That a Christmas tree could encompass all of the issues I apparently have with Christmas. I am really alright with the Christmas tree now. I have been basking in the light from it late at night, while everyone else is sleeping. I have been seeing the magic of a Christmas tree through my childrens’ eyes. But, tonight, as I contemplated the tree, I realized that a whole lot more is going on in the universes in my heart. There are still lots of broken places around Christmas. I think of the year my mother was gone and all I wanted for Christmas was for her to be home. Honestly, I am not even sure there was Christmas that year. I don’t remember any gathering of relatives and friends without my mother and I don’t remember any gifts and I don’t remember Christmas dinner (however; truthfully, I don’t remember much about that year except watching the driveway, hoping to see my mother return). I think of the gifts from my parents, proving to me that they never really listened to me and all of my wants and preferences. I think of making a Christmas list when I was 13 or 14 and asking for certain books and record albums, and my mother telling me to forget it, because she would not know how to find those things. I remember my mother insisting that she leave the traditional package of granny underwear under the tree and wanting to die of embarrassment when I was 16 and 17 years old. I remember wondering why everybody else was happy on Christmas, and I was not. I remember issues around whether or not I should eat snacks at relatives houses. I remember being a young adult and having to work while my family celebrated Christmas and begging my mother to save me my favorite part of the dinner, and her asking me why she would want to do that. I watch my relatives plan entire holiday meals around their adult childrens’ work schedules and being amazed at the respect and love given to those young relatives of mine. I remember having to go to Church with my family and having to stop and chat with the priest who abused me. I remember being laughed at as a young child who thought she heard the bells from Santa’s sleigh. I remember my mother telling me not to sing Christmas carols as she did not want to listen to my tone deaf voice. I remember my father coming in my room to rape me as Christmas carols played in the house. I remember watching candles burn in the living room and wishing I could burn up with them. I remember being afraid to speak around the people we celebrated Christmas with because I might let a secret slip and being chastised for being so shy and retiring. I remember missing my relatives at holidays when we moved away. I remember wondering why we didn’t visit them. I remember the smell of alcohol on my parents’ breath. I remember them complaining of how much pain they were in from all of the Christmas preparations and ending up with too much alcohol and prescription drugs. I remember being hit and having my hair pulled when I did not thank my abusers enthusiastically enough for the presents they gave me and when I did not/could not participate in family festivities.
Tonight, as I contemplated that Christmas tree in my living room, I was surprised to feel my eyes feeling wide to keep the tears from falling and to find myself drowning in memories of Christmases past. I guess this is telling me there is more to Christmas than Christmas trees and there is more for me to heal around Christmas than the trees.
Tonight, it seems to me that there is so much to heal that I cannot possibly finish healing in my lifetime. I hope my angels and MT and Jodi can help guide me through these rough spots that need healing. I hope I can continue to hold the hand of the little girl I was as we walk this path. And I hope I can continue to let go.