Holiday Cheer... That's What Went in This Drink, Right?
Oh, it's Holiday Cheer, all right.
By the fifth and litre. It's as though drinking is the official sport of the holidays.
It became painfully obvious...
As I watched the screaming children running through the grocery store last night, frazzled mothers barely audible threats and half empty shelves reminded me the holidays are upon us again.
"But Ms. Macon, don't you have family to entertain? Aren't your judgemental cousins and your over opinionated sister in law coming to dinner?". The answer to that question, punkins, is absolutely not. Not on my absolute final day tethered to this Earth would I subject myself to that type of downright abuse again. Not because I'm not expected to. It is simply because I know my limits, and my family doesn't observe or respect those limits.
There was a time when I, like most Southern women appeasing the masses, would have a house full of ungrateful, overbearing, judgemental asses. That time has long since past. Now, you'll find me writing, hanging out with the rescue pups, and just generally enjoying the holiday. Sometimes, I cook. Other times, I throw a pizza in the oven and have a Forensic File marathon.
Holiday Spirit looks a lot like a Smores cocktail
Like most Southern women appeasing the masses...
Well baa, baby, baa....
I have a narcissist for a mother. In her eyes, my baby brother and little sister are quite possibly walking on water as I type this. Now, she has 3 other children, but you would never know it by her photos, or by conversation with her.
This, of course, led to a rift between my siblings and I. It isn't their fault she is the complete antithesis to a mother. It is, however, their decision to have holidays centered around that madness, and that is where I draw my line in the sand. Sometime in my 30's, I stopped forcing unhappy situations and nasty people upon myself. I finally figured out that suffering through that type of torture wasn't making me a better person. It was only forcing me to invent new excuses as to why being treated that way by anyone was acceptable.
I can remember, at the height of my drinking, after my divorce and before I understood our family dynamic, the amount of alcohol I had to consume at family events would have dropped 4 grown men. I couldn't be around anyone in my family without at least a xanax. Having been sober for 4 years, and absent from my family drama for 5, I have no qualms about connecting the two.
I don't blame them for my substance abuse, but I certainly wouldn't say it didn't help to drown it all out. I know that if I want to continue living the way I currently am, not passing out on the bathroom floor, or waking up to take another xanax to pass back out, I need to have a healthy distance between family and myself.
They used to send messages, saying they missed me, or why wasn't I coming? I explained it once, and that is enough. I stopped letting the guilt affect me, they stopped trying to saddle me with the guilt. I found that, with them, it is reactive. If I allow some weakness in my defense to show, it will be exploited.
Yet, every year, I'll turn the news on in the evening, and see reports of family members murdering other family members, spouses missing, children abducted by estranged family. I often wonder after seeing the reports, do people not understand that you absolutely have a choice in whom you allow to treat you poorly? As long as you are tied to the whipping post, you can expect to be whipped. So why do you keep knotting yourself in place?
I will tell you confidently, in the 5 years of being without contact, I have started to live my dream of writing for a living. I have eked out a quiet existence with my dogs. I have put on more weight than I'm comfortable with, but at a size 1 I felt unattractive because, somehow, I wasn't good enough for them to be proud of then, either. It seemed no matter what I had accomplished, what I looked like, how much money I made, or whom I feel in love with, I was never going to be anything other than the black sheep. Well, baaa, baby, baaa.
You're looking at one woman who absolutely is unafraid to stand alone...
I don't have an issue with solitude.
You're looking at one woman who absolutely is unafraid to stand alone. Looking back, although a lot of people claimed to be in my corner, anytime I looked over, that very corner was empty. I felt alone constantly, so why not cut all the hassle and be alone? The first year, I cried. I haven't since. And I doubt I will again. There are no actual elements of family holidays that I truly miss.
I take that back. As a bartender by trade, it is a little difficult to invent new cocktails now that I don't spend my evenings half in a bottle. I do have thousands of cocktails and shots committed to memory, though, so the Mellow Martini blog isn't suffering. When I weighed the options in an honest light, the damage to my soul just isn't worth concocting a new flavor of mimosa.
Do people not understand, you absolutely have a choice in whom you allow to treat you poorly?
Get my favorite Tito's sipping glass
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 MsMacon