I've been asked a few times over the past week what my problem is with Christmas (or, as I've taken to calling it, xmess). I could tell you that I loathe how it has become a giant orgasm of consumerism, which is true, but that doesn’t really begin to scratch the surface of why I truly hate this time of year. My reasons are quite personal to me so what follows is likely to sound very whiney and ‘whoa as me’ (yes, I know, but that spelling of it has become an inside joke around here) so please stop now if you’re as sick of that crap as I am.
My loathing of xmess goes back to my childhood; see, I’m a Christmas baby – not the 25th but close enough. As far back as I can remember I always felt like my birth(day) was an afterthought. I would often receive “one big present” from my parents for both occasions, and my birthday cake more than once was a yule log (apparently it’s all they had). Now these are petty, childhood reasons, I admit but they laid a solid foundation for me turning my back on the entire season, birthdays included. I couldn't care less about my age – my 30th, 40th birthdays came and went without any existential angst.
While my early childhood ensured I would not get all warm and fuzzy about this time of year the icing on my loathing cake was to come later. I’ve written a bit about it in the past so I’m not going to delve into it again; I miss my kids. My daughter turned 20 a couple of days ago and my son is 14. The kids I've not set eyes on in years and have had no contact with over the last year. I feel cheated. I’m bitter about what has happened and while I cope quite well throughout most of the year I find December to be brutal. Everybody is talking about their kids and what they want and how cute they are/look/etc. because THAT is what this season is about. It’s watching our kids experience it all that gives us joy. From oblivious babies to reticent teens; our joy comes from the reflection of the season in them. That was stolen from me. I’m bitter, and I’m angry and this time of year it tears through me every fucking day.
DrJ and I have had the pleasure of raising her boys together and for that I’m grateful and I love them like they were my own, but… well, you know. There’s a gaping hole in me that can’t be filled, so while I can bury that deep for most of the year, the pain sometimes overwhelms. It’s a shame because neither DrJ nor Spawn v1 & 2 deserve a bitter Brad. But. I try to do the best I can, with what I have, at any given time and right now at least bitter Brad still makes a conscious choice to wake up every morning in the hope that that day will be different.
Peace, and sorry if you've stuck it out and actually read this…