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Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Five Christmas Past

Not my family

Jan posted this Friday Five:

1. I started talking about my childhood Christmas in a previous post. I had a drunk father who got drunker at Christmas-what a good time!- and an angry non-drunk mother who worked harder at this season. This goaded my father who wanted a stay-at-home wife to have his dinner on the table. This made for a highly anxious little Joanna.

2. Meanwhile I was in a private Catholic School where I sang in the choir, and all things Christmas was good. Talk about a mixed message. I had nobody to talk about re: this.

3. For a long time when I came to NY I had a house in the country-Orient Point, LI and we had a lot of fun at Christmas, including a lot guessed it, drinking. We also gathered oysters wearing tall rubber boots in the cold. A good memory.

4. I've finally started talking about this part of my childhood and my therapist calls it Trauma. I'm reading Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman . I read a few pages and cry, repeat.

5. Now my holidays are mixed holidays are Hanukah and Christmas as my beloved is Jewish. This sometimes works well.


Mary Beth said...

Oh, my heart weeps for little Christmas and every other day. Praying for you in this work.

angela said...

You really did need someone to talk to back then. Isn't it weird the way the message comes across that you aren't to talk about your toxic family to anybody? So we are left to look like we are living a 'normal' life but what is normal for us is just wrong and until you start your own traditions it is not discussed.

Auntie Knickers said...

I'm sorry that you have some of those bad memories, but happy that your holidays are better now, and I think you're doing the right things to improve them and all your life to come.

Robin said...

Yeah, those Christmases where the outside world says one thing and the world at home another.

Terri said...

I had so much craziness in my family of origin - but oddly it did not play out around Christmas...but in all those other ways I understand the experience of inner/outer world and the ongoing struggle.

also, I will be in NYC from Feb. 19-26. I will be busy with the UN Commission on the Status of Women, and do not know, yet, what hotel I'm staying in - BUT I'll let you know. It would be wonderful to meet for a cup of coffee!

Jan said...

I'm sorry about the difficult Christmases. My dad had a similar story to yours and never liked Christmas at all, while my mother did. Odd struggle about that. Yours were much more difficult. I am glad that you and Beloved have shared traditions. I like how you ended:"This sometimes works well." "Sometimes" is right!

Muthah+ said...

PC, we have similar histories. I too don't want to remember the secular Christmases but it was the Church that finally redeemed Christmas for me.

I love that you and your partner have found a way to celebrate your holy days in a meaningful and loving way. J and I have too. It isn't a post card way, but it works for us. Mazel Tov and Feliz Navidad, and whatever works. ;-D

river song said...

mixed experiences and mixed emotions, beautifully expressed. I love your #5!