First off, I'd like to wish a Happy Christmas to those of my readers who celebrate it. I hope you have a wonderful day regardless of how you choose to spend it. Alone or with friends or with family or with pets .... Merry Christ Mass!
As I've mentioned before in this blog, I used to go 'balls out' for Christmas because I loved to spend money and Christmas was a great excuse for me to do just that. I acquired most of my stuff over the Holy Days season. 2006 was the last year I did that because I came to my senses in 2007.
I have been off radar for a few weeks because there has been a lot going on around here lately and I will divulge all over the coming weeks. Right now, however, I need some therapy and I need to write. I don't want to be toxic and poisonous today because my family are coming over for dinner and I want to feel joyous that they want to actually spend the day with me.
Last night, however, a photo was uploaded to my Facebook account which, at first, made me smile and feel all warm inside ... until reality set in and I started to feel sour. This morning, as I go about preparing a meal for this afternoon, I can feel some anger, some hurt ... resentment and, yes, jealousy set in and I feel that I could very well start spewing venom, go off the rails, and I don't want to do that.
The photo in question concerns my family in the UK. It's a lovely photo, comprised 90% of people who know only the 'me' I want them to know. They haven't lived with me for several decades, separated by thousands of miles, and know nothing of the turmoil with which I surrounded myself for just over the first 20 years since I left those fair shores. They don't know of my addictions and of my efforts since 2007 to 'get clean'. All they know is the 'me' who shows up every now and again to visit. The Pristine Me. They know the 'virgin me' and that's the way I want it. They know nothing of the drinking, the hoarding, the shady dealings I engaged in to self destruct, to get relief from the emotional pain of past abuse.
Christmas is a difficult time for me for several reasons, the biggest one of course being that I had to grow up with The Man central in the photo, my father. There he is, surrounded by the next generation. Grandchildren and their spouses/SOs. He has a line of drinks in front of him and he is obviously well on the way to getting merrily Christmas Eve wasted. He has this jolly laugh on his red face and he is surrounded by love. The grandchildren love him. They know nothing of the monster he once was, the monster who used to beat the shit out of me and touch me inappropriately. I used to absolutely dread being left in the house alone with him on those few occasions when my mother went out by herself. The grandchildren know nothing of this, just as they know nothing of my inner struggles and emotional turmoil for the years and years after I left my father's house, pitifully underprepared for life on my own.
I sit here this morning in a house that is pretty much bereft of Christ Mass cheer. I am not religious. I want to say that I am atheist but I am probably agnostic. I want to believe but I lost my faith a long time ago as a very young child. I still remember being 7 years old at the Christmas gathering at my christian school, singing the hymns and learning the story of Christmas (once again) but not feeling the faith. Instead, I was wondering at that tender age why was my life so different from that of my compadres? Why did I always feel so shameful and dirty? I didn't understand why, then, just what was the impetus behind my feelings of not ever being good or clean enough but I sure do now.
I didn't believe in god, even then.
I should be peeling potatoes, fixing the main meal, but instead I need to get this poison out so that I can function the rest of the day. I have my phone turned on silent so that I don't hear the calls from overseas, although I have already talked with my best friend. I don't want to talk to my father today or my mother either. I love her very much but our family history is just too raw. And my sibling feels the same way, I know. My sibling is very unhappy with life right now and always has been really. That unhappiness remains unaddressed. Just has never had the opportunity to escape and put distance like I did. I now have a full perspective of life as it once was and, despite the passing of the years, it will never be fully put to bed until my father passes away. His death will present me with a sort of rebirth. I'm not sure yet what form that rebirth will take because he will probably outlive me.
Anyway, that photo caused a resurgence of anger. I see him sitting there all cheery and warm, surrounded by family. He gets to have a second chance with grandchildren to be the man he should've been all along. I warned my sibling back in the day to never ever leave him alone with any offspring but I'm not sure if my sibling even listened to me, gone as I was for years during that time. I was literally gone for decades. Now he sits there, a goon with his beer, a fake, a phony, a sociopath. Raising his glass to the way he fools everyone. My father was deeply, deeply screwed up from babyhood himself, never raised by his own mother because she was so mentally ill herself. He passed his feelings of abandonment and anger right on to me as his shotgun child and embellished them with a bit of child beating and child touching along the way.
I thought I had come to terms with my feelings about my father. I thought I had come to terms with his hatred of me. He despises me but works hard not to show it because he knows that I know what he is deep down inside. I see through you. He cannot be around me for any length of time without letting slip .... calling me 'Madam' to my spouse for example. I hate my father for fucking up my life but I take responsibility now for every single thing I say and do. I don't blame anyone else.
Amazing how that one photo can elicit such deep raw feelings of being unloved and unwanted. I want to take that full beer glass and smash it over his fake-ass head! You are an abuser of the very worst kind. You treated me like your punching bag. You are a Miss Havisham of sorts. You tried to turn me into a man hater but it didn't work. Yes, I was very afraid of men for years and years. It's a wonder I ever got married in the first place as screwed up as I was.
As I look at that photo, however, I realize one striking thing as I always do when I see photos of my father at the pub. My mother and sibling are always absent. They are never there. They choose to stay home. I know because I do it too when I visit. I do not go to the pub with my father. He doesn't want me there and I don't want to be there either, despite the pleadings of the spouse to go along with them. My father and I have a nasty history and I believe that he may be terrified that one day I am going to open my gob and shatter the image he has built up for himself. The people in the photo are grandchildren and people who have been bamboozled by my father. My sibling's SO is one of those people who have been bamboozled. Sociopaths are very good at what they do.
As for my own family today, everyone will be here except for Cat. She is up to her usual tricks, horning in on men who are dazzled by her at first but then perturbed by her insistence of putting her boots up under their beds for days at a time. My Cat has some serious mental issues of her own but refuses to seek treatment. She spun no end of ridiculous lies yesterday to get to stay where she is right now and, at first, I got angry and hurt that my own daughter would want to spend the day elsewhere. Then, I came back to earth. It's just another day!! It's just another day with Cat and all that entails. I don't want her around here smoking pot and stinking up my garage anyway. And it's not worth it for me to spend the afternoon with chest pains, as I did yesterday, because I've gotten myself so worked up over other people's behavior. Cat is on a downward spiral and my dreams for her have been shelved. She is going to have to live her life the way she sees fit, with the people she wants to be around, no matter if they're unemployed drug using bums or not.
I'm still feeling angry, betrayed, jealous, anxious, fearful, annoyed at myself for painting myself into this corner I'm in. If I had the money, I would be spending the Holy Days season in a far away, exotic locale away from all of this bullshite. So, as it turns out, that is going to be my plan for the rest of my life I think, or at least for the foreseeable future. I plan to vacation away from home beginning next year with any family member I want to be around, who wants to be around me, who can fund their own trips. I must find a better way to cope with Christ Mass and the Holy Days. If a single little photograph can set me off like this then that means that I still haven't resolved my issues and I need to find what works for me.
Feeling better now. Must get the table laid and the food ready. Maybe I'll be back to update later.
On a quest to bounce back from job and financial loss. One of my biggest dreams in life is to own my home free and clear of any and all bank loans. To no longer be a slave to the lender would be GREAT!