Thursday, November 27, 2014

Opting Out of Christmas

For decades I have suffered through the holiday season, aching for all the things it boasts of--family, love, joy, togetherness.

Yet I've always been alone on Christmas, as long as I can remember.  I try to swallow down the big lump in my throat of loneliness that wells up, and angrily wipe the tears from my eyes.  So I can pretend.

But it's painful and hard to pretend.  Every part of Christmas is hard.   The shopping and gift giving expectations.   Decorating the house.   All to culminate in a joyful celebration with friends and family.  Only I don't have any family.  I don't have any friends either.

 I'm one of those people, the freaks, stuck into the mental system when young, abused further in it, but also placed onto SSI, the extreme poverty for life program.  Sure I escaped the mental system, finally, after being beaten two days before Christmas, on a hospital psyche ward, but the abuse left me a wreck with PTSD of all kinds, IBS, chronic pain, facial twitching and tongue movement from forced psyche drugs (tardiv diskenesia) and a host of other ailments, for which I do very little, other than endure.  Nobody wants me or loves me and nobody ever will.  That's the way it is.

So this year I'm not going to pretend anymore.  I'm opting out of Christmas.  I can't afford it anyway.   And I can't afford another month of depression.  Why put myself through it?  There is no reason.  It's stupid.  I'm out.

So I'm not going to buy into it this year.  It's a total fake story anyhow, with bits of pagan this and Christian that.   It's also a bright and lovely fairy tale and I'm glad others can enjoy it, but it's painful for me, financially, even with the minimal I do, and especially emotionally.  I can enjoy the lights, but that's about it.

I hope the little shopkeepers here and there, trying to make it, on Christmas sales alone, make a killing.

They've never done so with my help.  I've never had any money.  So it won't matter one bit to the retail world if I opt out.

I can see it now, the panic spread from one blog post.  "You can't opt out of Christmas!  You'll ruin the entire world's economy if people read this post and say to themselves, 'my, what a grand idea' then opt out, too.  The entire world economy is based on Christmas and gifting guilt."

I feel free already.


  1. You are very far from alone. I will do a shift on the crisis line on Christmas Day - and expect to be very, very busy. Busy with people who have no family, no money and are hurting (even more than usual) because they are made to feel they are the exceptions to the happy families rule. And they (and you) aren't. Christmas puts a HUGE strain on so many people. Season of comfort and joy is an enormous lie...

  2. It's sick, EC, all around. Spread the word---just opt out. We don't have to suffer anymore because of Christmas hype.

  3. I'm opting out too, similar to the reasons you stated in your blog. fter my mom died when I was 8, I was insitutionalized for being autistic/asperger's syndrome.
    Oh lucky us living in extreme poverty and self loathing. And no family. And no real close friends. No support system when things go crappy.
    Anti Christmas! Just another day.

  4. I didn't know you had tardive dyskinesia. I can but hope it's not bad.

    I've never met--in person--any of my readers that I didn't know before I started blogging, but you're the one who lives the closest. It would scare me to meet you or anyone who I feel close to in Blogland, and in the case of you and me, I'm afraid you would consider me insufferably boring and bourgeois, and you wouldn't even be wrong in many ways. I feel much like you do in that people aren't exactly knocking one another out of the way to be my friend. I've often wondered why people don't seem to like me more, and I know Peggy wonders the same about herself. I can't help her out because I think she's grand. She's a bit hard to get to know because she's shy, and I guess most people just don't want to make the effort, or else they interpret shyness for aloofness. As for myself, I don't know what it is. My half-sister is the kind of person who does attract people, and I wish I could be that way.

    What you said about not being loved, I love you. Maybe you meant being loved by a partner, but, well, for what it's worth, I love you, and I also respect you. I'm afraid you won't believe that, and I don't really know why I have that fear. I just wish I knew what to do or say. We don't live more than 45 miles apart. It's not close, but we could visit one another now and then.

  5. The tardiv is a great embarrassment to me, makes my face twitch, my tongue move, but not all the time. It's just another horror inflicted upon me by the mental system. I guess it's also something that keeps me from even trying to make friends sometimes. I don't know. I am shy too. I'm an extrovert online however. Ha!

  6. I try to practice in the mirror keeping my face, lips, tongue still. I try, but, well....doesn't stick.

  7. Snow thats really nice, what you said. I guess I'm afraid to meet you, you're so intellectual and all, afraid I'd become a blog post maybe. I'm very awkward with new people, but I would like to meet you and your wife.

  8. "I guess I'm afraid to meet you, you're so intellectual and all, afraid I'd become a blog post maybe."

    Visitors can always tell if I'm disappointed in them because I lock myself in the bathroom and don't come out until I hear them drive away. I would still like to meet you sometimes though. Maybe it would be less awkward if there was something we could all do together. Walking up Mt. Pisgah would be fun (do you know of it?) if you were to come down here. I don't do it much anymore because of bad knees, but I think it's something to think about if the weather was nice. If the weather was bad, we could at least walk around town or go up Skinner's Butte. You would get to meet Brewsky, and we would cook for you. I know I mentioned once that you could spend the night, but I don't remember what you said. It's funny how many years we've talked about getting together. I have a few other blog friends in Oregon, but I've never met them either. It must seem ironic in a way, but the closer I feel to a bloggy friend, the less eager I am to meet them, and you're far and away my closest local friend and one of my closest period. The best part of me is on "paper," I believe.

  9. P.S. After reading your comment, I can happily give you my word that I wouldn't write a blogpost about you without your permission, and I wouldn't write a negative blogpost about you regardless, if only because we share readers who would rightfully conclude that I was a complete shithead for doing so.