It’s me, I’m the grinch.
“Have you been stressed?” my chiropractor asks me. I’m getting a full exam instead of just a regular adjustment. It’s a super exciting way to ring in 2020. She informs me that I’m tight from the base of skull down to the curve of my ass cheeks.
I pause to consider if I’ve been stressed, somehow forgetting that I just recently escaped the abomination that is the Holiday Season.
“Well, I hate December and everything that comes with it,” I give as an answer.
It seems my back and neck are still clinging to the after effects of the holidays. My muscles are suffering from a Christmas hangover. I was wondering where I was hiding that anxiety, glad to have found it.
|Photo by Lynne Hl
The fact that I was born in December doesn’t seem to save the month from my yearly aversion. I have also grown to detest the yearly reminder of my march towards oblivion.
My chiropractor briefly agrees with me regarding the awfulness of the holidays. This comes as a relief. Often when the secret of my grinchiness gets out, people pry. People seem to expect me to present a burden of proof to justify my hatred of the holidays.
The thing is, I don’t hate your holidays. I hate MY holidays.
I’m a fairly open person. Ok, if I’m being an honest, I’m a recovering over-sharer. Boundaries and personal space were hard lessons I eventually learned in my mid to late twenties.
I learned these lessons partly because I married a very private person and I respect my husband enough not share on his behalf.
Also because in the last 8 years I’ve morphed into a woman whose mom is slowly dying from a wretched disease AND who suffers from infertility and the resulting childlessness. It’s a heavy combo and it doesn’t always make for the greatest small talk. Therefore, I avoid talking about these things with new people. Or I introduce these gems of my life by making jokes about them. I’ve found out, not everyone appreciates dark humor.
If I let my holiday hatred spew out, people are certain to press me for more information. I’m sure it blows many a mind that a vocal Christian and church goer like myself does not want to get all tinseled up to celebrate the birth of Christ.
Listen, I love Jesus, and I’m grateful for Him every day. I just hate His birthday. I mean, I hate mine too.
This year there as been an interesting change. My mom died in February. Therefore when people are trying to figure out my reason for the bahhumbugs they get this really pitiful look on their face and say something like, “Ohhh, the first year without a loved one is really hard.”
To which I tend to blurt out, “But she hasn’t actually been a part of our holiday festivities for like, 8 years. She’s been in a nursing home and hasn’t spoken. So, it’s not the first year without her,” because I like to add an extra dose of awkward to the situation.
This exchange tends to make people pretty uncomfortable and tends to work in my favor. Everyone wants to tell me what grieving my mom is supposed to look like and that’s a great distraction so I don’t have to ruin their Christmas joy and get into the real reasons I hate the holidays.
Truthfully, at first it really was about my mom. Those first few years post-diagnosis I created so many expectations for myself to attempt to fill the gaping hole that my mom’s deteriorating brain had left.
By the time the 23rd of 24th of December rolled around I was ball of nerves yelling at those I loved or crying about pie crust or monster cookies.
I had to let go of that stuff and allow new traditions and new expectations (or no expectations) replace the years of healthy mom holidays.
After she moved into a nursing home I started wishing December had a forward button on December I could push and somehow safely land in January avoiding holiday-induced crying jags on the living room floor.
But still the worst of my grinchiness hadn’t set in yet.
The real killer of good tidings of comfort and joy is ....continue reading on Medium.