I awoke with a start : Ghosts of Christmas past

I usually wake with very strange things going on in my body not only due to the presence of past very extreme trauma to my body from two accidents but often also due to all the currents I deal with in my family of origin which I share a lot about on my blog. This year I decided to stop fighting with the way they are and just accept the pain I have been through due to their lack of ability to see any further than their own selves and just love from there. I have been trying to support my sister through two hospitalisations even though I struggle every day with my own mental and emotional health issues. But last week I just pulled back from taking her out because as readers know I have also been supporting someone I met online who is overseas as well. All this occurred following my mother’s death last year and its run me ragged with being torn this way and that.

I am also grieving and I feel so lucky to have this blog to share my grief on. I decided to miss my final therapy session for this year, yesterday as I had to go to the bank to open a new account since the bank closed my operating account on suspection of a fraud. When I got home at 1 pm I felt too tired but I als knew I had not been to see my sister for over a week and so I went over only to find she was in a therapy group. I went off to get a coffee and went back, but it was not an easy visit. Turns out her youngest son is coming down from Brisbane and they are going to the coast together which is the house my Dad built in the years before his death. I would have made me so happy to be invited but I am just accepting that it’s not meant to be.

My brother then called from the States where he is having a huge family Christmas with his son daughter and grandchildren. I asked a lot of questions of him and he knows absolutely nothing of what I have been dealing with this year as I haven’t opened up to him much as he is always too busy. Any time he calls it only every about financial things to do with Mum’s estate or properties. Anyway I told him I loved him at the end of the call, which I do. I stayed a short while longer with my sister and offered to help her collect her car from her home on Sunday. She can only have 4 days leave from the psyche facility and she is going to drive herself down and back to the coast alone.

Anyway I just felt a flood burst inside my chest on the drive home from the hospital. I was so grateful to be able to pour all my feelings out in two poems when I got home. I am well prepared to have this Christmas alone. Sadly I never got to build my own family and relationship outside of my family as the trauma here always pulled me back to them. It was on this day just 8 years ago I flew out and left my then partner on the other side of Australia to come home to be with my Mum and cousin visiting from Holland for the first time. I then ended up staying due to my eldest sister’s illness really disappointing him by doing so, so much so that he eventually broke it off.

I remember as I was packing up all of my things to leave our residence in Broome I could not stop crying and crying. I actually said to him “I feel I am making the biggest mistake of my life going back” and he told me that I didn’t have to make it. Never the less that day I flew out from Broome and that would be the last time we ever saw one another. The memories are here to day but I must say I am thankfully FREE OF THE PAIN. I grieved for the oh so painful ending of that relationship as well as for the lack of empathy he showed me so many times for so many years (always blaming myself). And the way back to connection for both of us was blocked by his anger at me leaving him alone, which is understandable. But that was the pattern for me. To either leave or try to be close to my family around Christmas.

I have been on my own for 8 years now and although its been lonely I am beginning to see that maybe its been the very best thing. I found my current therapist by being referred to her when my then therapist decided to take a month off over Christmas. The next January around the anniversary of my Dad’s death I was diagnosed with breast cancer and Kat saw me through the operation and the subsequent radiation which went on over a three month period at the beginning of 2016.

When I think of all I endured and the grief I have had to feel and shed I am just grateful that for all of those years I have not had to numb myself with any chemicals apart from a daily coffee and some ice cream at night. (Many of you know I got sober in AA on 6 December 1993 and I have not had to drink since then.) I actually started this blog on 28 December 2013 after a very painful sinus operation saw me all alone at home over the period with agonising pain (an operation which I now know was unnecessary as my blocked sinuses were all about grief and Complex PTSD).

I was encouraged to start blogging after sharing a poem on the last narcissistic relationship which she was kind enough to share on her blog. And without this blog I honestly do not know how I would have survived the death of my older sister the following year, nor the years of depression and anxiety and healing that have followed. All through each painful time my blog and my poetry has been my daily go to that has sustained me over the tough periods.

On the suicidal days or those I was totally immobilised and could not move much, shower or eat until say 3 pm it was there for me. And slowly too were amazing followers who shared their own experience and comments and love and support and by doing so made me feel that little bit less alone.

So at this time of year all of that gratitude is with me. I really need to express it. Christmas’s have attended very painful times of separation for me from that first Christmas where my father was taken into hospital in the very early hours of Christmas Day never to come out again. He died on the 8 January, 1985 and a month later I was sent overseas. One the first anniversary all alone in Switzerland I had my third termination of pregnancy all round that anniversary. These were painful lonely events which silently dogged later Christmas’s in recovery. But they are well and truly behind me.

And I don’t know if my family will ever fully embrace me and want to pull me into their embrace (at least my living sister’s family) how could they ever really know what I have been through and how pleased I would have felt to be included? My dead sister’s second eldest son’s wife did invite me North for Christmas and yesterday some gifts arrived in the post which just made me cry, I honestly wasn’t really up for the trip this year. I had hoped that Scott would be here by Christmas but the bank blocked the transfers so I wont be seeing him for quite some time, if at all.

Anyway this is my ghosts of Christmas past story. I sure everyone of you has one or more too. Even though I wrote in my poem Gone yesterday that I long to be untethered from this world of pain, to fly free to be with my loved ones who have passed over to the other side, I know its not the whole of the story. There is still something keeping me here. I was saved from two major accidents, the first by the skin of my teeth, the fact that I was not taken them and have not succumbed to many suicidal urges in years past means I must still have work to do here. I just need to keep keeping the faith to see where the next spin of the wheel carried me as I continue to tussle with the complex pulls and waves of living.

3 thoughts on “I awoke with a start : Ghosts of Christmas past

  1. I am so sorry that you find yourself alone this Christmas. It doesn’t seem fair after all the ways you have helped your sister that she didn’t invite you. I wish for you good things in 2019. Some new friends and some peace. I was alone on Thanksgiving but that is not the same. I got a Hungry Man frozen turkey dinner (it comes with all the traditional sides) and got some Christmas DVDs that I love and watched them all day. Perhaps you could think of some ways to be good to yourself on Christmas because you deserve it.

    1. We can always take care of ourselves cant we in this situation? Luckily a friend of the family contacted me last night to ask me to share a meal with her and her daughter so now I dont need to be alone (she heard I was going to be alone) Thank you so much for reaching out. Wishing you a peaceful Christmas 💖 Deborah

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