Ba Hum Bug or Why I Hate The Holidays

I used to love this time of year! When my kids were little, Christmas was a blast! We always decorated the house and put up a tree. We had certain traditions that we carried on through the years; new traditions and old traditions from when I was a child. We made cookies and popcorn cake. We made handmade pizza on Christmas Eve and watched Christmas movies like Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and the original Grinch That Stole Christmas and others. We always had a little talk about what Christmas was all about and we watched a little movie about Jesus. Seeing the excitement on the kids’ faces as Christmas approached was amazing which made up for the work and stress of preparing for this special day!

As the years went by, the holidays became more stressful and less fun because the kids were older and you know how hard it is to shop for teenagers! They are very hard to please at times and it was so stressful trying to make things special for them. They were never, EVER, ungrateful but things just weren’t the same as when they were small.

After the kids left home and started giving me grandchildren, I started getting excited again about the holidays. But things went sour after only a couple Christmases and well, I won’t go into that because it’s still very raw. I got 2 Christmases with grandson #1 and now I rarely see him. I don’t even have a relationship with him. I’m not treated as family but more of an outsider. I got a few Christmases with granddaughter, but now she is being raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, which means no more holidays with her. (For the record, I don’t have a problem with JW specifically.) I do have a relationship with my granddaughter, though. She’s my sweetheart and we are very close. Grandson #3 is out of state with his mother. I can understand no holidays with him because kids and their parents move out of state all the time. I have to say I feel robbed not being able to celebrate holidays with the other 2 grandkids since they are both just 30 minutes away.

I haven’t put up a tree in probably 6 years. What’s the point? It’s just my dad and I and maybe my son for a short time. I always buy a few gifts but it’s just not the same without the kids and grandkids. It’s depressing and I just want to crawl in a hole until it’s all over and the new year starts. You may be thinking I should put up a tree anyway because it might make me feel better. Well, maybe. But maybe it will make the depression worse. I don’t know. Besides, I am disabled and I just can’t be doing that kind of thing anymore.

Anyway, I just grin and bear it and wait for it to pass….with a little help from my therapist and Captain Morgan.

Ba-Hum-Bug and cheers!

 

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Photo Courtesy of Captain Morgan

 

A Woman’s Poem

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A Woman’s Poem — Does any of that sound familiar to you? If it does then you have most likely wanted to take a cast iron skillet to your husband’s head a few times. But, we don’t. Why? Because that’s not who we are. We are friends and we are mothers. We are daughters, sisters, aunts….. What will our loved ones do if we go to prison? We don’t want our children to live without their mother, our sisters to lose a sister, a mother to lose a daughter…..so we either a) put up with the bullshit or b) LEAVE. There’s also a C: Put up with the bullshit, walk on egg shells for a few months or years…and THEN leave. My choice was C, mostly because I felt stuck. (No job, 2 little kids, no where to go….)

Seems that I was always being compared to how his mother did it or how his uncle did it.  OR: The way HE would do it. I didn’t clean the floor the way HE would have, I didn’t make the sauce the way his uncle did it, I made the beans the way my dad liked them because he was coming for a visit instead of the way HE liked them, or the famous “That’s not how my mom did it.” Well, you know what? Too damn bad.

The problem at first was ME. Yes, me. I was looking for acceptance. I didn’t get acceptance from my mother. I was never good enough or I never did something the right way in her eyes. So, what I really needed was acceptance…from someone, anyone. My ex SAID he accepted me, he treated me as if he accepted me, at first. When all the criticism came, I felt like I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t doing my job correctly. I felt like a complete failure. I was always looking for that acceptance so I always tried to do it the ‘right’ way, to please him.

When my daughter started preschool, I started meeting other parents. I witnessed other husbands taking the time to show interest in their child’s education, showing respect to their wives, and actually participating in the family as a whole. When my daughter’s class arranged a Father’s Day celebration and my ex couldn’t take the time to show up, it really opened my eyes!! Boy, was this an eye opener!! My daughter’s teacher sent her to the office to call home and I went to the school immediately to sit in for her father. She was very upset. The thing is, I told him about this event 3 weeks prior. I reminded him each week that it was coming up. Still, he never even attempted to get that day off, not even a half day. For his own child. 

I started to realize that the way I had been living was NOT normal. Screw this relationship. I was doing all the work. I was mother, father, nurse, teacher, playmate, house keeper, cook…. If I was going to do all the work myself I might as well do it BY MYSELF!! Oh, he went to work to provide….blah, blah, blah. He went to work sometimes. He didn’t always work. When he got laid off, he sat around the house drinking coffee and then beer, playing solitaire, all while in MY way. I was running a Day Care in our home to put food on the table because he couldn’t be bothered with finding another job to tide us over until he got called back to work. We were always 3 months behind on the rent because I didn’t make enough money and he sat on his ass. All he did was tell ME how I wasn’t doing something the right way, and not lending a hand to help at all.

Some things happened that I will save for another post, but this relationship ended June 6, 1993. That’s when I knew it was over and there was no forgiving, no forgetting, no going back. I made every attempt after leaving him to keep him connected to his children but he couldn’t handle it. He said, “It hurts me too much.” Seriously. I can’t even imagine how the kids felt when their father all of a sudden just stopped communication with them. My kids were 6 and 3 when we left.

I never looked back.

 

 

 

 

Empty Spaces….

I’ve been thinking about my son, my “other daughter” and my grand daughter tonight. They have moved out and although they’re close, I will still worry about them. They’ve been living here since last July due to some very unfavorable circumstances. I have enjoyed having Doodle Bug here, no doubt, but I love my son and I feel closer to A.B. now. I’ve always loved her like a daughter but now that we have shared some maternal moments and lived under the same roof, it’s a much closer relationship and I am thankful for it.

My son, C.F., came by and packed up a few things tonight, things they left behind on Wednesday. He seemed in good spirits, perhaps excited about having his own place. It’s an exciting time for them. I pray he and A.B. will work together and be the best parents they can be to Doodle Bug. They can do it, I know they can. They’re young and inexperienced in this sort of thing but I’m confident they’ll figure it out. And I know that they will come to me if need be.

My house is slowly morphing back into the home it was before both of my children moved back home. There are a few empty spaces in my house now, but not for long. S.R. will move into some of those spaces that C.F. and A.B. left behind. With any luck, her stay here won’t be any longer than necessary. Don’t get me wrong, I love S.R. and I definitely love my grand son, D.M., but it would be nice to have my house and my life back to normal. I want her to have a place of her own. It’s just too bad that when she does move out, J. will be part of that equation.

Nothing good can come out of that. But, I don’t know anything, according to S.R. I have to step back and let her find out for herself that J. is very bad news. I don’t know that’s possible though, since he already turned her life upside down, and she still doesn’t see it. Perhaps someday she will see it and realize that sometimes I do know what I’m talking about.