I. Don't. Like. The. Holiday. Season.
There, I said it. I'm a grumpy beast this time of year, partly because I'm stressed-- it's almost time for final exams-- and partly because I just hate the holiday season. The stressing over exams part is pretty easy to figure out, and it's pretty normal, I think.
The rest of it-- the hating the season-- goes deeper. I don't have a family, I have relatives. I see my Mom a couple of times a year, never on holidays this time of year. I don't have any contact with anyone else I'm related to-- ever. Seriously. I really do not have family that I am in contact with. Including, and especially, the part of my family that I used to see every Thanksgiving and Christmas because that's when everyone gets together. Grandma's house is full of people, good smells, presents, football, cookies, etc. Like the picture, everyone sits together and says grace and eats. Quality family time. Grandma's house was my Iraq, my 'Stan, my 'Nam. I lost my childhood in the same Grandma's house that was the source of quality family time on holidays.
So when I see commercials showing a nice house in a nice neighborhood with a big tree, and lights, and people in sweaters and wool coats walking up to the door-- I cannot relate. My family let bad things happen to me, and then ignored or attacked me when confronted with the truth, and now they have Thanksgiving and Christmas. Christmas for me has meant being far away from home, far away from those scenes you see on TV. Christmas for me meant, the war's going to start tomorrow so I better change the filters in my gas mask.
I go to someone's house for Thanksgiving dinner (tonight) and there's noise and dogs and kids and people I don't know, and they want to play family board games. I'm the crusty old curmudgeon who just wants to watch football, be left alone, eat, and leave. I have finals to study for. I have homework. Oh, and my pulse rate has doubled as the evening has gone on. I don't know most of the people around me, and they don't know me.
Look people. You are triggering my PTSD with your wholesome family goodness. I am having flashbacks, my heart is about to pound out of my damn chest, and I am going outside for a while now before I throw the dog out the window and the kids and turkey with him.
It is not your fault, and you likely have no idea on Earth why I'm so grumpy tonight. I do not expect you to understand. I will not explain it to you, because although my holiday is broken beyond repair, I do not wish to extend the hurt outward and ruin yours. You don't want to know about child abuse or nerve gas, you want to eat turkey and watch football and be social, and that's fine--
all I want you to understand is that it's hard for me this time of year.