Divorce, Grief, Holidays

December, why oh why do you hate me so much?

Oh December, why do you hate me so much? Thirty years ago you decided that December 20th would be a great day for my 39 year old mother to die, leaving a 12 year old pre-pubescent seventh grader with buck teeth and a mullet left to figure out life on her own.  Fast forward 29 years and you decide that December 27th would be a fantastic time for my husband’s mistress to call me to let me know about their year and a half long affair. Why, why must you hurt me so?

I have hated the holidays ever since that fateful December day in 1985, when my family decided that even though my 39 year old mother’s funeral was on December 23rd we should move on like business as usual and celebrate Christmas Eve as we had in years pass by eating an amazing meal my Aunt would cook and all the adults would drink too much while all of us kids waiting eagerly for the large sum of money waiting for us in a card from our generous Aunt. I remember that particular Christmas Eve as if I was watching it from a dream. I was 12 years old, and my life as I had known had been turned upside down.  Everyone was acting as if nothing had happened even though just the day before they had attended my mom, their Aunt’s, their daughter’s, their wife’s funeral. But, that’s pretty typical of my family and so many others. If you don’t talk about your hurt/anger/frustration it’ll magically go away. Isn’t that how it works? Not so much.

It’s three days before Christmas and I’m STILL waiting to get into the Christmas spirit. But, having a six year old little girl who loves this time of year means that I need to suck it up and put on my happy face. I am so grateful that in the first holiday season since my divorce I get to spend it with my daughter. I am not sure how I would have survived this holiday alone. But, I don’t know how I’m going to survive next year, or the next. It seems that no matter how great my life is, as soon as December hits all I want to do is lay in bed, pull the covers over my head and not get out until January 1st. EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR.  I have self-diagnosed myself as having PTSD. I believe that as soon as December hits I morph into a confused, naïve, shy twelve year old girl who’s life is about to change the course forever.

I feel guilty when so many people are gushing and shouting from the rooftop how magical this holiday season is. I feel like a scrooge and I want to tell these people to fuck off. I can’t even muster up the energy to listen to Christmas songs in my car. I bit the bullet one day while my daughter and I were in the car and I asked her if she wanted to listen to any Christmas songs and by the grace of God she didn’t want to.

Whew, got out of that one.

What’s strange is that as miserable as I have felt all month, on the actual anniversary of my mother’s passing, I didn’t feel anything. Nothing! And this was the 30th year she has not been in my life. Isn’t that weird?

I  guess the beauty of life is that in order to truly enjoy the good moments, we need the bad in order to feel true happiness and be grateful for those amazing moments.  As I have come to realize life is a roller coaster. And when push comes to shove, I’ll take the bad because I know how good the good can be.

Divorce, Holidays

Here’s what my REAL and Honest Christmas letter would say

My girlfriend and I were chatting about Christmas cards, and I made a comment about how it would be so funny if with along with my Christmas card I include one of those letters that some people do to highlight what has been going on the past year. You know it’s usually all fun and fluff, “John got a promotion, and I started teaching yoga part time to get me out of the house while the kids are at school. Speaking of kids, Johnny got straight A’s all year!!! Molly made the varsity cheerleading squad.”

You get where I’m going. These letters are similar to most people’s Facebook pages. Only the good stuff gets shared.

Here is my REAL Christmas letter.

Hello Friends and Family,

Boy, I can’t believe 2015 is almost over. What a year it’s been! Where to start… Last year on December 27th, I got a call from Brad’s mistress whom he’d been having a year and a half long affair with. Ya, to say I was shocked was a bit of an understatement. I got to meet this gal in person because apparently a phone call wasn’t enough, so she had to come to my house as well. She knew right where we lived since she would come over a couple times a week while I was at work and do what people do when they’re having an affair.

They met on the married dating site ashlemadison.com. I’m sure you’ve heard of this website as they were everywhere on the news because their database had gotten hacked and most of the member’s names were getting revealed. Who knows, maybe you’ll get a couple more letters like mine next year.

On a positive note, we got an offer on our house one week after putting it on the market. I was very relieved because Brad and I lived in the same house for the month of January until I finally found a place to live. Separate bedrooms of course. No tension in that house or anything. He did spend a couple weekends at his new girlfriend’s house during this time which was a nice and well needed break from him.

A couple days after I found out about the affair my friend took Anna out to dinner so Brad and I could discuss the division of our possessions. Things got a little heated, I slapped him, he called the cops and I got arrested and had to spend the night in the slammer. Thank goodness Brad didn’t press charges. What a sweetheart!

Oh, and during this time I had started a new position at my company which was 3 pay grades higher than my previous job. This job was more demanding and important people within my company would now have their eyes on me. I’m not sure if you’ve ever trained for a new job on a diet of  bananas and wine, but I can attest it’s not a good idea.  Somehow I managed to survive and I still have my job. Whew!

I filed for divorce about a week after I found out about Brad’s affair. After I filed for divorce Brad tried to accuse me of being an unfit mother and was also trying to get shared custody of Anna so he wouldn’t have to pay as much child support. Again, what a sweetheart. We finally got everything ironed out and we were divorced on April 24th, 2015. What a great day that was! I went back to my maiden name and couldn’t be happier to start my new life.

On the bright side, Anna and I moved to a beautiful neighborhood with really nice neighbors and a lot of kids.

And yes, Brad is still with his Ashley Madison babe. Boy, are they a pair. Anna was not allowed to be around her for the first 6 months after divorce was final because she is such a nut. Brad sure does love her though. I’m sure a wedding announcement should be fast coming.

2015 sure was quite the year! I’m hoping next year is a bit calmer and not as dramatic. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Cheers to 2016!