Tag Archives: christmas

Christmas heartbreak (4)

Its Christmas Day he asked to come for the day to be with his kids. 

She cooked for them all and in her head this was the deadline if he hadn’t decided by now she had to. He’d had plenty of time to think and if a family Christmas couldn’t persuade him to come back what would? 

After lunch the kids were playing and he wanted to talk. She asked if he was dating and he said yes. Shock. Oh – Have you slept with anyone else? – they had been childhood sweethearts and as far as she knew had never had anyone else – he blushed and said of course that’s what dating is about these days. 

Her world was crushed again and something died in her that moment. 

He asked if he could come back for Boxing Day. She said no.


The first few months after he left (3)

Over the next few months the bottom fell out of her world, she spent most of the day’s crying. 

Her sons 14th birthday was in 10 days and she had arranged a go-carting party for him. He said he was coming too, she spent so much energy gathering herself for the torture of that day.  

She fantasised that he would see what a happy family they were and turn around and say sorry, he’d been an idiot let’s make up. But nothing happened.  

She asked if there was another woman, he said no. Another wave of days over took her. It was a month till Christmas. She booked some counselling with relate but it wasn’t till new year. She found a lawyer. She worked on the house renovation she was doing. The plan had been to move in the new year and she focused on that. By Christmas she had lost two stone in weight without trying.  

Her friends were supportive and she had her first night out as a single mum just before Christmas. With her weight loss and devil may care attitude she danced the night away. Some bloke took a fancy to her and danced with her, oh she was so flattered, after her complete rejection that she thought what the heck and when he tried to kiss her she didn’t say no. Wow it felt amazing to be desired again, but when a friend pointed out he had a wedding ring on she was mortified and ran away.  

She sent out the Christmas cards without his name on and her new address, the first most friends knew of it, as he hadn’t wanted anyone to know.

Three wishes, what do we really want?

Watching Aladdin in panto I was struck with the question of what my three wishes would be?

1. Health for sure… Not to groan as I stand, to be able to run and move like I was 17… Or 7!

2. My second surprised me, it was to be amicable with my ex. It would make mine and my kids lives so much happier. I have tried a few times but I can’t break through, I don’t think it’s possible till the financials are sorted (which he tells me is never) and frankly it’s probably too late. However I can encourage my partner to be kind to his child’s mother.

3. I’m leaving this one for all of you! What would you do with your wish?

The Veggie and the Christmas Turkey


My tight smiled politeness is completely unconvincing, I wish I could act relaxed and happy while my brain is yelling Noooo! It’s Christmas Day (actually Boxing Day but their Turkey day) at my partners parents and I don’t want to be a problem, I want them to like me, to accept me but there is one big obstacle (actually there are loads, I’m not the mother of their grandchild, I’m not free to marry, I’m not a wonderfully successful academic… But the one I’m talking about now is) I’m vegetarian.

They have 17 for dinner and I am happy to help my partners mother, she’s finding it hard to cope as she gets older. So I dutifully baste the turkey and watch as she opens the tubs of goose fat and says to me do I think goose or beef fat makes the best roast potatoes. I feel awful as I gently remind her I don’t eat meat and she shrugs and says ‘oh but you don’t mind on roast potatoes do you?’ It is then that tight unconvincing smile I hate – mine rises and gets slapped on my face for the duration. I feel the stress across my back as I try my best not to be a pain. I watch as the bacon goes into the spouts and wonder if there is chicken stock in the bread sauce. I glance painfully around to see if there is anything I can eat for my my meal without having to explain myself awkwardly and make my hostess look bad. She pulls out a veggie Waitrose tart and I am so relieved.

The guests arrive and guess what there’s a surprise vegetarian so gallantly I give up my tart. Only to find out later that this veggie is one of those part time ones that yesterday enjoyed turkey. The smile tightens. The food is plated up in the kitchen so I have no escape, if it had been at the table I could have tried to avoid the bacon in the sprouts, chosen the smallest spud and pushed it round the plate. I’m presented with a massive plate of food covered in meaty gravy. My smile is so tight it might snap. No happy go lucky cheerful girl here, my stress shows in my inability to communicate, the kindly gent to my left thinks I’m neurotic as I hardly touch my meal.

