I hate Christmas. Here is why.
Most of us - well, all of us, probably - have things in our past that hurt. Sometimes these things seem meaningless at the time, or maybe sting a little, and it isn't until years and years - decades, even - go by that we realize the damage that was done.
For me, that damage centers around Christmas.
The damage didn't occur during Christmas though. See, when I was a little kid, my aunt would come over nearly every evening and play cribbage with my mom. I was not allowed to be around them. In fact, every memory of my childhood is of being alone, because my brothers were too young to be any fun and my parents just wanted me out of their hair. Every time I approached my mom with a need, I was told to go away. Often, the need was just for human companionship. I don't remember many hugs as a child. There were certainly no cuddles or hair tousles or even high fives.
This was especially true, however, in the evening, when my aunt and my mom played cribbage. My brothers, who are five and ten years younger than me, would go off and play with my cousin, who is two years younger than me. All three boys would hide out in my brothers' room, and I would have to amuse myself.
I don't remember the particular event that started the thing that wounded me, but I know it probably went something like this: I was in my room alone, because I was not allowed out with the adults. I was feeling sad. I went to my mom to relieve the loneliness, and I was shunned. I cried. I was mocked. (Mockery was big in my family.) I got mad. I yelled.
And then, they started The Song.
The Song haunts me. The Song hurts my soul to this very day, each time I think of it, and Lordy be, wouldn't you know it's a Christmas song.
They did it in jest, but it was cruel. I can't understand why they did it - why they did any of the things they did, really - because, as a mother, I would never do it my own children. I might holler at my children, and curse at something they did ("Cat food in my fucking shoes? Again? Really!?") but I would never, ever, as long as I live, do to them what was done to me.
The Song is sung to the tune of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch." And it goes like this:
"You're a mean one, you're a bitch
An awful, wretched child!
You're as nasty as a polecat,
You're wicked, mean, and vile
You're a bitch!"
My maiden name rhymes with "click" and they'd work that in there too, and then say something about me behaving just like my piece of shit father.
Every time I approached them, it was the same thing. They'd look at each other and pause, and then laugh this horrible, cruel laugh, and sing The Song. And I would get mad and cry, and they'd sing it louder. "See! She really is a bitch!" [Never mind that I was nine years old...]
It wasn't just a yuletide thing; they'd sing it every time I came out of my room. And it went on for years and years, until, a month after I turned eighteen, I moved out.
And I'll never forget that day. It was raining, and my mom had a trailer with all my stuff on it, parked in front of my building. But there had been a mix-up, and I couldn't get the key for several more hours. It was entirely out of my hands, but she blamed it on me, and as I stood there crying in the pouring rain, she dumped all my things on the front lawn of the apartment complex and drove away.
"The Grinch" seems like it's such a great thing for so many people. It seems like everyone is so eager for ABC to air it each year, alongside Charlie Brown and that stop-motion Rudolph film, to pass the tradition to the next generation.
My kids watched it this year, and I tried to watch it with them, but I couldn't. It hurt too much, brought back those lonely memories of nights spent alone, in confinement. Reminded me of being hurt by the ones who should have loved me the most.
My mom says she doesn't remember it. But I think she does. I hope she does. Her convenient amnesia only makes it hurt worse, like I don't even deserve an apology for all of that.
I'm not even worth an apology.
My Mom Body (aaay_macaroni)
1 week ago