Friday, December 26, 2014


I've just spent two evenings in a row with my parents.  That's quite enough for the time being.  My husband has already peeled me off the ceiling a couple of times now.  If you want to read a fellow sufferer's horror, read on:

Dear Polly,

I'm heading back home Friday to spend two weeks with my family and I'm a little terrified...

My mother and I have always had a contentious relationship. I let her opinion of me mean way too much to me, and always have. I've armchair diagnosed her with borderline personality disorder (based on my therapist's thoughts and my own reading, which I know makes me sound like a millennial trashbag but it really fits?). She is sensitive and cruel and makes every issue in anyone's life about her. She is emotionally abusive to my sister and me....
Intellectually, I understand. Her criticism is not about me. It would be the same no matter what I was doing with my life. There's nothing I can do to change it, so I shouldn't take it to heart. Emotionally, I've never been able to get there. She gets very anxious around holidays, and that anxiety makes her lash out at us, and I don't know what to do. I don't want to burden my friends, again, for the bajillionth time, with me drunk-sobbing at 4 a.m. about how she's right and I don't deserve to take up space on the planet.
-- Dispirit of Christmas

Dear Dispirit of Christmas,
Sweet Christ in a manger, do I understand! The holidays are heralded as a time of love and warmth and celebration, yet even when you feel calm and optimistic and absolutely turgid with the holiday spirit, every last ounce of joy can be snuffed out upon returning to the fold.  Read more.

I shall not bore you with my own trite details.  Suffice it to say, my daughter and her family arrive tomorrow, and I am looking forward to that.  We actually like each other.



  1. Hope you have a wonderful time with your daughter and her family! Feel free to take breaks as needed.

    That dear polly letter -- dear lordy, I really wonder about the wisdom of going for 2 weeks with a family member who makes one feel like crap.


  2. So sorry to read that this Christmas time with your family wasn't an easy one. Dang. I never understand what happens, but some gatherings just don't go as planned. Old histories, old stories, old pain, same old same old. It'll be good spend quality heart and healthy time with L, J, and E. Renewal of the loving spirit of family.

  3. If you didn't know the family history, the back-story, you probably wouldn't even sense that there was tension. We are very civilized that way. But, it does get to me, and while I remain contained in the presence of family, I come apart later. I try not to, I really do. And it's better than it used to be. Sigh.

  4. Dear Dispirit of Christmas, give Mommie Dearest some chocolate hash truffles for the holidays. She'll spend the whole time in her room transfixed by old copies of 'Ladies Home Journal.' It works like a charm!

  5. Oh, my god. That Polly thing was awesome -- funny, wise and enormously helpful. I could sit down and share some stories with you! Thanks for posting the link, and I hope your time with your daughter is nice!

  6. The really twisted thing is... You will miss those trying holidays with your folks one day. xo

    1. yep. and I know it. like birthing pains, life and time erase the difficult times with those you love...and only love is left.


Yellow Cottage, Part 2

I have a dear friend who I met in my Creative Writing class my freshman year in college.  I sent the poem to her for her comments and edits ...