Thursday, November 24, 2011

Crap, the holidays are here

It's been six months since something triggered my ACOA issues and today was another trigger. Like the words dinnertime, or 6pm, or Friday night, or seeing car lights through the window late at night, or loud voices, these tiny triggers come at me out of the blue. The only way I know how to deal with this is write about it, so here goes, you can read if you want to or just move on to a more fun place. It was the smallest thing. We had a nice Thanksgiving meal with Gerry's family. He has a great family, although I am an only child from a pretty f'd up family, so I always feel out of place with them, I always feel like I am standing outside looking in the window at them instead of actually being in the room and participating. I spent a good part of the day trying to recall Thanksgiving as a kid, and cannot for the life of me recall one. I remember them after my dad died. My mom didn't cook, she lived in Myrtle Beach and we would go to a local hotel that was doing a buffet. It sucked, I hated the whole thing, so I started having Thanksgiving at our house. I stayed very busy, passed out at night from all the work and never had time to think. This year Gerry's dad wanted to have us over to their house. That gave me a three hour ride there and back to think. Bad, bad, bad. We were talking about memories that traumatize kids, why on earth did we have to go there. And then like a tsunami it came at me. Holiday childhood memories for me are the worst. The unpredictability, the not knowing if dinner would be ruined, if Christmas would be ruined, would there be yelling, would my dad even come home...... all of that bottled up anxiety from childhood floods in with a wave of nausea and a lump in my throat that won't go away and there I sit while everyone is having a perfectly normal time, with all of this shit flooding at me. It's horrible and there is no way I can explain what I'm going through. You only understand it if you have been there. This never goes away. I live with the symptoms of ACOA every day, have to deal with things I learned as a child for coping that I don't really need now, but they won't go away. But the holidays are the very worst. They trigger memories so strongly and it always baffles me that I can't remember things like a Thanksgiving with my parents or what I did in fourth grade (I can't remember one single day of that year, but I do recall third grade and fifth grade, wtf?)
I have Wesley home and I feel like I am scratching and clawing to keep from falling down into that abyss where I go sometimes. So I stayed up after everyone went to bed, to write this, get it out of my system, so that tomorrow I can be happy and go sell some pottery without running off customers with my gloom and I can be a good mom, so that my daughter will remember Thanksgiving and not have some fucked up coping mechanism to have to deal with when she is my age! I just want to go to bed, pull the quilts over my head and get up on New Years day. I love New Year's day, but man, you can have Thanksgiving and Christmas, it's just tooooo much!
This is quite a forlorn post, I know, when everyone is giving thanks and loving their brothers and sisters and families and nearly comatose from the meals they had. But it wasn't that great for me, I was just an unamused observer at another families meal with my own demons pestering me. I'll be fine, I have so much to be thankful for, I have a great family and tomorrow will be fun at the CDCG show. However, I did have butterflies all day on Wednesday setting up. I just don't know how this will go. I know I don't have enough work, but it is the best work I have and I was really proud of it once it was all set up in my booth. I only hope the people that were not there yet to set up on either side of me don't knock my stuff over while they set up. This happened earlier in the day before I was set up. Half the pipe and drape aisle came down. I left my booth set up so if I go in tomorrow and things have been smashed, I'm just getting in my car and coming home! What an emotional week. Do other people go through this, or am I the only one possessed here ?!??!!
peace ya'll, come see me this weekend if you are around!!!!!!


Dennis Allen said...

Good luck at getting through this time.lots of love from a successful show should help.

Tracey Broome said...

Thanks Dennis! It's all good this morning, I just have my moments :)
Let's hope it is a successful show, I'm envisioning shoppers pepper spraying each other to get to my booth haha!

cookingwithgas said...

Tracey- there are reasons I liked traveling yesterday and then having T-day with just Mark.
The kids both go off with their spouses and that is fine with me.
I do love my family but there are times that my need to step out of the holidays overcome me as well.
I am sending you loads of hugs, love and a shinning star of luck for you big week-end.

smartcat said...

Hey...sometimes the magic works, sometimes it doesn't. I'm sure you have your own times that are meaningful.

Good luck with the show......sell lots of pots. ;-D

Tracey Broome said...

Thanks Meredith, I was thinking about you yesterday :)
Yep, we have magic moments, just not with past memories :)

Michèle Hastings said...

too much energy is put on the holidays to be such fun and wonderful times, when in reality they are stressful. this year we are not going back to NE for the holidays, it's too hard to see everyone and make everyone happy. i will miss seeing Danielle but would rather go spend the weekend with her in CT when it's not a crazy time of year.
it sounds like your own little family has made it's own wonderful memories that Wesley will always carry with her.

Tracey Broome said...

Michele, I agree. I think we are going to skip all the family stuff for Christmas and just the three of us do something great! xoxo

Patricia Griffin said...

Hey Tracey... Meetings? I know it doesn't work for everyone, but - in my experience - an ongoing connection with Alanon, etc., really is a life-changer. Early on, I tried to get it through books, which were helpful, but only superficially. The work you do in a group setting with sponsorship, etc., is like filling up a bucket a drop at a time (slowly) until you one day you realize that you've changed from the inside out. Been at this for 27 years... My kid is 26... Am so grateful today for all of it.


I have a whole slew of thanksgiving/family/growing up and current issues with these people. I ,too,am married to a guy who has a great family and it is SO hard at times. Like Eminem said in the song i was listening to today sometimes "the demons are doing jumping jacks" but I have a great family with mu husband and some people are "limitted"...that said, I will write a book or create a 2 person show illustrating the last 25 years of me meeting with a therapist to prep to deal with thanksgiving. The therapists have been varied...the issues are similar but different..I AM STILL HERE...and so are you. You are awesome.

Tracey Broome said...

Hey girls, I tried the meeting thing years ago, but hated it. Writing it down gets it over with and then I get your wonderful comments. This is sooo much better for me! haha

Amy said...

Tracey-- the holidays or life for that matter, isn't easy and joyous for all... and reality is not how it's always portrayed out there. hang in there! i'm with family in PA otherwise, I'd love to come visit. still hope to meet you sometime. I finally put up a blog post after a long time away from clay. It's not been easy! peace-

yolande clark said...

Tracey, I really get the Holiday anxiety/stress/forlorn. I end up getting majorly agitated, because of course, thanksgiving and xmas for my kids *must* be perfect, magical, non-angry, etc. It's a minefield out there. I'm SO glad your show went well, though. Excellent.