I wanted to do an up lifting Christmas post and catch everyone up on what is going on in my life. Most of all I want to give those of you who are feeling all alone and heart broken hope and assurance things will get better. I know it doesn’t seem that way now and many of you are hearing about how the narc is treating his new partner so well, some of you have to share the children with your ex, some are being disappointed yet again because the narc always finds a way to ruin every holiday. No matter how bad it was with the narcissist you still miss him and think somehow it would have been better this year. Some of you have no idea why you are missing him, after all Christmas’s have always been a disappointment with him, he never got you a decent gift and you usually spent the day alone.
James always found a way to ruin Christmas, in the 10 years we were together we had 2 good Christmas’s, the first one and the last. I stopped having expectations about Christmas a long time ago, but I never lost my Christmas spirit. I have always decorated, in fact; the only things besides photos that I have managed to hang onto the past 15 years, are my Nutcrackers. I started collecting Nutcrackers when my long time good friend Tina gave me one as a gift when we were both single mom’s living At Cultus Lake. Since that time I have bought myself a Nutcracker every Christmas and now have over 30. I couldn’t afford to buy one this year but my mom sent me one for Christmas.
I have Nutcrackers of every size and description, how flush I was with money that year determined the size and how elaborate my nutcracker was. Some of them are only a couple of inches tall while others are adored with sequins, and over a foot tall.
I used to have really high expectations for Christmas, the big family gathering, buying the perfect gifts for people and baking for months in advance, serving up huge spreads of food. The years have taught me that the best laid plans often fail and that it is better to go with the flow. I have learned the hard way that when it push comes to shove material possessions mean nothing and the only thing that matters to me is my son and then the rest of my family and friends and don’t ask me to choose between anyone and my dog (I know my son would never ask me to choose). When I found out my son was not going to be here for Christmas I had a 5 minute cry and then went with the flow. He had to be out of town for work and it was just the way it had to be, no point in crying about it and I told myself, “I have spent other Christmas’s alone, this won’t be the first and probably not the last, I survived before, it is just one day.” And when it comes down to it, that is all it is, just one day. We can do anything for one day. If I had to choose between having the perfect Norman Rockwell Christmas one day a year or having many loving times with my son throughout the year, I will choose quantity every time.
My Christmas happened on December 20th, my son’s birthday. I had one small gift for him and some art supplies for my grand daughter. I was extremely grateful to the mother of my grand daughter for driving the 4+ hours to get here and for staying the whole weekend. My son said it was his best birthday ever and THAT made me very happy. To now spend Christmas day without my family is a small price to pay for a whole weekend with my son and grand daughter and to be honest Christmas day is always to busy you never really get a good visit in with anyone. Kids are hyper, tempers short, and everyone is rushing somewhere. Last year my son and I packed him to move and had the day to ourselves and it was a wonderful day. This year was even better.
As part of our early Christmas celebration I had planned a very significant event. I had a paper hot air balloon I had bought while I still lived at Hatzic Lake and had been keeping it for a special occasion and this was the perfect time.
After dinner I made everyone put on their coats and boots and come outside. I told everyone to put their hopes and dreams for the new year in the balloon, not tell anyone what their wish was and we would release them into the air and see if they came true in 2016. We lit the flame and everyone made their wish, we watched with anticipation as the balloon filled with hot air, slowly it started to lift, Kris let it go and it slowly rose, up up up……. and then it got high enough for the slight breeze to catch it. We watched with held breath as it rose and drifted to the left, then someone said, “Oh oh” and I held my breath. Just as it was about to clear a 40 foot evergreen the wind caught it and it flew into the tree and got stuck. Everyone let out a “Oh Noooo” in unison and I started to laugh. Kris jumped into action and climbed the tree, once again everyone held their breath as Kris climbed up and up until he was right at the top of the tree, he reached and just as his fingers were inches from the balloon it collapsed on itself and the fire went out. The group moaned and Kaela looked up at me, (still laughing) and with tears brimming in her eyes she said, “It’s ok right Grandma? you have another one, right?” I was laughing as I said, “No Kaela. That was it.” She really looked like she was going to cry and I gave her a hug and said, “Honey, welcome to grandma’s life, all her dreams, up in flames.” and I laughed and she laughed, everyone laughed and we all turned to walk back into the house, leaving Kris 40 feet up the tree. Which made me laugh even harder.
I went back and waited for him to come down, I thanked him for his gallant efforts to save my dreams and we hugged.
It was ironically so symbolic of my life lately but it was ok. It was truly a wonderfully funny time and in a way more perfect than if the balloon had done what it was supposed to do.
I stayed up with Kris and one of his buddies that night long after everyone had gone to bed, we reminisced, we laughed, and I grabbed the bottle of whiskey out of my son’s hand and took a swig straight from the bottle. The burn in my throat was well worth seeing the look on their faces. (sometimes the shock value is so worth it) They had a food fight and I ducked for cover. His buddy said, “Your mom is cool.” and I heard Kris say he was really lucky to have me for a mom. Later on his facebook he said he had the best birthday ever, and THAT was the best Christmas present I could ever ask for.
I checked my email before I went to bed and there was a notification of a donation from one of my blog followers, the largest I have ever received. It was the icing on the cake, I was able to go back out to the kitchen and tell Kris that I was able to cover his portion of the hydro bill. I could see the relief on his face and that was the second greatest gift.
I have been invited to a friend’s house tonight for sleigh rides and a bonfire.
I have a out of town job that starts the 27th until the new year and the year is ending on a high note.
It is the best Christmas I have had in 15 years, but not because it went like I had planned, but because I let go of all my expectations and appreciated what is truly important.
James took a lot away from me, and to a large degree I allowed it because I refused to give up my dream of living happily ever after with him. Even when that dream went up in flames I kept trying to make it fly, and I almost forgot what was truly important. I am thankful today that even though it took me 10 years I eventually woke up and faced reality.
No matter what the narcissist takes from you, the truly valuable things are right there in front of you. Let the dreams go and embrace reality.
Merry Christmas to you all and thank you for all your love and support the past 5 years.
Love and hugs