Last night, which was Christmas Eve for those reading in the future, I stayed home and watched television by myself. I watched the last episode of Wheel of Time and then watched Christmas Vacation. I had planned on being alone, and thought I’d prepared myself for it, but it was still a little rough. I cried a few times, but not because she wasn’t here. I cried because I didn’t want to be here. I just wanted to go back to the mountains. I went to bed a little early, because I didn’t want to be awake with those thoughts anymore. I was tired of crying.
Today is the first time in my life, on Christmas Day, that I’ve been alone. I woke up pretty early, went to Waffle House for a waffle and left a hefty tip (which is kind of a Christmas tradition for me) then came home and went back to sleep for an hour. I was going to go to the lake house today, but just didn’t want to be around my mother, around her questions and judgement, today. It’s not judgement about me that I don’t want. I decided earlier this year I don’t care what she thinks about me. But she’s angry at my wife… and it bothers me. It angers me. While I might admit that it’s not ENTIRELY my fault, I’d still say maybe 98% of it is on me. More importantly, I’ve expressly told her that her anger is misplaced, and I didn’t want to hear it. Yet she still carries on. So I stayed home.
Now I’m sitting on Discord with a bunch of new friends, watching a James Bond movie together. I’m technically still alone in this house… but not as alone as if I wasn’t chatting online with friends. We’ll probably play some Helldivers after the movie and laugh about how terrible I am at it. Then I’ll forage up something for dinner, which will most likely be Skittles and homemade cake pops that a wonderful friend gave me. Then maybe I’ll talk with that friend for a bit and go to bed after, and tomorrow I’ll go to the lake.
I still hate Christmas. Last night was bad. Today, though, is actually turning out to be not so terrible. I’m not saying I don’t hurt today, but I’m saying the hurt is manageable. Last night’s hurt was manageable. I’m learning how to accept the hurt, the full brunt of it, and not lose my shit. That’s something. That’s progress. That’s a measurable change. If I can manage the full force of hurt, it means that I take another step forward on this journey. At the end of this journey, I know that love will be waiting for me. Unrestrained love. I’ll probably never marry again, but I don’t need a piece of paper to give me permission to love fully. Love is waiting for me, and I’m on my way towards it.