Today is Christmas and not only have I been under the weather, but the emptiness I feel inside my heart has me feeling a loss like I have never felt (or if I have, perhaps I’ve just been able to dull the feelings so they didn’t hurt like this).
I went and left a comment on my cousin’s Facebook wall. He took his own life March 18, 2012. He had a mental illness and had been struggling for some time. I wrote on his wall how much he is truly missed. I also spoke to my uncle on Christmas Eve. I had wanted to see if I could spend Christmas with him and his family, but unfortunately plans were already set and there wasn’t any room. No worries, I did leave it late. My uncle and I had a good talk. He had no idea the troubles with my own health that I have been dealing with. He knows I have a mental illness, but I think it was the depth of what has been going on is what stunned him.
He asked me if I would be seeing my mom and sister and I said no. He was shocked, he thought for sure I would be with family. I told him I had received a Christmas Hamper this year and that I could have gone to the Salvation Army’s Dinner, but he said it isn’t the same and I said no it isn’t. I asked how he was doing, how my aunt was doing, since my cousin’s death. He said auntie isn’t doing well, and weekly can be found at my cousin’s grave. He said he had gone to the cemetery and set up a tree. He said it is all very surreal and I truly understand what he was saying. He said so many little things remind him of my cousin. See my cousin loved Christmas. He loved family and he loved being with everyone.
I admitted to my uncle that I no longer look forward to December and that includes my birthday. He was saddened that I hadn’t received anything from my mother or my sister. I said if you thought life was bad when I was a kid, it is 10x worse now. I said I don’t know if it is part of the dynamic of my mother’s marriage or my sister’s marriage, but I don’t fit either.
I told him I have friends who are parents who have said that no matter how challenging your child may be, you don’t just write them off. He said he agrees, and that is why this is so difficult for him to understand. You have to understand he has known my mother since she was a teenage girl and she is now a woman who is in her mid 60’s. So I can understand how this is very difficult for him. I asked him about my other uncle. He said he hadn’t spoken to him, but did send him a Christmas card, something he hadn’t done in a long while. I said I too had sent one to my sister.
I was to phone him and let him know if I was going to my other cousin’s place for dinner tonight and if i wasn’t that we would figure something out. I’m not going to do that. While I am under the weather, I am not going to have people make room for me.
I have stated lately that my home makes me feel safe and my pets are my world. Yet, I feel like they consume me. I have so much shame inside of me, that I think the reason I stay home is because I am ashamed of who I am, who I have become. My animals, they don’t care what I look like, or what I wear. All they care about is giving me kisses, me taking them out for their potty breaks and for a good meal.
I miss the feeling of family in all its dynamic. I miss being around a festive home, children playing with their new toys, laughter amongst everyone. Catching up with my cousins, sharing time with everyone. As I said to my uncle, I never had to “try” to fit in when I was with them. I just fit in, like a regular person, equal with everyone else.
Now, I am in my home, with my animals, alone, sitting on my bed, playing the odd game on my laptop, watching the snow fall outside.