Vol. 1 No. 8
holiday cheer = holiday misery
Joy. Peace. Love.
Why is it so difficult this time of year? You look around, see laughter and sheer delight, but cannot force yourself to "get in the spirit" of the holiday season. Every holiday plan you ever made with him was a farce. All of your Christmas traditions are now meaningless. Each seasonal idea which had previously prospered your relationship is now pointless. Faking something you can't feel because ... well, because you're dead inside, serves no purpose.
I remember that well. Dead inside. That's what it felt like. The world was going on around me and I couldn't figure out how to get out of bed, let alone participate in anything remotely festive.
His addiction made me question everything. What was he really doing when he bought that Christmas ornament in 1994? Wasn't he gone for a really long time? How about the angel we just had to have for the top of the tree? Didn't he say he was researching them so we'd have the perfect one when I caught him up late at night on the computer?
Somehow I could hide from the world before the holidays. Now I had obligations with family and friends. I had to get it together and smile when I wanted to cry instead. I had to buy presents when my focus was clearly elsewhere.
I just wanted it to stop! The happiness and joy around me. Fake smiles. Catching up with people I only saw once or twice a year. Nodding when they shared how wonderful things were for them. Pretending to be someone I didn't even recognize ...
Could they tell how much my husband's addiction broke me?
Did they see how I had been cheated? Did they know I had been robbed of everything I once believed in and thought I knew? Did they know?
I understood the "Ba Humbug" theory quite well and regretted every moment of my lack of desire to participate in anything holiday related. I truly was miserable and the holidays made it so much worse.
Looking back, I can't tell you how I survived it. No clue. I think I floated through most of it, with no real understanding of what was going on. I lived like a fraud. I attended, participated and gave like everyone else. Nothing seemed amiss.
A part of me died each time I did that. Likely not helpful. But, at least raw and honest.
Traci is a Betrayal Recovery Specialist and the owner of Healing Betrayed Hearts. She has almost 30 years experience recovering from a relationship with a sex addict.