The end of the year is a great time to grieve. It is convenient that New Years seals it up in a nice package. Promises of a better year ahead. If we are lucky, several better years in a row. I have had a full week to actually think about my life currently. I am a year out of a 20 year marriage, leaving behind my home and children in the process. I was the ‘bad’ parent; considered the ONE who made life hell at home. I did react badly at times. I am no angel. At least during the last year, I wasn’t. Alcohol was my savior and nemesis. It still can be when you read my last post only four or so hours ago. I still look to it as my savior, something to use to take away the internal pain I am feeling. I left the house January 15th, ten days after my youngest child’s 17th birthday. My daughter is 20. At 46, I did not expect to be here.
When I was miserable in my marriage, when the verbal attacks stung like a thousand bees biting, I fantasized about being single. Independent of a man. When I left, I knew life wouldn’t be easy, not for a while, at least until I graduated college with my bachelor’s degree. Even though I was beaten, even though I was distraught with guilt that I didn’t do enough or that I did too much and it was all wrong, or I could have done better… I was optimistic. I survived, I will survive. Today, I feel at an absolute low. I have family that has taken me in. I am not the best guest. I am depressing to be around. I know that.
I wasn’t physically abused, yet the emotional and verbal abuse took it’s toll. Perhaps in this year I never really allowed myself to feel as damaged as I am feeling today. Maybe it is because this is the first holiday season without my kids. Without doing the tree with them, watching The Christmas Story, Young Frankenstein and Charlie Brown. The thrill of buying and hiding the gifts, telling them even as teenagers, “DO NOT, enter my closet!” for the whole month of December. Waiting until 4am now to place their stockings at the end of their bed, pretending Santa brought the stockings to them. I do not have this ritual this year and they do not have this ritual this year. I didn’t hang up the construction paper fireplace and take their picture in front of it this year, a tradition we started so many Christmas’ ago.
I know once this first Christmas alone, without my kids, without the rituals will pass, I will be better. I won’t be so miserable, crabby, bitter. I know it could be worse, so much worse. I really could be living in my car as I am very dependent of others right now, hardly making enough with my part time job to cover my bills I accrued living independently for eight months without financial help from my soon to be ex.
I plan on creating a vision board in the next two weeks leading up to Christmas. A 2014 board with my hopes and dreams on them. Something I can gaze at over the next year, no matter where I end up and as the year progresses, I can say, “yes I did that!” even if it is starting back into an exercise routine or making another three “A”‘s in my college courses. 2013 wasn’t a good year, but looking back I know I was able to use it to grieve, adjust and heal. I will be a better person in 2014. A newly reinvented person. One who lives life to the fullest. I won’t be that girl with the broken smile any longer.