The original plan was to see Bohemian Rhapsody, but I now know why I wound up seeing The Grinch. It was a replay of my childhood, my view on the holidays, and an insight to the possibilities when I allowed them to manifest. My childhood holidays didn’t need to be my adult ones… WOW!!! What a realization!
Growing up, I dreaded most holidays. They were either drunk fests for my parents or displays of what they wanted others to believe we were. Either one was not very pleasant for me. My father’s voice got louder as he drank, and my mother retreated further into herself with each sip of J&B. I hated all the craziness in the house leading up to hosting large groups of people. My mother would stay up for days cooking so everything was perfect; after all, we were the Cleavers.
After my parents died, it got even harder. As crazy as things were, at least we all had been together. For years, I found myself “checking out”. I’d either fly somewhere and stay wasted or lock myself at home and do the same thing. It hurt too much to experience my feelings about the way things were. After I came into recovery, the pain was even worst since nothing masked it.
I was invited to join others and did. It was never much fun. I would always put a smile on my face and “act as if” (learned that from childhood), but in the back of my mind, I always wished I could be curled up in bed under the covers. While watching The Grinch, I realized something. Each time I went to someone’s home, I always brought my childhood memories along. How could I make new memories while the old ones still haunted me?
Moving forward, things will be different. I am going to each event with gratitude; grateful for the invitations, the people I will spend time with, whatever memories I will get to make, and for making the choice to enjoy and not regret each holidays.