Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Holiday Angst, Part 2

1985 was the worst Christmas ever. I can remember it vividly.

I was 18. My mother had passed away 2 years prior. My Dad had remarried (and boy was I pissed about that - but that deserves a post of its own). I had just spent my first semester at college - coming home with a report card full of F's and a body full of drugs and booze and a mind still full of unresolved anger and mourning.

But I couldn't go home. After the marriage, they chose to live at my step-mother's house. It was not in any way, shape, or form my home. And I truly wanted to go home.

The step-family's tradition was to go to the candlelight Christmas service at the Methodist Church. Just one more thing on my list of stuff that was taken away from me - I couldn't even go to MY church.

Not that I really wanted to go to church anyway. What I really wanted was something mind-numbing and illegal. And lots of it. At this point in my life, it took a lot of illegal substances to reach a point where the pain would subside to point that I felt like it wasn't going to suffocate me.

So I blew off the family thing. Of course, this meant that I had to see the hurt and disappointment in my father's eyes. Which just added to my pain and my need to numb it.

All of my friends were with their families. So the only thing I had to keep me company was a handful of pills, a bag of pot, and a fifth of vodka.

I took the pills, smoked a joint, and made a drink. And I drove around looking at all the homes decorated for Christmas.

All those houses seemed so happy. Cars filled the driveways. Every light in the house on. Laughter filling the rooms.

They mocked me. Mocked my pain. Mocked all the loss that I had suffered. All the pain that I was continuing to suffer.

I drove for hours - smoking and drinking all the while. I still just wanted to go home.

All the pills, all the pot, all the vodka - nothing numbed the pain on this night.

At about midnight, as people started to go to bed and turn off their lights. I decided that I would go home. To my house. The one I grew up in.

The power had been turned off since we had moved out. But the hidden key was still there. So I went in.

The house was totally dark. And cold. But everything was in place - all the furniture, the photographs on the walls. Everything was just as we left it. It was like the house was just waiting for us, waiting for us to come home.

So I wandered from room to room. Crying. Picturing happier times. Wishing everything would go back to the way it was that Christmas so many years before. Wanting my pain to end.

The last thing I remember before I finally passed out on my bed was how alone I was. My wall was complete.


Dirtbikes and Divas said...

I just want to give you a big old hug right now!! You hang in there and Thelma pick me up on your way to the Grand Canyon!



smiles4u said...

How painful for you. I can imagine how you must have felt. I can imagine the grief and anger and lonliness that you were feeling. Feeling like that really really sucks. I have plenty of memories of trying to numb my pain with drugs and alcohol and finding that no amount of either could numb the pain. As I read your story, all I wanted to do was hug that 18 year old girl. I am so sorry. My heart goes out to you and I am sending you a hug right now. ((((((HUG)))))))))

big hair envy said...

I can't even begin to imagine your anguish. Thank you for being willing to share this with us. I hope it helps to write it down.

My parents divorced when I was eight. The holidays were NEVER the same. My Norman Rockwell existence was shattered. Your story has made me realize that I should just be thankful that I have both of my parents. Sometimes I need to do a better job of putting things into perspective.


Life with Kaishon said...

This is breaking my heart! I came over because I was going to tell you that I saw your comment on Big Hair Envy's place about how your name was masculine. I thought you were a boy for a long time when I would see your comments and I didn't feel like being friends with a boy blogger : ). I am so glad I finally came over. Boy or Girl, your blog rocks! Praying!

Cool Breeze said...

Oh the days of mind-numbing drugs ...

Parents seemed to not think back then or something. It wasn't Ward and June Cleaver for a lot of us.

I'm sorry you had to go through the experiences. I hope they have made you better for it and I hope you have a good life now.

Anonymous said...

Oh Woody!!!! (((hugs)))

We think that in time those sad memories will leave. But, they don't, do they? They hide in a corner of your mind just waiting to pounce.'s an idea. Let's go get some booze, pot, and pills and pretend like it's 1985 again. Only, this time, we would have fun, probably get loaded, and most likely need bail money. But, hey....we'd have a blast first.

frogpondsrock said...

Thanks for writing and sharing that. I know that I felt the same way when I was about the same age and for similar reasons.. xxx Kim

Grandma J said...

How did I miss this post? Reading this, I just wanted to hug you, and take you home.

Some memories keep their sting.