Monday, September 20, 2010

Oh Boy! The Holiday Season!

Yes, yes.  You can smell it, can't you?  October is almost here, which means Thanksgiving is just around the corner!  And after that . . . Christmas!  Yay, baby Jesus!  And right on his heels comes New Years!

And yet, as I think about the upcoming holiday season, I have one feeling: DREAD.  Something told me that I would do better not to bring up with J the indeterminable question: "How should we proceed with holidays this year?"  Deep in my gut, I knew this would simply not end well for me.  Not just because it's the one issue that makes my already introverted partner clam up quicker than a lez at a straight bar, thus making me feel all the more alone.  But also because of all the nasty, icky emotions it stirs up inside of me.

I dread this holiday season.  I dread my own family interactions; wondering if my brother will show up this year with the family, or if he'll be the coward he has been for the past year, and find some other place to be.  Anywhere but having to face his filthy, gay brother who's actually happy and alive for the first time in his life.

And I dread having to see J's family.  I think it's pretty clear that there's nothing . . .and I mean nothing . . . I could possibly do to get in their good graces.  If I'm quiet, then I'm somehow at fault for "not sharing my heart."  If I'm vocal, then we're (J and I) clearly incompatible.  I'm damned no matter what I do.  So I've just given up, and don't give a damn anymore (excepting for the fact that I do).  I have to face these people - and pretend that I'm OK.  But really, all that I feel is the sickening, overwhelming sensing that I am not good enough.  Rejection.  Rejection all over again.  And again.  And again.  You'd think I'd be used to the grand story of my life though, right?

I don't even know what it's like for them, but I do know that they are pretending about as much as I am.  But what lies hidden behind those forced smiles?  God only knows.  I'm not even sure they know half the time.  But what shall likely remain clear (and thus completely painful to me at my core) is that we are not fully accepted.  Included at the table, sure.  And all things considered, maybe I should just count my blessings for what I can get.  But what we are not is equals at that table.  My marriage is a sham.  A forgery.  A deluded figment of my confused state of heart and mind.  Our love is "less than" - a cheap image - if it is indeed "love" at all.  Thus, our commitment does not get due consideration.  Where to sleep all the couples doesn't even apply to us.  We're not a couple.  J is a beloved (though benighted) family member, and I am a charity case, who's lucky to be invited, but has little say in what befalls us.  Fair enough though.  If I'm at your house, I go by your rules.  It's how the game is played.  (Hmm . . . maybe next time any of them comes to visit, we tell them how much we genuinely love them, but can't handle their heterosexual deathstyle, so they should remain in separate rooms.  Would this not make for a FABULOUS reality t.v. show?  Let's follow the straight couple living in the gay household, following the roles and rules that would be placed on them if the houses were turned!)

And so, I wonder: what will be our conditions this year?  In what ways will we have to pretend that we are not as we are -- or who we are -- in order to quell the potential drama?  Maybe we should just make it easier for everyone, and do separate holidays so that it's easier for everyone to pretend like none of this is actually happening.  Or maybe I should just shut up, be the martyr, and do what I need to do to keep the peace.  Or maybe I'm just giving into that all-too-familiar victimhood that has taken residence in my bones the past few years.  Maybe I should just get over myself and recognize that, by and large, things have gotten better, right?  Right?


Amanda said...

eh, have the holiday celebrations at your house. Invite them to join you in your jubilee and if they don't come - it's on them. Alternately - revel in those who do love and accept your marriage, because I saw there were at least a handful on both sides of the aisle. love to you both and may we all get through another holiday season unscathed.

Topher said...

A big part of me wants to give you some solution or help from what J and I have done. But I really have no advice, it's just really hard. I'm so sorry that you two have to go through this, especially on both sides.

The first winter J and I just solved it by going to my family, who were supportive. Then J's family realized they had to be more accomodating or else they might not be seeing either of us in future holidays.

The more comforting thing for me was realizing that J's brother, who would boycott the Christmas/Thanksgiving times when we were there, was the one missing out, not us. He made his decision and we made ours. While there, we realized we were having a good family time, and not being the ones missing out on the memories. So rather than focus on a brother boycotting, focus on the fact that you are experiencing what he is missing out on.

D.J. Free! said...

Ha. Thanks, Mandy. Don't think I haven't thought about it! Perhaps the next time I broach the subject, we really should talk about having things at our place. We certainly have the room for it!

And you're right (as is Topher). I have this sickness: I focus on the negative. I could literally have 130 loving friends and family at my wedding, and still think primarily about the ones who chose not to come. Yes, I admit it, that's what I did (well, not the day of, but the subsequent days). It's a sickness!

*Sigh* This is why I need J - and you guys. You all remind me to accentuate the positive :)

I think I was just throwing myself a pity party yesterday. *Think positive*

Jeff S. said...

Different reasons, DJ, but my brother has cut us out of his life for most of my kids lives. His major loss, not mine, except by his narcissistic behavior I have lost out on my niece's and nephews's lives. I do feel a loss, but I know it's better to not be in his presence. My wife and I are so much healthier emotionally by not focusing on his actions or exclusion of us.

Focus on the supportive people in your lives, and fugure out what works best with the other people and put in an appearance but don;t expect huge changes. Stay at a nearby hotel or bed and breakfast and make it a fun vacation, then stop in for the dinner and gift exchange.