Santa has dropped off the gifts. A Intuos creative drawing tablet (that hooks up to the computer) for my daughter. A new laptop for my step-daughter. A gaming chair with a giant Mario pillow for my step-son. We didn’t have as much candy to shove into the stockings as I thought, so the husband has made a last second trip to Sheetz to grab a little more candy to shove into the stockings.
We left work Thursday at 2:00 and made our drive up north to get his kids. We got there at 11:45 that night and checked into a hotel and just kind of collapsed on the bed and died. Up the next morning at 7:00, we got ready and drove 30 minutes into town to meet up with his ex-wife to collect the kids. I have to say, after all the shit she talked about me three years ago (about how huge I was, and how I would be pregnant by that summer but you wouldn’t be able to tell because I was so fat), it was a very refreshing change to see her get out of the truck, looking like a frumpy bitch, no makeup, hair thrown up on top of her head, and her having gained AT LEAST 40 pounds since I last saw her. While I’m still a big girl, I got out of the car having lost those 40 pounds, with my hair styled, makeup on, and eager to see my step-children. His ex-wife and I have nothing to say to each other. She doesn’t like that my husband moved ten hours away from her grasp so that we could be together, and she’d lose whatever control she had left on him.
We left there at 9:45 Friday morning and got home around 8:45 Friday night. It was a long drive, but worth it. This Christmas is already shaping up to be much better than years before.
In 2007, when I was living with The Abuser, I woke up with the stomach flu, vomiting everywhere. He made sure to let me know how much I was ruining Christmas, despite the fact that I went to every one of his family members houses (we’re talking four or five stops with one of them being over three hours away), and my families homes. He yelled at me about not looking cheerful enough, about looking ungrateful, when the entire time I was just trying not to throw up all over the floor. It wasn’t very long after that, that he lied to me about going out with friends, meanwhile he met up with a childhood friend and fucked her and then threw me and my daughter out on the streets.
In 2008, my mother announced to both me and my brother as we were unwrapping presents, that she had breast cancer. I don’t know why an announcement from her on that particular day, at that particular moment, surprised me. What also didn’t surprise me was the fact that she was lying through her teeth. My mother has had every cancer known to man, it seems. None of them have ever been real. But I have to give her an A+ for dramatic effect on that Christmas.
This Christmas, I’m with my husband and his children. My daughter will be here tomorrow afternoon when she’s finished with Christmas at her dad’s. My boss gave me a thousand dollar bonus on Wednesday, my daughter’s grandmother (her step-mom’s, mom) usually gives me a Christmas card with five hundred bucks. And the best part about this year? My dad sent a card for me with my grandma when she went over there for lunch today. The card simply said “Thank you for all that you do. I love you so much. Dad” … and I know he meant ‘thank you for taking care of my mother’ since she lives with me and I make sure she is taken care of. He included a visa gift card for two hundred bucks. He also sent one to my husband with a hundred dollar gift card.
It’s the first time in 31 years that I’ve ever received anything from him. Even a card. The gift card was a nice surprise, but the note inside of the card – how much he loves me and signing it ‘dad’ …. that is priceless. Even though he isn’t the man on my birth certificate any longer (my asshole step-dad adopted me when I was five), he will always be my dad.
We went over to the in-laws house today. My brother-in-law (aka my first love) was high as a kite and more than a little drunk. He will probably die that way. He looks bloated from liquor, a little yellow in the skin, and he was so lit up tonight, he told me the same story twice within 30 minutes. I used to feel sad for him. I used to feel pity. But he has had more than his fair share of chances to get his life on track. He’s completely functional at his job and his everyday life – but he’s an alcoholic that started smoking pot again. He’s getting worse, not better.
And so, the presents are all wrapped, Santa dropped off what needed to be dropped off. We are having a little quiet time, and then it will be off to bed so we can prepare ourselves for the busy day tomorrow. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas.