My Christmas has been pretty dull for… decades. It is scary to say decades, because it makes me realise I’m turning 30 in a couple of months. As a sensitive kid I learned early that some families are tricky, or at least mine is. I became aware that people in my family would smile to each other but also dissipate a passive-aggressive comment whenever they could get a chance to. Just like a sponge, I would absorb not only the comment but also the invisible threads of hard feelings.
Before I moved abroad, the usual deal was to spend Christmas eve and Christmas’ lunch at my grandparents. My mother’s sisters and their families would gather there too. My mother was never happy during those gatherings and I could feel all her negative emotions. I took them as mine because at that time I didn’t know I had this ‘skill’ of absorbing people’s feelings, and a little kid can’t hold that amount of unhappiness and bitterness. After I turned 18, I promised myself many times that “next Christmas would be different”, that I would swap that soul destroying experience for a night out with homeless people. The courage to trade the pain for the unknown never came though as I would always feel hopeful that maybe this time things would be different.
When I left the country, my mother made the decision of never being present for another Christmas’ lunch at my grandmother’s. She set the deal to only be there on Christmas eve, which basically includes having dinner and returning home by 9pm. Dinner and lunch were dull anyway, but my mother’s decision forced me and my brother to choose between two dull options: reject my mother’s decision and have lunch with our remaining family or stay with my mother and have no Christmas lunch experience, because that’s what has happened since and that’s what happened again this year (we ended up in a restaurant for lunch… and same for dinner).
Maybe it is childish of me to be sad about this. I’m sure there are many people who would like to be in my shoes. On Christmas eve I had a warm bed to sleep in, my belly was full of food and sweets, but I was emotionally starving. I’m a dreamer and I dream of a cozy Christmas. I’m glad I don’t even spend time on Facebook anymore because I would be exposed to happy families around a table and it would have been even more difficult to control my emotions. Look what I’m saying – I try to control them because I know if I don’t I will be forced to think things through and I will sit down crying over it. I don’t see the point of crying over it anymore but I still can’t avoid being sad and feel a tad heartbroken.
While I was trying to shut down and detach from these feelings, someone called and said he had written me a poem. My eyes are teary from rewinding it in my head now, but I have to first tell you the stupidest thing I did. I didn’t know what the poem would exactly say but I knew for sure I wouldn’t be able to keep the call without crying. And I didn’t want to cry because I didn’t want to explain myself and let my Christmas drama screw what was light and beautiful. Therefore, I asked him if he could hold the poem for a while. There was this incredible, talented, strong, handsome, sensitive, soulful and intelligent man on the other side telling he had written me a poem as a gift and I told him to w-a-i-t. So clumsily me.
You might well be asking what happened since my last post on relationships but to be honest I have been holding myself back and I have avoided writing about this Poet from another kingdom here. One of the main reasons I haven’t done it earlier is because I’m scared to be happy. I’m afraid to trust that the universe does want me to happy and whether it is my time to be happy. Did I heal enough? Am I ready? Do I finally know how to keep my own identity in a relationship? Or am I going to lose myself again? Have I learned what I need to learn about loving myself?
Over the past two years I have been documenting my love journey here. Every time I tried to move forward and felt happy after my long-term breakup, I saw myself dealing first with emotionally unavailable men, then with narcissistic abuse, and finally with the search for a man I didn’t know it would actually exist. Now that this man showed up, I’m scared to give in and I often find myself unable to say what my heart knows: he is my very special wish come true and his poem the best Christmas present ever. Yes, I manned up at some point and he bravely read me his heart. I melted into the chair afterwards and the heavy locks I carry in my heart have been slowly loosing up since then, letting the truth come out and the sunshine in.