Monday, 3 December 2012

Christmas Flashbacks

What does December/Winter mean to you? 

This is a really hard post for me to write. December means painful memories and flashbacks full of grief for me. When I was 4 years old my little world came crashing down around me. My sense of safety, of consistency, of stability was all destroyed when my father fought his last physical fight with my mother, packed up his possessions and left us. He walked away from my mother and abandoned me and my sister. 

I didn’t understand what had I done? Was it something I said? How could I make him come back? It must have been because I wasn’t well behaved, because I talked too much, because I annoyed him, because I wasn’t the perfect child. 

My memories of the separation are patchy, but the emotions attached to them are real, and are important; really important. I was scared that my mother would leave me next or my sister. I turned from an out-going child to a needy and serious little girl within days. I carried a furrow on my brow and a lump in my throat, and somehow, Christmas just didn’t seem all that exciting anymore. 

As the years went by my father compensated for his lack of emotional attachment to me and the non-existent yet much needed expressions of love with sensational, expensive gifts. It was as if he was showing up my mother who just about managed to put food on the Christmas dinner table, and keep us excited about getting a token from Santa. He picked us up on Christmas morning and showered us with gifts our mother dreamed of giving us, but couldn’t because my father lied and cheated his way out of paying child support. 

I knew something wasn’t right, but I couldn’t articulate my emotions the way I can now. I should never have been used as the pawn in my parent’s war. It was not the way a child should have been treated. It affected me deeply and Christmas was always a constant yearly reminder of how other happy families and tight nuclear formulation contrasted sharply with my broken home where sadness reigned and fear propagated like rabbits. 

So December means difficult emotions for me. Sorry no Christmas cheer is this post, but I thought that writing a bit about my story might give you some insight into what went on for me so you can see that these things can be processed and that there are ways to overcome painful memories. 

1 comment:

  1. I completely relate, though for different reasons, to this time of year being steeped in memories and flashbacks and pain. A time when the world is together and joyous and living out the plots to disney happy endings and you feel more isolated, more dysfunctional and more alone with life and with your past. It has taken me over half my life but I am finally feeling a shift with this time of year. The memories, the flashbacks, the impact the air and smells this time of year has on me are there - but they hurt a little less and I am learning to take freedom from this in as much as is possible. We are all individuals and we change and grow and learn differently but there is hope and I believe always in healing, however long it may take, and whatever degree it may be achieved in - you will find a peace some day. I hope it is soon my love. Keep working as you are - you're on your way there xxx