I do not like this season.
Am not, and have never been, a fan of enforced holidays.
Without Matt, there is no buffer, no back-up, no acceptable-to-others reason why I am not attending events that are not fun for me. Excruciating in their not-fun-ness. I remind myself of the last holiday season Before. How awkward and difficult, navigating on my own, with Matt off playing poker, and my step-son with his mom. Just this full-on crucible of strain. I had them to go home to. I had him to talk with about it, all the awkwardness and dissonance. I had my own family who knew me and loved me, who came from the same orienting part of the world, inside and out. I had a crazy-check. I had a self-check.
I notice how angry I am lately. How tired. To go or to not go, either way is stress. And then I think I am a monster. That I am mean and hard and brittle. That I cannot lighten up. That none of this is as bad or difficult as I make it out to be. This is unwinnable. I can't look at myself with love on this one, because to do that is to say No, and No would have to be said so many times. And also, to question, to quote something I don't recall, to question if I'm the a*hole here. Am I jerk? I no longer know. I no longer know what is the effect of actual real dissonance and truth, and what is just me being a crab without grace. I have no external crazy-check from my love, and my own self-crazy check is absolutely unreliable these days.
I read other things on-line about the collective grudge and drudgery of holidays, and I wonder why anyone does it. I wonder if anyone actually loves it. I may or may not be the bad guy here, the monster, the graceless one, if there is a graceless one. There is also the fact that I brace for the baseball bat to the gut - Matt built a lot of their house. His hands, our life, are everywhere. I am routinely doubled over from the blow, the many incessant blows, and then arrive at the table as though everything is fine. I would just like this season to be over, now, thank you. I'm so very tired of assessing my own level of monster-ness just because "No" is not accepted as a complete sentence in these parts. And, I want my family back.