The stress of the holidays is starting to sink in, and I just want December to be over with already.
As I sat and waited for the bus earlier today, all I could think about was how badly I wanted to smoke a cigarette. I haven’t picked up a cigarette in months. I miss the way it calms my nerves. I don’t miss the damage it does to my already damaged lungs.
I had my therapy session today. I was on edge because I will be missing the next few sessions due to the holiday and scheduling conflicts. I have never gone without therapy for that long since I’ve moved here, and I’m scared.
I shared some of my more recent Christmas experiences with my therapist, what my mother did and how she reacted. My mother turned everything around and made herself the victim and me the offender. My therapist called it gaslighting – a term I have heard before. At the time, it was difficult for me to see her behavior for what it was. Now, I understand it more clearly. It still angers me.
I’ve been having trouble with intrusive memories and flashbacks during the last few days. I think I inadvertently triggered myself with last week’s focus on gifts. It was a memory I never had before. I don’t even want to bring it up for fear of going through it again. I told my therapist the details of the memory and I could feel myself slipping a little. Even though on an intellectual level, I know that gifts aren’t meant to be taken back and aren’t meant to be a tool to use someone, there is still someone inside that is scared that it is going to happen again. My therapist said I wouldn’t have to worry about that happening anymore.
At this time, I was still on shaky ground and I started to lose focus on what my therapist was saying. All I could hear were the cries of a child asking if mommy was coming back and I started to lose it. My therapist could tell I was struggling to stay present and asked if it would be better to talk about my organization. I couldn’t even answer her right away. All I could say was “I can’t deal with this right now” and try to bury my head in my sweatshirt.
My therapist asked me what was going on and I told her what was happening inside. She walked me through explaining that we were safe now and that I was trying to protect everyone. I tried so hard not to break down and cry. I have a such a difficult time when it comes to the littles. I’m not good at being a parent. I’m not good at soothing younger parts because the whole concept is foreign to me. After a few minutes of my therapist trying to calm us down, the crying stopped and I was able to focus again.
I’m not looking forward to the next week. None of my parts are on the same page. Christmas is traumatic for some of us. Some of us don’t understand why we’re not home. Some of us are excited and want to do Christmas-y things. I just want to bury my head in the sand until Christmas is over.
I wish other people would understand why I am so back-and-forth about Christmas. I really just want to stay in my room the whole day and sleep. I don’t have a family now, and I don’t want to pretend to be someone else’s family. I don’t want to have any more flashbacks. I don’t want to fear checking the mail and finding a Christmas card from my family.
Christmas isn’t joyful for me. It’s terrifying.