Christmas is a ritual.
It was once gluttonous. Filled with false pomp and cheer. I was excited for the booze and stimulants and the trouble I could get myself into. I braced myself for the day.
Christmas was scary. The days leading up to it were the worst. We would get attacked.
Christmas is presents and presents are always nice.
These days Christmas is a chore. I am an outsider. I look for ways to help and keep busy and am relegated to the kitchen where I wash dishes and dishes and dishes.
I see a fractured family doing their best to play normal. I do my best to ask questions and be nice and friendly and I am often desperately thinking of conversation starters.
By the end of the day I usually dissociate. It happens suddenly and I get tired and want to hold my toys and go to bed. Perhaps too much overstimulation.
I like how everyone everywhere seems friendly and over worked and doing their best to keep up the cheer. I like how Christmas means different things to different people. It is a day when many of us are forced to stop and be part of or at least attempt to be.
It is a day that holds weight and this year, despite my mixed feelings, I am mindful that there are many other people suffering more than me and having to endure the day in much harder circumstances. I can hopefully give my parts a voice tomorrow, if they need it and let them express their feelings as it is safe now and the abusers have gone.