I manage to get through with the usual comments about me not eating the delicious meal, I feel ungrateful and feign a headache and too much rich food the day before. I’m not even going to talk about the suet filled Xmas pudding and mince pies. I have tried to search for an analogy to gain your empathy instead of derision, when I was 18 and at uni I decided to make handmade Easter eggs for my family, I had a mould and set to with my new rubber spatula. Every beautifully handmade egg tasted of the new rubber from the spatula. That’s what it’s like eating sprouts, soup roast potatoes etc all tinged with meat fat and juices, but more because if I allowed my self to think about the animal I was eating, how abhorrent it is to consume another being it would be much worse than a rubber twang. So I tighten up as I force myself not to think.

The irony is to come though, I know so many veggies will sympathise with this, the guests leave and the carnage is left, there is nothing for it, the best china has been used, so not allowed in the dishwasher. There are baking tins of meat fat everywhere, the kitchen stinks of dead roasted animal. Obviously as the able bodied female guest my job is to wash up. The tight smile twangs sharply like a violin string, I try not to breathe as I bury my hands into hot water with floating scum and fat of animal and spend an hour scraping off that poor beasts remains.

After we collapse by the telly and I’m under attack, ‘you didn’t eat much’ I smile thinking ‘yes I’m starving pass the chocolates’ and try my best to change the subject. It’s so hard trying to shield people from their thoughtlessness and I really don’t want them to feel bad about my choices, but I would like to have that choice and not have to continually fight for it, defend it and be forced to compromise further than I am happy to go. I would like them to know they were charming thoughtful hosts.

Some tips if you have a veggie for dinner and want to make them comfortable and welcome (which might not always be the case!)
Don’t ask them to baste the turkey.
Roast potatoes with olive oil and butter are the best and everyone can enjoy.
Don’t put bacon and meat stock in everything.
Ask them to dry rather than wash up.

Autistic Christmas

An autistic Christmas is a little different, you realise that your ten year old will open two presents then be bored, no excitement to open anything else under the tree. That gift you’ve saved for and dreamed of their pleasure will be discarded unappreciated as they slip into the loop of needing a normal day.

You dread trying to create a ‘normal’ reaction for the rarely seen grandparents who just don’t understand, they expect appreciation, gratitude and a keenness to enjoy their educational gift. It won’t happen. A day of bearing up to their worried anxious comments about their only grandchild as we try to shield them from the truth of this condition or explain how he just doesn’t ‘get it’. Whatever ‘it’ is.

As I clean up from the last episode of IT incontinance, mend the curtain pulled off – by accident, pick up the hundreds of discarded things so that they are not all broken by accident and plan the day with lots of exercise I feel a bit tired. A bit tired of accidents. But maybe this year he’ll be a little more aware, feel a bit of magic. 


Divorce at Christmas a perspective

As I watched ‘Labor Day’ the other night I saw with a new perspective how my ex husband saw me – miserable, all the life and passion drained from my soul by loss. Like the heroine I had three miscarriages between my two children then after my second was born alive, so many more miscarriages that I stopped counting when I got to double figures.

Just like the heroine I was miserable, my peers were falling pregnant at the drop of a hat, going anywhere and seeing pregnant women and babies hurt like hell. Getting sympathy from others and the kindly meant scripted words ‘but at least you have two beautiful children’ stabbed at me like rusty knives. The constant years of maternity clothes. Eventually I was spared more torment by a series of ectopic pregnancies and that subject was put to rest in my mind. Not his though, my ex then set us up for IVF, his narcissistic mind demanding that he could buy what nature had failed to provide, it didn’t work, I think my ex still saw me as miserable and barren and hence the move to a younger woman. I held no further use to him.

Then it all happened again, with his leaving I was plunged back into the world surrounded by happy complete families, doubly so as it was Christmas time and the media illusion successfully demolished my soul to some extent. My worthlessness felt complete. I could hardly leave the house. But only by getting that low did I find the courage to really let go and find elemental pleasures and so be carefree about personal danger that it allowed me to feel again.

When they leave the pain is quickly encompassed by a protective numbness and you start to believe you will never feel again. My advice is give into it, let the numbness do its work and as you no longer feel or care a freedom creeps in that will help you feel and live again.

An autistic Christmas

My partner has bought his autistic son a beautiful and barely second hand mountain bike for Christmas. My partner is so excited about it, reminiscing about childhood bikes and his first tastes of freedom pedal power gave him.

However we both know that when his darling autistic son finds the bike it will register on his face as massive disappointment, the anticlimax of the year. Obviously he would prefer some iPad/Xbox/ play station/Wii thing that my partner flatly refuses to give into as the lad is drawn in so addictively he becomes IT-incontinent.

Any ideas on how to make a second hand bike the present of the year to a 10 year old autistic lad?