Holidays are for families, so I am sure to find at least one wherever I live. Pretending they are my family sometimes is enough to help me through each holiday. Yet every holiday I have this nagging feeling of being lost, lonely and alone. More than anything, I want to belong.
This Christmas was supposed to be special. This was the first time I was going to have my own family- a family I could be proud of. A son who was given something more precious than what can be wrapped inside paper and placed under a tree. A husband that was loving and doting. One I did not have to worry about beating me or leaving when he had some selfish need to entertain. For the first time I was going to relax in the comfort of a man's arms that wanted me to be with him. Me. While I am a smart, beautiful, compassionate, cheerful and entertaining woman, I also have a history that makes most people cringe or hurt. As a person, I do not need to be fixed, but I do want to be loved in spite of the shame and pain I have lived through. What I want more than anything is to bare my soul, my scars and my fears, and still be loved in spite of all my failings. This was going to be the first Christmas I was going to experience that. For the first time in 16 years, I was going to belong.
Since I lost everything at the age of 15, the thing I have longed for most was love. That may not sound like much, but I find that so many people are ungrateful for what they do have. They miss what precious things they have because their focus is on perfection or small irritations. They get caught up in the dishes not being done, it being the other person's turn, in how a small remark that was said in innocence feels like a personal attack.
Losing everything repeatedly has changed me. Luckily I let it change me for the better. My nightmares may be horrible, but I make a choice to reach out and touch the people I know. I have hard days and rough days- not bad ones. Comforting people. Connecting with people. When I touch people I find there is so much more to life than this facade we are sold by our materialistic society.
Most people do not realize that things happen in their life- often out of their control. What we do have control of is how we react to them.
So, for me, for my Christmas wish, go home. Go to your family. Love them. Cherish them. Dont let stupid, petty issues take away from the experience you have of each other. Confront the issues while they are small- and then let them GO! Choose your battles; some things arent important in the grand scheme of things. Because looking back from the end of your life you will know then, but if you act today, you will be able to enjoy the most precious of gifts.
Its not an emotion. Its a choice. Its an act. Its an ongoing action.
Today I grieve the loss of my dreams. I grieve the loss of exciting possibilities. I grieve my son knowing what it is like to have a father. I grieve the loss of someone I love. I grieve having to let someone I love go for my greater good. I grieve the loss of that relief that I have waited my whole life for this and its here now. Its not. Someone stole it again. Someone stole much more from me than just a rape.
But dont worry for me. With how beautiful, funny, charming, compassionate, loving and intelligent I am, there will be someone that will love me, even the dirtiest part of my past. While it may be a hard road I walk, I do not walk it alone. Neither do you.
Learn to love each moment. You may never grasp at that moment how precious it is until it is gone.