Blue Christmas

We’re almost a week past the Longest Night (winter solstice, Dec. 21), the night on which we acknowledge the fact that for many, Christmas is not a season full of brightness and joy.

For several years I’ve observed this practice from afar, glad (in a rather detached way) to know that those who struggle with grief, depression, loneliness, and other sorrows were being recognized and supported. This year, though, my perspective shifted. Longest night began to hit home.

There’s my severely, long-term mentally ill sister, who this year wanted to “reconcile” with me (I had to cut her out of my life several years ago to preserve my own mental health). Couldn’t go there; had to say no. Consequently felt cruel and guilty.

Even worse, a 40-year-long situation with my step mother grew exponentially worse this fall, so that I didn’t feel able to spend any time with my father this year for Christmas. That situation was compounded last night, as I started receiving abusive phone calls and emails, and one of our children was even dragged into the ugliness with a voice mail left on her phone. Where before I was stressed and upset, now I’m angry.

On the whole, I’ve been able to focus on the joy of my own nuclear family being together, and the fun of being with other members of the extended family who are safe, comfortable, and supportive. But ugly, hurtful feelings tied up with other family members are always lurking in the background, ready at any moment to jump out and bite me in the ass.


This saying may be a little trite, but it’s true. Let’s all try to remember it, beyond the Longest Night.

-Amy

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7 Responses

  1. So sorry for what you have to go through. The holidays always seem to make it harder to deal with. Glad you could still find some peace during the Holiday season to enjoy your family close to you.

  2. The blues is not easy to beat especially when battling with depression. Glad that you found solace with your nuclear family. As hurtful at it maybe detaching yourself from your family meant to keep your sanity.

  3. I am late to read this, but I actually thought of you on Christmas. Sorry to hear about your step-mother. 😦 She sounds like a real winner.

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