to his parents constantly, it was the best Christmas’ I’ve had in my life, I suppose. I can’t imagine what it would feel like if I had actually been in love with a decent person at the time. His parents marriage wasn’t perfect. She would confide in me about her husband, and she would also confide in me about her son and how he treated her and the way it made her feel. I would always say the same thing to her, and it was the truth. I would tell her that he didn’t talk to JUST her like that….he talked to me like that on a daily basis. Certainly didn’t help my depression when my partner in life was constantly making me feel like shit about myself. I hope she remembered that, after I left him. I say that because I never reached out to her after I left him. I figured his parents hated me for leaving their son. Now I tend to think she understood. I wish I had stayed in touch with her, even if secretly. Why would I think a gentle, older woman, who I spent 16 years with, would hate me for leaving her douchebag son?? I mean, she knew he was a douchebag, as do all of his friends. I learned a few years back that he still talked down to her, even after he was settled down with a new woman (literally….right after I walked out of our house for the last time he got an old flame knocked up). He built a family right after I left, he had a couple of kids plus a step kid, etc etc. So you’d think he’d be happy right? Maybe might appreciate life and family a little more, right? Nope. Still treated his parents like shit. I can’t say how I found out, but trust me, it’s legit. Also, not surprising. I’ve learned a lot these last few years, and one thing is that some people literally will never change, even when they know they need to.

The point of my story about his parents and family is this…..

I thought his mom hated me. But in the spring of 2017, I was notified of something so horrible and tragic that I immediately burst into uncontrollable tears and screaming while sitting in my car. I had received an email, from my ex. He told me that his mother had committed suicide, and that she had left a journal. One of the entries had a list of all the people she missed. It was a short list, including her father and her Siamese cat, Jade. And me. She listed me by name and said I was her “Christmas Angel”. I’m crying right now as I type this, as it’s been a while since I thought of the specifics of that day. I have the photo saved of her journal entry, with her handwriting. I miss that handwriting. I found out  the day after she took her life. I have since visited her grave a few times. When I left her son, she lost the only person she confided in. How could I have abandoned her?? I never wanted to. I just assumed she wouldn’t have forgiven me, not that I needed forgiveness. But you get what I’m saying. So. Much. Guilt. While I have to live with that guilt, I hope that he feels guilty for the way he treated her. She would be in tears some times, just from his harsh words that she never deserved. She was the seriously the sweetest woman ever. If she were my own biological mother, I would have cherished every moment with her. I should have anyways. I would have appreciated her more than anything in this world. Some of us have horrible parents, or were raised by a single parent who had really shitty circumstances to raise children in. My own mother only met his parents once. I remember that day in great detail, and I never remember shit. I guess that means it was special to me. So don’t ever assume that someone hates you or is mad at you. If you’re that worried about it, ASK THEM! Then you can move on with your life, with or without that person. I’ll never have closure and that kind of sucks.

I’ve spent the last 5 Christmas’ alone. I don’t celebrate the holidays any more. (Clearly I’m not religious either). I’m not saying this to make anyone feel bad for me, trust in that. I really don’t mind. I mean, I still take some time off during the holidays because it feels like the thing to do. I put candles in my windows at home, and I use the day as an excuse to buy my cats and dog more toys and treats….though every week is Christmas for them, for fucks sake. Hell, I even send out Christmas cards to friends and family.  I’m perfectly happy to have a day with my animals. My birthday was earlier this month and I spent it in a cabin on mid-coast Maine with Peach, which I also did last year. I’m a simple woman.

So please, appreciate your family if they’re still alive and kicking. Think before you speak when it matters. And when you think you don’t mean shit to someone, think again. I was once someone’s Christmas Angel, and I will never be given another title quite like that.

For those in the same or similar boat as me, if you do feel lonely around the holidays, I highly recommend doing something good for others. The last 2 years, I’ve collected donations for rescue groups that mean something to me. I don’t just do it for the holidays, but it is a good reminder to do good in this world and help with whatever is in your realm. I collected donations this spring as well, and I volunteer with a pitbull rescue group. It’s a way for me to feel fulfilled, like I have a purpose on this earth. I went through a selfish phase for a few years and that’s ok, too. But now I’ve moved on and grown up a bit. I’d much rather be helping animals than helping myself to whatever I want. Ok….full disclosure….I do miss getting my mani/pedi/eyebrows done on the regular, but that’s ok. I think I’ll live. #firstworldproblems

Now enjoy some pics. First the depressed Peach. I took that on the way home from daycare one Friday. I think she was staring out the window, thinking how sad she was that she wasn’t going to see her boyfriend until Tuesday. Then there’s me and my Mom, and the rest are the holiday pics that I had made into a Christmas card. See? I’m not really a Grinch…I still have fun and laugh at myself (and others).

Happy Holidays, fuckers! 🙂

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