When I first got the idea to write up this blog entry last night I had a completely different outlook on why I never feel happy around Christmas anymore. I was convinced it was because I don’t have a family of my own and no children around. My mind seemed settled on the idea of “oh this is normal, you’re an adult and Christmas is for kids.” But I don’t necessarily think that’s true… I’ve given a little and received many more gifts than I ever would have imagined this year and while its not about receiving, even the giving didn’t seem to put me in much of a holiday spirit.
So today before I decided to start writing I tried to jog my memory back to the last time I was actually excited about Christmas…
And then it hit me, I hadn’t felt that warm fuzzy “Christmastime is here!” feeling in over 12 years.
Twelve years ago I was 14 years old, just starting high school and still living with my mother. My dad had just gotten married to someone that he barely knew only 4 months before, someone I did not know at all. And my brother was still in the Army stationed in Monterey, California.
My mom and I were planning on going to Cali to visit him, and left early Christmas morning on a flight to LAX after spending Christmas Eve in Houston the night before… there are so many details to this story from eating Christmas lunch at a Jewish Deli to hopping around from one hotel to another and from hospital to hospital with my mother. But that would lead to nothing short of a novel if I honestly tried to squeeze it all in, so I’ll try my best to summarize.
Leading up to this trip my mother was on numerous medications, she had been my entire life as a result of battling depression along with a few other things. While I did not realize it at the time, her doctor (who probably should have been retired as he was about a year or two shy of turning 80) had prescribed her medications that specifically did not go together. Sadly by the time one of her friends caught on to it and advised her to stop, the medicine had slowly but surely already done its damage to her mind. I was in denial for a long time but it was her behavior during this trip that made me realize she had some SERIOUS mental health issues. It broke my heart to see her like this, and it broke my heart further to know that when we returned to Texas I would placed in my dad’s custody by Child Protective Services to live the rest of my life as a minor with him and his wife who for some odd reason could not stand me and looked for any reason at all to make me seem like the spawn of Satan.
There are so many bad, painful memories from that Christmas/New Years that completely altered not only my life but that of my mother as well. I’m glad she’s on the right medication now and no longer having outburst or bi-polar episodes but I always wonder how different our lives would be if none of this had ever happened…
When it finally dawned on me a couple hours ago, I won’t lie… I shed a few tears in disbelief of how long it’d taken me to discover the root of why I felt anything but happy around this time of year. That I was only now realizing (12 years later) how hard I’ve tried to sweep those memories under the rug. However, I hope that now that I know the cause I can try to let go of the past and have a genuinely Merry Christmas in 2014.