Christmas is hard for me too

I woke up this morning from a horrible nightmare.

The nightmare was a view of what my life may have been like if I had not gotten out from under my abusive stepdad. I was a completely different person in this dream. I was angry and hate filled, constantly screaming at my mom and those around me. Not even the presence of a friend in the dream could make me calm down.

In this dream, my mom was trying her best to help me work through my anger. She was being sweet and kind and caring, but it didn’t matter because I couldn’t notice. I was too filled with the hate and anger that came from years of being mistreated and unloved by father figures.

Lately this Christmas I have been hearing one sentiment more than any other.

“Maybe this time of year is hard for you”.

Every time I hear this, I don’t really think much of it, except maybe occasionally feel bad for those around me who may have lost someone loved in their life recently. I don’t think it applies to me in any way, because I am happy. But the reality is that sometimes I am not.

Through this season of advent, I was reminded that what I feel every day is Joy, not Happiness. I’m usually filled with joy, but there are many days that I may not be “happy”, and I usually just ignore that. I push it away because I don’t want to deal with life’s issues sometimes.

I hate what my early father figures did to me. I hate that my mom isn’t here to talk about it. I hate that nobody in my life truly can relate with my experience from having been there (this is me saying I hate that I don’t have siblings).

I hate the anger and fear that filled my heart for so many years as a child who should have been having a much more innocent life.

I hate that the anger and fear could have destroyed me.

I hate that I feel burdened with things like calling my father for Christmas. Why don’t I want to pick up the phone and call him? I should be glad to call him and tell him my recent news and catch up on life. But it hurts me. It hurts me because I will always think of the hurt that I experienced as a kid from him and the other stepdads. It’s not fair that I direct all the feelings back on him alone, because he didn’t commit the worst offences in my life. I know it’s not fair, but I can’t help it. He’s the only representation in my life of what my childhood was, and how much I hated it.

As I wake up on Christmas Eve, I have delayed calling him day after day this Christmas. It’s no coincidence that as I made up my mind that today would be the day, I have a horrible hate and anger filled dream the night before, reminding me of all the childhood memories that I repress.

When I woke up, I suddenly realized that I wasn’t in that situation anymore. My life was peaceful, calm, and incredibly opposite from the life in that dream. A life I never want to go back to. Andrea woke up and I told her I loved her. She asked why, and I replied

“Because everything is different now.”

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