Hello from the abyss. Or not anymore the abyss, I suppose, but I spent enough time hanging around there that I still recall it quite well. And maybe the most terrible part is that nothing even happened. Everyone was good, the atmosphere was mostly relaxed, nobody except grandma gave me stupid looks or remarks, and mom let me get away with a little more attention-seeking than usual. Just what I had hoped for.
I am what happened. I, and the whole gift giving, niceness and appreciation thing.
Since I already knew that the one thing I had secretly hoped to be getting was not going to be there, the according disappointment of that was already dealt with and I really hoped this might make the whole gifts ordeal a bit easier this time around. So much for the plan. Unfortunately the one thing I hadn’t taken into account is that I am perfectly capable of creating calamity all on my own, even when nothing untoward whatsoever happens.
Because technically all went well. I managed to cope with the stuff I got. I managed to cope with the stuff everyone else got. I managed nicely. Not all on my own, okay, but with a little help by mom who kept assuring me with smiles and cuddles that everything was alright, I managed.
Until it was my mom’s turn to get her presents. I wanted to go first to give her my present, because she was the only person I had a present for. I had gotten her a little black bracelet with colored skulls and stars on it and had made her a card (if one true to my kind of Christmas spirit. See below.). So far so good. She opened her present and was pleased with it, thanked me with a hug and kiss and said she liked it and I could see that she meant it. So for a moment I was feeling really good there.
Until it was everyone else’s turn to give mom their presents. Especially my siblings’. My brother gave her a gift certificate for a spa treatment. My one sister, who’s about as old as me, gave her a stunning glass globe for the tree and a photo book full of amazing black and white photographs she had taken herself. And my oldest sister gave her a gold necklace with the prettiest golden pendant. Yeah, like real gold.
And as bad as I know comparisons are, it really hit me bad that they had all given her those wonderful, thoughtful things that she really loved – whereas I had given her a bracelet with skulls worth about a fiver, and as a matter of fact, it’s a bracelet I would love to wear, but not so much she.
Mortification, humiliation, embarrassment, self-hatred, contempt for myself, inferiority, wretchedness . . . you name it, I felt it. In overwhelming intensity. And I was convinced everyone must feel the same about me.
You might or might not be able to imagine the emotional drama that arose from that. It lasted about three hours, during which I not only demonstrated my perfect inability to cope with my own emotions, but also my effectiveness in spoiling things not only for myself, but also for everyone around me by occupying mom with my screaming and crying and wailing, bringing everything celebratory to a standstill. And over what? Over nothing, really, except my deplorable frame of mind.
I suppose the good news is that everyone (save me and grandma, probably) took it in relative stride, and also that I did not swallow my feelings to later silently wander off, seeking to get myself fucked for punishment by the next best guy I found, like my sister’s husband. That is progress, of sorts. Kind of pathetic progress, but I guess I can’t afford to be picky when it comes to progress and need to take what I can get.
I just seriously hope that was all the drama this Christmas. I’m exhausted now. Everything is back in relative order, and I really, really want to stay it that way please. Bring on the fairy dust and magic sparkles.