In retrospect, it may've been a mistake to browse Facebook today. All those glowing posts about "the best mother ever." All my friends' pictures of their happy, happy, happy families grinning broadly.
If your family has been blessed with that authentic joy, I'm happy for you. Envious, actually. You might want to click off this article now because it's for "the rest of us."
Those of us who white-knuckle it through Mother's Day for a plethora of reasons, all of them painful. If Mother's Day is one of the worst days of the year for you too, then this article is for you.
Being alone never feels quite so acute as it does on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Whether you're alone-alone or alone-with-your-spouse, it's painful to see all those staged Facebook photos and imagine everyone else feasting, chatting and actually enjoying spending time with their big, happy families when your home is so quiet, by fate or by choice.
I know exactly how you feel. For 20+ years, my family's holidays were Norman Rockwell's Freedom from Want on steroids. Picture perfect. Everyone acting like they actually liked each other.
But sometimes the quietest family member is the only one holding the family together. When Grandpa quietly died in 2000, well, truth-will-out. My uncle finally got to kick his sister (my mom) to the curb. One thing led to another and today Michael and I find ourselves alone together each holiday...because we won't put up with the toxic, personality disordered, pathological lying and abuse of our families by birth/by law anymore. Not even for one miserable holiday.
Even though we have each other, there's still a feeling of aloneness that hurts acutely at holiday times and there are probably millions of people worldwide in the same boat.
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