Feeling the Gratitude…Mostly

This was taken on Thanksgiving day in 2006. It was an overcast and rainy day. I was looking down the road just out front of the house we used to live in.

I think I’ve gotten to the point that it is comfortable to just ignore the holidays…any holiday. Most of them were at one time spent with a family, a family I was born into. But I am feeling like I’m without family now and so since gathering with loved ones is the meaning of most holidays, the holidays have ceased to have much meaning anymore.

B and I were invited to his brother’s family’s celebration of Thanksgiving, as we’ve been every year now since I can remember. I can probably count them somewhat as family. This particular brother of B’s has a special place in my heart for reasons I won’t go into here. But I just wasn’t up for the crowd that I knew would be there.

When I turned down the invitation, which B relayed to me, I didn’t expect him to do the same. But he did and we spent the day as if it were any other day off for him. It was weird. It had a strange feel to it.

But as I sit here I realize I am grateful and have reasons to give thanks.

-I am grateful that I have a roof over my head…despite an inconsiderate neighbor. d
-I am grateful for a warm bed and food to eat.
-I am grateful for the support I do have from B, despite our difficulties and my complaints. He is the reason I’m not homeless.
-I am grateful that I am able to spend a quiet holiday alone if I so choose without anyone hounding me about how I should be somewhere I don’t want to be.
-I am grateful that I no longer need to ignore elephants in the room, just to keep the peace.
-I am grateful that I am no longer feeling the push to have superficial. meaningless relationships, with the people I was meant to be free to be vulnerable and authentic around.

So to be clear, I am not grateful that I no longer have a family, but I am grateful that I am free from the role of family scapegoat and doormat. I am grateful that I am not being told how selfish and sensitive I am.  I do wish it could be different but if it’s between being ambushed and bullied or having peace, I choose peace.  And I am grateful for some semblance of peace.

Happy (bittersweet) Thanksgiving.

This one was taken the same day as the one above, Thanksgiving 2006 (BC: before consciousness). It was such a dark day, which depicts what the holidays have felt like for me in the last few years.

 

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12 thoughts on “Feeling the Gratitude…Mostly

  1. So understand. I hate holidays also. The meaning of thankfulness and celebrating the birth of Jesus is where I have to look. Anywhere else and I become alone within a crowd and alone within me. I cannot shake the past no matter how hard I try. It’s engraved in my heart forever. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So familiar with “alone within a crowd” feeling. We’ve been acquainted since childhood.

    I’m curious, do you listen to any of the “coaches” who talk about this type of abuse, like on Youtube and other platforms.

    I’m using the word coaches for a lack of a better word.

    Some people who helped me feel less alone:
    People, like Richard Grannon, Dana Morningstar, Melanie Tonia Evans, Lisa Romano.

    Dana has a live stream every week on her YT channel for like 3 to 4 hours. You can access it though afterward. Lisa had an abusive childhood and has some good videos too.

    Like

  3. Thank you for your response. I haven’t listened to any of those mentioned that helped you feel less alone but will. I’m surrounded by people right now and have never felt more alone.
    Blessings…

    Like

  4. Gratitude is such a mixed bag for survivors. We’re grateful to be safe and fed and housed but it also feels a bit like a rip-off. That’s not ingratitude; acceptance means accepting the loss of who we might have been had we not been abused and that’s not always easy, especially during the holidays.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I used to spend a lot of time asking who I would’ve been had my parents been more caring and nurturing. It’s difficult to accept that I’ll never know.

    Acceptance is tricky for me though. I need to be careful that it’s not actually apathy that I’m feeling.

    I agree, that it feels like a rip-off. There is so much more to life than simply being housed and fed. But the learned helplessness seems to block all the adventure that could be out there for me.

    Thanks for the comment. It has provoked (in a good way) some thoughts.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This is so well written. Very evocative. And your thanksgiving pictures , all those cars parked impossibly close, the homey neighborhood, the bleak day — again, very evocative. You are a talented photographer.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Shout out | NOT MY SECRET…overcoming the shame of sexual abuse

  8. Pingback: I See No Progress | Sleeping Tiger

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