Friday, January 27, 2017

The Ghost of Christmas Past

When I wrote my little uplifting piece about ordinary time, I intended to write a funny post about my Christmas decorations and tree that, although taken down, still sit in boxes in my family room.  I was going to write something humorous about hoping I got it all put away before Lent.  But as I wrote I started to weep and I knew that I needed to get some perspective and understanding of my emotions which were so overwhelming about the Christmas d├ęcor.

A year ago I was played for a fool.  The divorce process was snailing along.  I was trying not to rock the boat so that I didn't have to live with an angry, out of control person. I stayed in the house because it was cheaper.  I had lived in a separate room for a while.  I prayed with, cooked for, and spoke to this person I was married to.  I was persuaded to go out for lunch on Sundays after church.  It felt weird.  I kept my feelings to myself and hoped that the divorce would happen soon.  Then, after insisting I put up the Christmas tree, he started to insist that we take a "second honeymoon," which was ridiculous because we never took a first honeymoon and we were getting divorced.

His state of mind seemed questionable.  He was in denial or thought that because I wouldn't fight with him I wasn't unhappy. I made a plan and took off. I left the state.  I had an interesting Christmas with earthquakes and ice storms and floods by the new year.  And I had people who helped and encouraged me.  I made a plan and moved out of the house when I returned to town.  But, the Christmas tree was still up.

He persuaded me to come over and take it down.  I did because I cared about some of the ornaments (pictures of my son as a kindergartner and hand made gifts from friends).  And I showed him how to do laundry and I went out to lunch when we were done.  It was stupid, but I was careful and it was still daylight. So, that was last year's tree.

Then a few days after I helped take down the tree I heard testimony in family court that I didn't know whether I wanted to be divorced or not because I came over and took down that tree.  Then I heard testimony that I was crazy and was too depressed to be divorced because I went out to eat with him and prayed with him.  And was this intentional? A trick on his part?  I believe it was, because my ex was heard to brag before we went to court that he had tricked me and we wouldn't be divorced.

Fortunately, the judge did not find me crazy.  Fortunately, I was allowed to divorce eventually.  But, my memories of that Christmas tree are not the best.  People have said to me that I am too nice.  I have concluded that perhaps I am.  But, I would rather be too nice than too mean.

So putting up and taking down the tree this year caused emotional distress.  But I did it. And I can't find the shelf supports for the shelves I intend to put up in the garage to store that tree and those decorations.  But, I will someday.  Soon, I hope.  At least before Lent......

(And writing this helps me to put in behind me.  Perhaps it would be wise not to post it, but I find myself needing to say some things to put the hurt behind me and move on.  So, take what you like and leave the rest......)

No comments: