Christmas isn't all bad, but sometimes, ugh, it's just a triggering mess.
My father is one of seven siblings, so Christmas Day is always 30 or so people eating and drinking all day together, so naturally stuff happens.
The hosts this year were my Aunt and Uncle, who celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary this year. At some point early yesterday, someone broke out their wedding reception video and watched it in the other room. In it, I am about 6 years old, and I sing 2 songs in front of everyone at the reception, maybe 300 people, the 2nd song with a live band accompanying me.
Everyone in my family gets a big kick out of seeing young me on stage singing. But not me. The fight-or-flight reflex hits me and I want to run. I did the math in my head yesterday and realized: I'm 36 now; my aunt & uncle were married 30 years ago -- that puts their wedding in the exact window of time where I'm pretty sure I was getting abused by my old neighbor, who might have been a guest at the wedding for all I know.
So *THAT'S* why I hate that video so much. Anyway, I was in a bad mood for the rest of Christmas, but I didn't let it get the best of me. I stopped drinking and tried to stay in control.
At 6, I wanted to be on stage in front of a crowd; very soon after that, I became a reclusive boy who didn't go outside much. We've all heard that story a thousand times.
That, combined with watching my 20 y/o cousin cuss him mom out to her face, and my other cousin's crazy-ass girlfriend following me around apologizing for dumping a beer in my lap during last year's Christmas, I was ready to get the hell out of there when i did.
Luckily, I survived. I hope you did too.
"There is a Catskill eagle in some souls that can alike dive down into the blackest gorges, and soar out of them again and become invisible in the sunny spaces... even in his lowest swoop the mountain eagle is still higher than other birds upon the plain, even though they soar." -- from Moby-Dick