I'm sick of it. I want it over. I want it gone. I am no longer a little girl. I am a parent. I am the mom. I don't want my kids to be writing this essay in twenty years, "and then my mom, unable to let go of the past..." I want them to have the joy I never did.
Screw joy, I just want them to have some semblance of normal. Of waking up too early, opening gifts, eye rolling at ugly gifts and then, before the sun is up, it's over. A day about them, not about my doom and gloom.
After all these years, that's what Christmas means to me. A single, once a year shot at family love that is destined to fail. I've long since given up trying with my family of origin. My father is still alive, somewhere and can burn in hell as far as I'm concerned. The unmentioned sibling remains unmentioned. My sister and I are close but we've carved out new traditions in an attempt to wash away the past etched on us like tattoos.
I want my family to be happy on June 6th. And February 20th. And a lot of other days in between. The china comes out when a crowd gathers for Sunday night dinner. Or Thursday night dinner. Or not at all and we eat on paper plates watching the Red Sox together.
My mother is dead now. There is no one left to please. No more family to pretend to be, no more forced smiles.
I always felt alone while doing my dance as a child. It was me and me alone that could make everything better. I'm sure each of my siblings thought the same; it’s the nature of being a child of an alcoholic. I never expected, after the final act, I would feel so abandoned.
Enough already. I have a full house, a full heart. The Fates only win if I let them. I need to take off the shawl of misery because it doesn't fit anymore.
It can't fit anymore.
Otherwise, my kids will end up chasing after the same unachievable dream of making their mother happy.
I may not be able to break all the cycles I grew up with, but I will break a few. My children will never be physically or sexually abused by their relatives. They will not feel responsible for my happiness or my sadness.
I will never be drunk in front of them.
And they will always remember me holding them.
Okay, that was REALLY depressing. Please remember? I’m sipping a pina colada in Costa Rica right now.