The holidays are very challenging for me and bring on some major depression and anxiety. MT asked me to do a project on why the holidays are such a hellish time for me, and I don’t think I can do the project. I don’t think I can do the project because I really cannot pinpoint what the real issue is. Sure, I must have been abused on holidays, but I can’t dredge up any memory of anything that was worse than any other time. In fact, sometimes I think I am just being dramatic with my crazy reactions to holidays. I get very easily fatigued in the holiday season; more so than any other time of the year. And believe me, I really do not do much in the realm of holiday craziness. Even when I was a child, decorating the Christmas tree made me so tired that I would get one or two ornaments on the Christmas tree and then be unable to move, usually resulting in being sent off to bed with the assumption I was coming down with something. I think I like Christmas TV shows and movies, but when I try to watch the ones from when I was a child, I want to hide under a bed. I can watch more recent ones like the Santa Claus with no issues, but put on Rudolph or Frosty and I CANNOT stay in the room. I don’t go shopping in malls. If I do any shopping, it’s online. I wrap Christmas gifts for my children, but I do it with somebody else so that it goes much faster. If I try to complete that task by myself, I end up in bed taking a 4 or 5 hour nap. When I was a child, I vomited on almost every holiday. As an adult, I can make a scrumptious dinner and then be unable to eat when it is on the table. My parents were always mad at me on holidays because I always puked and often somebody had to miss the celebration to stay home with me. If I made it to a holiday celebration, there were huge issues around eating. My parents had me convinced I was fat even when I was a small child. Guess what? I was not nearly fat when I was a child. I wasn’t really fat until I was 17 or 18 years old. But when I was a kid, and thought I was fat, it was freaking hard to be at my grandparents’ houses and have all sorts of goodies around. If I ate them, I got yelled at. If I didn’t eat them, the adults asked if I was ill. If I ate too many, I got a stomachache and then somebody had to take me for a walk to help my stomach settle. But I think there was more to those walks than my mind will let me remember. Somehow the image and feelings of walks in cool, darkish weather gets mixed in with racks and racks of clothing in basements and a couch or a bed where there should not have been one. I feel nauseous all the time right now. Sometimes, I think that laying under the Christmas tree and looking at the lights would be so soothing and relaxing, so I do it. And EVERY FREAKING TIME, I feel like I need to start screaming and parts of my body start hurting and I want to run away. Traditional Christmas music does me in, It makes me want to weep. It makes me want to ask why Jesus should have been born a baby…didn’t God know that was dangerous? Grown-ups hurt kids. I love the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and other present day holiday music. But traditional stuff…both Church and secular makes my head ache so badly I usually do end up vomiting. And going to see Santa at the Mall? I am willing to believe in Santa for my kids, but I am really not willing to let them sit on a strange man’s lap, especially when he is wearing a fake beard and a wig. I don’t trust Santa. Is that from when I was a kid? And then there are the big family and friends gatherings. I love the idea, but when it gets right down to actually attending one of those huge gatherings, I go into panic mode and I cannot do it. We had lots of those huge gatherings when I was a kid…lots of loud adults, rooms filled with loud adults, some that I did not know, all drinking booze, and us kids running around….being delayed or diverted or redirected…and who really knew where we were with whom? I don’t want to fail myself that way anymore and I definitely don’t want to fail my kids that way. So, tell me. I don’t really know what the challenge of the holidays is for me. I just know I feel myself go all whirly twirly anxious and things seem far away and fuzzy and just not right and good…And I get scared and sad and panicked.