I got home before the tears fell. Thank God for that. They threatened to spill the entire drop off and back.
The house is littered in bits of wrapping paper, pie crumbs, flattened bows, deflated stockings. And it is achingly, deafeningly silent. It’s the first Christmas I am truly alone. In years gone by I would have loved it and welcomed the chance to get smashed and stoned all at once with no responsibilities. In fact, most of my past Christmases I have been well on my way to exhausted combined with wine and weed by now.
There is no one I would wish this aching, crushing grief on. The news and my newsfeed are filled with cute pictures of Babies’ First Christmases, pristine white snow, engagement rings, families and friends gathered to celebrate and make merry. It’s highly unlikely I will ever get the joy of another baby to nurse. I’ve never seen a white Christmas here. Despite being a realistic optimist engagement photos leave me with a jaded sneer while waiting to be able to file for divorce. I did have a tiny bit of my family for a few hours today, me and my kids and my aunt. We did out best to make merry and be grateful for the good.
I wore my cheer well enough all day. Assembled new toys and opened clam shell packages. Helped tune a new guitar and inserted batteries. Had a tasty, simple dinner and delicious pie. It wasn’t about me. It was all about my kids. They have had enough pain in their short lives. I was happy to see them happy. And underneath crying desperately for myself. They eat their second dinner while those tears fall.
No one wants a weepy, once-again single mom missing her kids on Christmas night. I need to honestly cry and grieve, not be comforted into false cheer or celebration. And certainly not to be tempted to do anything to numb the pain. Perhaps it is for the best I am alone with this, despite wishing to be held and wanted. I don’t want to ruin anyone’s holidays with what probably looks like selfish drama to anyone who has not been here.
Part of me very much wants to turn back time, to go back to my ‘perfect’ life. The one where I had everything a girl is supposed to want. The one I had to be high all the time to face. When I was the good wife, good mother, good daughter, good friend, good neighbor. The life that was slowly killing me. There was no me in that life.
I still don’t have much in the way of a new life. It takes a long time to build a new life. Everyone from my old life has made it quite clear that I am a disappointment, a failure, a nuisance. I brought my misery on myself and it is my problem. Ok, some of it was heaped on me without my consent, but it is still my problem. And so tonight I cry alone. Bitter, aching, resentful, regretful, lonely, grief filled tears. And guilty. Guilty that I cannot find it in me to celebrate the wonders of the day. That I am so selfish as to be consumed with pain and to wish for comfort.
I want to celebrate with joy, to honor the season with giving, but all I have tonight is this lonely grief and enough faith to know that it will not last forever. The best I can do is to honestly feel and to hold on to hope. I can chose to not drink or use. I can choose to not be a burden. I can choose to be an example, to show that it is possible to survive life’s worst without resorting to drink or drug. I can choose to be grateful through these tears. That’s all I can give this year.