So the ongoing theme in my life, forever, is that no matter what I do, and how good I try to be, it's never enough for anyone, and there's some weird social anxiety/potentially aspergersy barrier between me and every person around me, where I'm never communicating effectively that I'm a Decent Human Being, and everyone thinks I'm a douchebag, and I think I'm a douchebag as well, so. What're ya gonna do.
And it's so natural for me to always modify myself, and my behavior, and my expectations to lessen the blunt force of everything that happens to me. I'd like to pretend it's out of resilience, but it's really just me being a doormat. It doesn't make anything feel better, it just allows me to curl up with all my feelings and never admit to anyone how things actually are.
So Christmas has been a touchy subject the past few weeks. To be honest, it's been touchy since August. I spend all summer panicking leading up to the Birthday Phone Call to my nephews, and then once I get that out of the way I can start worrying about Christmas. Should I go to Christmas? Can I even afford to go to Christmas? If I don't go, will the whole family judge me? If I don't go, will I drink myself to death because spending Christmas alone is so goddamn depressing? Why am I even complaining because I hate Christmas anyway and think it's stupid? Was I ever known to be one of tremendous Christmas cheer? Doesn't my family think I'm a grumpy asshole anyway? I've never been an amazing daughter and it's just as well that I don't come. Last Christmas I spent with my parents was when Alex died and I was so checked out and depressed all day and they must think I'm the most ungrateful brat.
For general backstory: I got in a fight with my brother's wife two years ago, she didn't think my apology was sincere, so she excommunicated me from the family, and now I don't get to hang out with them at holidays LOL GREAT. Pretty painful. Excruciatingly so.
My roommates put up lights and a tree. I came with them to get the tree, just to feel like I was being social. Even when I lived at home my parents always had a fake tree. I don't have any memories of Christmas tree shopping. So I kind of fluttered around the sides while they looked through all the trees, and I had no idea what they were looking for or how to help. I was going to chip in for it but they never asked me to, and I've spent the past two weeks feeling panicky, like I should've. At the same time, I'm not the one who wanted a tree. Maybe it's not my problem. Maybe it isn't fair to ask me to pay for it, because I haven't spent any time in the living room since they put the tree up, because looking at it cuts me deep in my soul. I don't turn it on when they aren't home. I haven't turned on the Christmas lights outside, either.
They're going away for the week. I don't imagine I'll be putting any of the lights on. I don't see why. I don't really want to look at them.
Maybe four or five years ago I "came out" to my mom about how I didn't want to celebrate Christmas anymore. Not to say that I wouldn't participate, but I told her I didn't believe in commercialism bullshit and that I would rather contribute wine and food and crafts, stuff like that, and I wasn't going to be Christmas shopping anymore. I think it's an unneeded financial burden that always stressed me out every year, plus, when I really started dissecting it, I couldn't come up with a single Christmas time value that I felt like I wanted to celebrate. My parents are atheists and just go along with it, regardless, so I didn't think my mom would be so offended. Except, of course, that she's offended by everything. I had said I'd get presents for the kids but I wasn't going to go broke trying to buy her random bullshit that she didn't want, just for the sake of going with the crowd.
She cried and said "But it's for the children!" and I went "...okay, but I'm not a child." I mean, I TOLD her I'd still get things for the kids, I'm not sure where the disconnect is except that my mom makes everything into a crisis.
And that's what's so. Disarming. About all of this. Part of me wants the "go see your family in a completely non-denominational way because it feels good and you haven't seen any of them since you moved" and I'm also still so deeply wounded by the fact that most of the family hates me and doesn't want me there? And at the end of the day, it's so confusing to feel this hurt and left out when my family have never really been such prizes to begin with. I could beat myself up all day about not being more grateful, and I could sit here and call myself a brat for complaining despite the GOOD things that my parents have done for me. But at the end of the day, my family has always been toxic as fuck, and I'm only mourning it because it's familiar, and I don't know what to do without them.
My roommates kept asking me if I was going to go home for Christmas. I don't know how many times I had to tell them no. They like to oversimplify the situation and go "Oh just go, you should." Cool, thanks. I mean, sure. But I wasn't going to spend $700 on a plane ticket, anyway. And, while I'm feeling sorry for myself, I'll also obsess over the fact that no one even invited me.
So apparently my mom mailed me presents, and they arrived yesterday. The mailman left them on the back porch, so none of us saw the package until this morning. So it sat in the rain all day and night. My roommate texted me "You might want to get up and have Christmas come early because the gifts are soaked." Which. I appreciate the gesture, but A) I was not awake, and I leave myself enough time in the morning to get ready and leave, so seeing this when I woke up didn't help me at all. B) I'm glad she's still acting like there's any Christmas cheer to be had at all lmao.
But they had opened the package and laid the presents all around the kitchen to dry, but I didn't have time to deal with it before I left for work. So I'll have to do it when I get home. But I thought this was the perfect allegory of my holiday season. Love it.
Last year my mom left a bunch of gifts. I think she felt really guilty that they were leaving me by myself. In fact, I know she felt guilty, cause she cried about it later when we talked about it after they came home. And I remember pacing the house all day, wailing, crying so hard that I kept having to lay down to take naps, and I kept drinking so that it would stop, and every time I looked at the gifts I just couldn't even touch them. And. I don't want to open these ones either. I might ask my roommates to open them for me. I just feel like it's such a visceral ritual, the paper and all that shit, and I just don't even want to look at it. And I hate myself for feeling that way, I feel so guilty because my mom tried to do something nice for me and I can't even accept it.
And I keep thinking about them all on Christmas. And the part of me that has social anxiety always takes the "no one would notice if I was not here" attitude, and I want to think that. I'm not sure if they notice. But I keep thinking about my brother, and how rude and insensitive he was about my social anxiety, and I keep thinking about how he made it like I was a horrible person for not calling, instead of understanding that it's hard for me, and I keep thinking: When he thinks about me on Christmas, does he think I'm partying, and being a hedonist, and celebrating with reckless abandon because I'm a wild and terrible beast? Or can he comprehend that I'll be under my blankets, crying, in the dark, hurting all over because no one likes me, and because I miss my family so much that I want to die?
I know I fuck up sometimes, but I'm not a terrible person, and I don't understand why they all treat me like I am.
Dec. 16th, 2016