Friday, December 9, 2016

Christmas Trees - Denial - Rapture

I am working a lot which is great this time of year for a single person living alone.  There is some forced Christmas cheer going on at work.  We always have a Christmas tree and one OCD person always puts it up.  They decided this year that they did not have the time so and innocent new person with nothing to do called their manager and got permission to put the tree up.

Well apparently there was a scene in front of customers when the keeper of all things arrived to find the tree up. This person has done this before and I am sure the outburst was more about the fact they had fallen short of their normal duties.  When you believe you are the only person that can do anything correctly and then someone has the nerve to do it and not meet your standard of perfection then this is reason for a meltdown.

Nothing will happen it will just be one more story about this person to spread throughout the company.  I was happy I was working at home like I am today.  I only know what happened because I innocently commented on how beautiful the tree looked..

This time of year feels like a farce to me and reminds me of when I use to force Christmas when I lived with alcoholism. We were pretending that there wasn't a volcanic eruption just below the surface and that any moment the relationship would be covered with molten lava.

I was so afraid of losing everything that I just kept moving.  I was doing all the things that other people do at Christmas.  Hoping that the outside decorations would somehow transform the horrible loneliness and fear I felt on the inside.  I pushed out reality by staying busy I was afraid of losing the one person I felt really knew and loved.

The year he left at Thanksgiving by Christmas I was still deep in denial and guilted him to go with me to cut down a Christmas tree like we had done every year we were together.  I didn't know that his girlfriend was impatiently waiting back at her apartment. I used my Al-Anon persuasion to get him to go with me.  I was going to pretend nothing had changed. I didn't know about the girlfriend and thought maybe we could talk things through and re-kindled something.

I did find out months later and the truth of my situation sent me to Al-Anon. The severity of the situation broke open the fortress of denial I had been living in alone. No Christmas tree or lights on the house or candles in the windows could mask the truth anymore.  I was awake for the first time and the pain like nothing I had ever felt.

Since then I have stopped hiding behind the Christmas fanfare. Since getting in the program my internal life is not dependent on these rituals to complete me.  Some years years I do a tree and some years I don't.  During my last relationship my ex wasn't that interested either way so it felt like I was alone with the idea of Christmas trees and decoration. At that point I wasn't interested in forcing another Christmas tree purchase on anyone.

I am a little sad this year that my life is only full of mostly work. I can't change the path that my life has taken or mentally erase the past.  I was sitting and eating my lunch yesterday and remembered one Christmas when we were going north to the in-laws for the holiday and had decided to open our gifts before heading to the airport.  We made a huge mess and just left. My friend stopped to check on the house and he said it looked like the rapture had taken place and we had been taken right in the middle of Christmas.  The memory brought tears to my eyes and then laughter. Life goes on.


  1. Christmas has mostly been a horrible time for me too. When I was a kid, my father was the one drinking, and happy Christmas memories there are few, and For many years as an adult, I tried so hard so hard to have a happy time, but the pretense never lasted through the season, the volcano, as you so aptly put it, always erupted... I'm still not a fan of Christmas, too many painful associations, too much forced frivolity, I tend to retract into my shell this time of the year, trying to avoid the pain, and it's still not completely gone. Hugs and love to you, I know how you feel.....

  2. How refreshing your honesty! We've just celebrated a quiet Christmas interlude. I'm
    glad not to be in the hospital this year!