Update: The Christmas Blues

The Blues


I recently wrote a blog about how I was feelin’ a bit bluesy in London town.

This was, to be honest, difficult for me to write, as I felt I was potentially disappointing interested parties and circumventing the unspoken rules that govern what you post on Facebook and what you tell your family. In my case, this blog marks a weird intersection of it all.

I guess I don’t really know who reads this, but I assume if you do, you’re interested, so kia ora!

I also recognise the need to maintain a certain level of decorum, in case of potential-employer google enquiries, and the fact that I might not want every single one of my Facebook friends to read my innermost rantings. Weird how it’s easier to share with strangers right? Oh no, wait, that’s a core tennet therapy. It all makes sense now.

Anyways, the point is that I have really pushed myself to put myself out there with this blog, but there are certain posts that make me feel extremely exposed, in a good and challenging and fucking scary way,

Telling you all that I was feeling a bit bluesy coming up to Christmas was definitely one of these times. Being brought up with ‘crazy’ therapist types has makes me probably more open than most with my innermost workings. But I have never completely dropped the need – instilled as a young child with a young mother cut off from her family and screwed over by a douche-bag – to protect my mother’s feelings from my feelings.

Mother, I know you know it’s hard for me to say this, and I know you admire me for being out there, here, with it all, which is endlessly encouraging. And I love you for letting me be and share, which is extremely brave in your own right because I know I expose you as well.

But I felt that it was important to share, because I knew I could not be the only one.

I have people who think Christmas is a magical time of twinkly winky lights and fairy tales and endless receiving and eating… who are suddenly without the things or people that have always made this time great for them.

I have people who remember beautiful holiday seasons who now have absolutely not-amicable divides down family lines and have to wade through the political mires rife with bombs of the stubborn indignation of ‘I am suffering most’.

I have people who worry because their peace-keeping talents are not there: they can’t drink the wine so that Uncle Bob doesn’t have it all, protect cousin Jeff from being forced ‘out’ before he’s ready, shield Aunty Susan from the constant queries about her marital status.

I have people who have lost their people, whether this year, so that it is their first Christmas without them, or long ago, so that the ache passes unacknowledged by others every -eve.

How do you tell your excited workmates ‘my brother died this time last year’ or ‘I can’t go to my family for Christmas because they accept my abuser and not me’ or ‘my family won’t accept my [other culture/ethnicity or same sex] partner?

How do you say you can’t forget the Christmas you were taken away from your family in the middle of Christmas lunch and no one stopped it? How do you forget the Christmas you wrapped your own presents, thinking they were someone else’s, only to realise as you opened them? How do you forget the time you weren’t allowed to call your Mum coz it wasn’t Her Christmas?

I really don’t mean to be all doom and gloom (although I have written some slightly dark Christmas Haikus tonight (yeah, haikus and Christmas totally go, what’s your problem?), and in real life I’m not completely anti-festivus. But this is Christmas away from home. This is Christmas away from family. This is Christmas in London.

It’s a crazy mixed bag. And as much as the holiday season has been an aside to me before, it seems to have become a bigger issue away from home.

More than anything, I want to acknowledge the people who’ve contacted me since my last blog post. As much as I’d love you to get amongst the community and comment on my blog and relate to other people who feel as you do, I’m so honoured that you’ve been inspired/provoked/moved by my ramblings and got in touch with me somehow.

It is so extremely gratifying to know that I am not ‘the only one’, but I will also never call out someone who doesn’t want to go public, so I just want anyone who didn’t know it already to know that I’m here, and so are a whole lotta freaking awesome thoughtful intelligent kind wicked-cool awesome-sauce folks.

You people are so much more valuable to me than a sparkly tree with disposables underneath that I don’t quite know how to express it. But I will do my best to be the best and brightest I can be this year, because that’s the most I can offer to those far away. I will lead by example, and I will go out into the world, and I will find some way to reconcile my NZ self against my kiwi-in-London self. And those two selfs will be friends and make friends and break boundaries and hold hands and hope.

I would say ‘Merry Freaking Christmas’ but I’ve rather a feeling that there will be a good few posts before Christmas, so Merry freaking the-world-didn’t-end instead!


7 thoughts on “Update: The Christmas Blues

  1. jo mckenzie

    I can feel the feelings as you write, its powerful and poignant…I imagine Christmas’s past are so evoked when you’re away from (and therefore not distracted by) the busy and in your bones familiarity of whatever you’re doing…those early christmases weren’t great, were they bub! We got it better later on, but when you’re little, it needs to be magical and special. You’re right, I like the clunk of self awareness as you realise it is easier to tell stuff to strangers, and the impartiality somehow of the therapy space, even if its a longstanding relationship it is by its very nature private. You’re brave, And I’m brave. We’re brave. I love you. You’ve turned out very “gestalt” in spite of yourself. Mwah!

    1. shapelle Post author

      Ahhh dammit I keep writing about Christmas and forgetting to link to that – it’s the very thing that made me think about it, and a very cool idea. Don’t worry, I feel like there will be more Christmas posts a-coming before Santa does, so I’ll slip it in there.

  2. Anonymous

    I remember Xmas started to disappoint me somewhere in adolescence when It was Mum and me rather than this big family and a gigantic turkey and singing songs around a piano! Oh is that an American dream I was brought up on? Damn! Longer was my wish that New Year would be magical and the chime ot midnight would actually bring on a new and exciting future for me. Actually I still feel a bit like that about New Years, and nearly always see the New Year in with feelings of hope. I think you can appreciate even the blues at Xmas Shar and that is what I admire about you, go on and be honest in your blogs it’s inspiring!

  3. Pingback: Nothing says Christmas like ‘haiku’ | 1in12million

  4. Pingback: I’m (still) dreaming of a white christmas… | 1in12million

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