Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I'm not really alone.

I was not looking forward to the holidays this year (but since my marriage fell apart at Christmas, when have I looked forward to them?) Christmas is hard when you’re alone. Sure I can suck it up the rest of the year, and pretend that I’m ok being alone. Sure I can pretty much ignore the fact that everyone in my family has someone, except me. I usually don’t see them as couples; I see them as my family, one large whole.

Christmas is different. I know that at the end of the day, after all our presents are opened, the food has been eaten, our bellies are stuffed and we’re all delightfully miserable, and the kids are ready to go home to bed, everyone else in my family will go home and get to kiss their honey ‘Merry Christmas’. I’ll go home tuck the kids into bed, haul the loot in from the car, drop exhausted on my couch, and there will be nobody there for me to share a Christmas kiss, holiday hug, or a knowing I really love you smile with a twinkle in his eye.

That’s the hardest. Yes, I know that alone is so much better than being in a dead-end, no-good, destructive, unhappy, unhealthy relationship with the wrong person. But that logic does little to ease the loneliness I feel this time of year. It’s small comfort when everyone around me has a honey to kiss on Christmas eve, or at the stroke of midnight New Year’s Day.

I should be focusing on where I’m not this year, instead of where I am. I am not in an abusive relationship. I am not living in fear for my life. I am not living in fear of losing my children, not because he wanted them, but because he wanted to keep them from me.

This year is different now. This year, I have a secret, a two-week secret, only a handful of people know. While I’ll still be alone for the holidays on the outside, on the inside I’ll know I’m not. Which makes these holidays just a little bit sweeter.

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