Does anyone else find Christmas difficult?

by on December 25, 2010

in Stories

It’s Boxing Day and, as I’ve done for many years now, I have just managed to ‘get through’ another Christmas. All around everyone seems to be moaning about being stuck with the family having no idea what it’s like to be, as it were, standing outside in the snow and cold looking through the window at family life. I was born just after the war at a time when women obtained their only status by becoming a wife and mother.

My mother had to wait six years before I came along and, whilst I now appreciate how difficult that must have been for her, I have always felt that my only reason for being alive is to give my mother the status of ‘mother’. She rarely praised me (though she was never unkind) because she was so scared I’d be seen as a ‘spoilt only’. This was all about her being seen as a bad mother not about me being loved by others. So the comments on your noticeboard about being spoilt really struck a chord.

The other thing I noticed was the number of people who commented how difficult it is to make relationships when you haven’t been able to experience the normal ‘cut and throat’ atmosphere of siblings and arguments. I think people with siblings take it for granted they can be absolutely obnoxious but will still have a ‘family’ to accept them. My mother was so scared about ‘what will people think’ that the least lack of encouragement (mainly perceived by me rather than real) has made me run from people and assume they hate me because I’m not perfect.

Consequently I don’t even have a family of my own and every Christmas brings this home a bit more. I do make an effort to be positive about life, I’m just using this site to be particularly introspective.

  • guest

    I, too, loathe the holiday season. I live in the US and we have Thanksgiving, Xmas, and New Year’s crammed into a 35 day period. I am an only, as were both of my now deceased parents. No aunts, uncles, or first cousins. When your closest relatives are 3rd and 4th cousins you don’t get invited to family functions as crowd control and expense become issues. Social friends and associates are all busy with their families and just don’t have room for an “extra”. When I find myself between relationships this time of year, I spend these holidays alone, taking long drives or walking the beach.

  • Guest

    I completely
    understand and agree with everything you said!

    My parents
    divorced before I can remember (before giving me a sibling) and my mother died
    when I was 18. So I’ve spent twenty Christmases “alone”. Once or twice I thought
    I might spend time with a boyfriend, they would disappear off to their families
    without me.To me, that’s a dumpable offence!

    So now, I like
    to alternate visiting friends or extended family. Not all families are huge and
    some are glad of the extra stimulation a new body at the table can bring. It does
    slightly anger me that people complain that obliged to spend the holiday season
    with People Who Love Them – how ungrateful! – but not all families are all that
    happy either.

    I do allow
    myself a few minutes of self-pity but on the whole I love the freedom. I’ve had
    some great holidays abroad as well as some “orphan Christmases” in pubs with
    friends. Sometimes I really just love to spend the whole week or two alone in
    front of old musicals while I recover from a year’s work. It doesn’t always
    work out, but every year is a new challenge. 

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