The end-of-year holidays are always a bit hard, really, what with all the chaos and extended family and children running around getting underfoot and underskin and more extended family and build up of HOLIDAY HOLIDAY HOLIDAY and then it's all over and everything's just a bit flattish.
Plus there's my birthday shoved in there, just wedged in anywhere it might fit, and here's the thing that sucks about having a Christmas birthday (it's not the present thing, because on the whole my people are quite good about realizing that if everyone else gets different presents for Christmas vs. birthday, then it's only fair that I do too, unless it's something Really Big that counts for both by the sheer Bigness of it all): even when people do acknowledge your birthday and even want to celebrate it, there's no point at all in celebrating it on the day itself, and what with all the exhaustion and business and familyness of the season, it's entirely too difficult to get your favorite people together to celebrate at all.
I'm thinking seriously of having my birthday celebration in June instead.
I've been anxious and on edge and horrifically tearful this last week. I did not cry on Christmas, thank God, because I've had too many Christmases spent in tears and I'm quite done with that, thankyouverymuch, but I have cried more in the last few days than I have over the entire last year. I'm not a very tearful person, really. I might get anxious or angry or melancholy or even suspiciously moist about the optical orbs, but actually tearful? Wet cheeks and reddened eyes? Crying into my pillow or a tissue? Not so much.
MTL has been patient and loving and comforting and rather alarmed. After all, when one climbs into bed at the end of a long day and wraps one's arms about one's beloved and then realizes that she's starting to gasp and shake with unexpected sobs, one does tend to become a little concerned. Well, at least he does. Rather than angry and shouty, like some people might be. He did remind me gently that I don't have to try to be strong all the time just because he's going through stressful times too--his shoulders are broad, after all.
It's what I'm here for, he said, and so I cried on those shoulders for a while, and then he made me laugh and I was finally able to fall asleep.
This time of year is a muddle of beginnings and endings, births and deaths. The last two years have been such a muddle of the same for me. And although I love so much of where life has brought me, the strain of the journey has taken its toll. There are new stresses in this new life as well: new family, new extended family, changing relationships, changing perspectives.
I think the bulk of my pain and rage (because those tears have been as much in anger as sorrow) lies in grieving the death of certain hopes and dreams that I've clung to for three long decades. Hopes that I would someday receive certain intangible things from extended family that, I now realize, I will never get. Dreams of a kind of acceptance and approval and pride that would, in reality, require the sacrifice of who I am, this person I've taken so long to be able to love.
A beloved cousin, one of my fellow Black Sheep, recently said to me that he knew from childhood that I would never fully fit into the parameters of expectation and acceptance in our Family. To do so would mean a rejection of who I actually am.
He's right. But facing that requires setting aside a lingering hope that somehow, someday, my Family (that huge, insane, ridiculously respected, secretly dysfunctional, looming, impossible Family) would actually be proud of me for exactly who and what I am, without a checklist of what must change for that to happen.
And realistically? That doesn't exist for anyone. It's not the human way.
Still...it's a death. So I'm grieving.
Apparently I'm currently stuck in the Anger stage.
But with each death comes a new beginning. Just like the passing of the old year gives birth to the new one.
Last night DMB helped the kids make pita pizzas while My True Love took me out for a steak dinner, just the two of us. Then we came home and played silly Wii games and watched a silly movie and ate chips n dip and drank sparkling juice and stayed up just long enough to watch the ball drop before crawling into bed like the old farts we are.
Today, we're all lazing about watching MTL rock Super Mario Bros on the Wii.
Just us. Just me and my family.
3 years ago