- December 2017
Now the month of decorations and contemplation has arrived.
December was not my favourite month of the year. It was the month of sorrow and struggle. It was the month of devastation and worries, and it was the month of pretending everything was ok.
20 years ago was the worst December in my life.
Something happened and my life was ruined and there was nothing left to live for, or so I thought. I wanted to die, the pain was too much.
Behind every cloud there is a shining star, said one of my dear friends during the horror. Time heals every wound, they say.
Is that true? I don´t know, maybe and maybe not. For some it does and for others it does not.
People thought that I was a December or a Christmas child. I was not. I dreaded the month. Would I have enough food on the table? Would I be able to give my family new clothes? Would I be able to make presents for everyone? Would I be able to make everyone happy? Would I have time from work to take care of everything at home?
These were my worries and many more.
Until 20 years ago I did manage with the help of friends and a brother to make the Christmas look like everything was ok.
Last year I did not put up the Christmas tree or any decoration. I had broken my shoulder and arm in October, had 2 operations and was not able to do much, except just surviving. That was ok, there would be another Christmas next year, I told myself and did not fret over my situation.
This year I have had some health problems, some of them quite serious but now I am as good as new, or so to speak. I got rid of 2 huge tumours from my colon and got medication for a bleeding stomach. Not cancer in my body and that was wonderful. I feel fine and this December I have been a Christmas child.
I have slowly put up some decorations and enjoyed every moment. I have thought about my dear friends and been grateful for the support they have given me. How beautiful the little things I have been collecting through the last 20 years are and now they make my home beautiful during Christmas.
I opened a box few days ago. A small one which I had been carrying with me from Iceland to China and from China to Portugal. This little box was full of little Santa’s which I made 20 years ago and gave my mother. I put them up in her home and thought I had decorated beautifully and she would enjoy my work. She allowed me to have them in her home that Christmas but the next one not. She told me her son, my brother, did not like too much decoration in her room! She told me to take them back and use them myself. I did take them back, they were beautiful and I had put so much love into making them and the work had in a way saved my sanity that December 20 years ago.
The box was now in front of me, open, and I wanted to use the little ones for decoration. I looked at them, admired the work and closed the box. I could not use them, not yet.
It came as a surprise but I did not thing about it and just kept on using everything else to make my little decors and enjoy the Christmas spirit.
I have become a Christmas child and it feels good.
One night, few days ago, I woke up. I was furious. I was shaking and re-living the December 20 years ago in my bed here in my little land. I was so angry. I wanted to cry but I did not. I wanted to shout but did not. I wanted to talk to someone but I did not. I just lay there, re-living the circumstances.
Why was I treated like a criminal? Why was I humiliated so badly? Why? Why did I not have any defence?
This was a struggle with a help of a lawyer, with a social worker and my friends tried to help as well. It took 3 years. I did not win. I lost badly. My lawyer and social worker who had been with me every step of these 3 years wanted me to take the case to the human rights provision. I did not want to do that, enough was enough.
When I woke up during the night in my bed in Portugal and re lived everything and the pain seemed to be unbearable something happened. I was free. I realised I was free. It was ok to be angry but it was also ok to cry, which I did not, but the best I could do, and what I did, was to let go. Before I had been sad, I had been hurt, I had felt useless and I had felt guilt. What I had not allowed me to feel was the anger. I had a right to be angry. It was ok to have that feeling as well. It was normal to feel angry.
Today I looked again into the box with the little figures. I sat there with them in my lap and looked at them. I felt the love I had put into making them. I felt the pride in my heart being able to bring Christmases as well as possible to my family, even though they did not think I did enough.
I felt the gratitude to my friends, to my lawyer, to my social worker and to the wonderful psychiatrist who helped me to make my life whole again.
I was lucky. I was free. I am lucky and I am free. Now I can enjoy this Christmas and this December and all the coming Decembers without letting ungrateful relatives destroy my life.
I survived 20 years ago when I just wanted to die so I would not have to feel the horrible pain. There is nothing I can’t survive and no one can destroy my life again. I feel it in my bones.
It does not hurt anymore if those who destroyed me 20 years ago complain today. They are the ones who have to deal with their guilty conscience. Maybe one day they will realise how wrong they were or maybe not. I have nothing to do with their lives or their conscience.
My responsibility is my sanity and my wellbeing and happiness.
Now I allow me to be a Christmas child and enjoy the little decorations and the tree is up and it’s beautiful. I can sing Holy Night with a strong happy voice and be content. What a glorious time this is.
I hope everyone who has past hurt buried inside will get well. It is such a joy to be free. It takes a lot of work, but it is possible. Everything can be healed. Blaming others for unhappiness is a waste of time. The happiness is inside each and everyone, not in other people.
The shining star behind the clouds that appeared 20 years ago is shining today and every day above my head. I am grateful for that.