Friday, December 17, 2010

Peace of my Heart

Yesterday was a very bad day. Not only was I dealing with a situation at work that was extremely stressful, but I was trying to get through the last day of a stressful semester at school. And I was expected - during all of this - to be, somehow, the perfect person who responds sweetly, kindly, and immediately to text messages or emails. So I was basically told to eff off. I am not a perfect person on a good day, but yesterday was ridiculous. I'm thinking I just need to be alone for awhile. I can't be what anyone wants me to be. I can only be me.

Two years ago I was dealing with a rough time trying to get my daughter to go to AA. Little did I know that it would be my last holiday season with her.

Last year I put up a little tree in the living room I shared with Denise. We put up a few decorations and tried to have a good Christmas, despite the fact her mother "uninvited" us for Christmas and despite the fact that I was having a hard time getting through that first year without Stephanie and living away from Sean.

This year I haven't even put up a tree, mailed a card, or done any thinking about what Christmas is going to feel like. Paul and I bought something cool for Sean, and we're getting a *little* something for each other. I'm also sending a gift card to my ex-sister-in-law and nephew in Texas. They're having hard times and otherwise might not have anything for Christmas for themselves - and I'm talking food here - or for my great-nephew. That's my big splurge for Christmas. Everybody else is just going to have to understand that I'm not in the mood, not flush with money, and not feeling it.

I'll get out of this funk sooner or later, but I don't know if the holidays will ever be the same, at least not until there are grandchildren (a girl can hope). I had intended to put up a tree and some lights, it just hasn't happened. Before Stephanie died, I had such faith, such hope. I laughed more and led the charge into the holiday spirit. I'm not sure if that part of me is forever gone or if it's just in hibernation. Between the hole that has been permanently ripped in our family and the simmering anger I feel inside me most days, life gets sticky. It's one of the many reasons I'm not ready to make any kind of commitments to anyone. My commitment has to be to myself - to get through each day - and to my son, to give him a mother who will eventually smile and laugh easily again. He deserves that. Hell, I deserve to be that person again, if it's possible.

There was something the late Elizabeth Edwards said about losing a child. She said it makes you less afraid of death for yourself. I think the biggest reason for that is because of the belief that we will meet up with that child again in the afterlife. Before Stephanie died, I had a lot of faith. Now, not so much. It would be easier if I could find that faith again. I'm waiting to see if it comes back.

What I really want to feel again is peace. Right now all I feel is turmoil. And anyone who expects anything close to perfection out of me is going to be hurt and disappointed. It's just the way it is.

So I'll be driving south alone the last week of the month. I'm hoping I can pull together some smiles for the family I'll be visiting. At least a long drive in the car with the music blasting ought to be healing or at least meditative. I'm hoping to get some writing done at night, too. Long hours alone in a hotel room can be great for writing.

What I don't want to be is under pressure. I'm so tired of the expectations of others. Tired, tired, tired. I'm not at a point where I can handle it. Just gotta get through the day. One day. Then the next and the next. - D


HEATHER said...

Doris, what you are doing for your former sister-in-law will be the biggest blessing to you! You just have no idea. Doing for someone else always blesses me more than it does the person I'm helping.
I do think you need to take time to heal and be yourself-get comfortable in your own skin-so to speak.

RiverPoet said...

Heather, I know you're right. I would do more for them if I could. My nephew had a deep brain injury due to a car accident in 2000. Since then he has had many, many problems, but his mom has made him her life. We are kindred spirits in that regard, and I hope she never has to go through what I have. I want to do what I can for them. D

the walking man said...

I like being alone most days. I say have a good trip and take heed of the last words Freddy Mercury sings in the song.

B said...

Wow, Doris, this sounds like my Christmas of 2008! It will get better, and you know that. You just need to coast for awhile, and others need to let you! Love ya, my friend. Oh, and you DID send one other Christmas present - to Texas!!!

Mental P Mama said...

Giving to others who are in need is the true meaning of celebrating what Christ's life was all about. May you feel that peace in your heart as well.

Maggie May said...

Hope you have a peaceful time whatever you do.
Christmas can be a reminder of things past.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Syd said...

Doris, just be who you want to be and heck with the rest and their expectations. Christmas can be whatever you want it to be. I wish you peace within.