The Holidays are hard for a lot of people. For those who live on this island, the Holidays, which are about a three month festivity, can be hell.
I try to go with the flow. For the sake of the kid and sanity. But I could do without a day in particular:
New Year's Eve.
From ever since I can remember, it is a day where at the stroke of midnight, many drunken folk cry and hug and apologize for being assholes, make promises they know they won't keep and take the civil human being out for a stroll. As a child, it was a night where my parents, drunk to their armpits would make us accompany them to whatever party and then take us to a secluded place of the house to countdown till 12, just us four. Sounds sweet, even pretty unoffensive. But they were drunk and cried and slobbered us with Coors Light smelling kisses. As a teen it was equally painful. The difference being that my folks no longer spent it together. We always got stuck with Vader and Vietnam would call in at 12 sobbing that next year he would spend it with us.
He never did.
Now as an adult and with the booming age of technology, New Year's Eve is equally pathetic and entertaining. All the chain, generic text messages, some from people who you don't have a clue cause you don't have their numbers stored. Vader and Vietnam on my case as to where I'm gonna spend it. My bro and his wife kissing at 12 while I sip on my Red and wonder when I can go to bed. And the ever so entertaining texts of the Walking Dead exes who get nostalgic.
Have you've gotten the underlining of how I dislike this evening?
I make no plans. No resolutions. I don't look back on the year. I refuse.
I cried. I laughed. I learned. I move on.
So this year I am again ready. Vader will make us watch some cheesy local countdown. Vietnam will call and cry. Bro will kiss his wife. And I will sip Red while the kid kisses me.
I will laugh. I will cry. I will learn. I will move on.
It happens twice a year, every year. Final week of school meltdowns. For both of us.
Add in the tween component and it is an episode of the Real Housewives of Bayabronx.
I hate studying with her. I hate it when you ask her what we need to study and she has no clue. I hate when you ask her a question, give her the answer, immediately ask her the question again and she stares at your forehead like the answer is gonna Ouija its way on there.
Sir Francis Drake? Columbus? Spain's Queen and King? Nada. Zilch.. Zero.
Then she cries and balls up her fist and I can see the vein in her throat pulsing.
I hate she makes me angry. I hate that I yell.
Patience wears thin at this time in the semester.
I hate this age of hers. It adds flair to an already heightened event.
When she rolls her eyes and mumbles under her breath...
Tweens, just like wire hangers, deserve a special place in hell.
And so tonight, just like every other week of finals, she cries and yells and adds phrases such as I "ruin her life".
And I turn into my mother pointing out I had "no one" to help me study and she is ever so fortunate.
And we sleep without another word, between Columbus, the Spanish Royalty and me feeling it has all sunken down with the Santa Maria and we just need to make it to shore.
I was always different. I've been teased and taunted and called by various names; from nerd, to geek to freak in the younger years and then weirdo, bitch, butch, dyke in my latter years. My feelings at times, hurt and bruised. But since we came from a house where we were sometimes called worse, it didn't phase me much.
The kid has joined the freak club. At 12 she looks, on the surface, like your regular tween. But at this young age she bears a list of diagnosis: Aspergers, Severe Depression, Anxiety and now Trichotillominia, which is a new one, brought on by her anxiety. This last one is the one where she plucks her eyelashes, eyebrows, hair, skin...etc. Peels and plucks like crazy. Skin is scarring and nails are non existent.
These are the things you see when you scratch the surface. These are the things the other kids have started to see, along with her obsessions on Pokemon and My Little Pony.
So they have noticed. And they know how to get under her skin. She says they call her "Pokemon" or "My Little Pony" to taunt her. She says they throw paper balls at her. They fuck with her head and self esteem to the point where she broke down in therapy and cried and asked "Why do they do this to me? Why are they mean?"
kids are assholes.
but I couldn't say that.
I wish we knew the answers to those questions. I wish people would embrace the quirky, oddball, exceptional children we have. I wish I could magic wand all this shit away. I wish she were strong like me.
I wish, like me, that she wouldn't give a rats ass on what other people thought. But this is not the case.
She is fragile and sentimental and naive. And that hurts, because I can't protect her forever.
I want her to embrace who she is, love her differences and wave that freak flag, like her momma and give a big middle finger to the normal cats that don't get her.
Fuck normality. Cause we run on crazy in this house.
People do not change. That is not an opinion. It is a hardcore fact. No religion. No love. No massive quantities of therapy can change the core essence of a person.
That is the harshest reality for me right now. Even harsher when you try to play by the rules, keep the peace, in vain.
I will never change as well. What I have tried to supress and channel slowly unravels and I am back at square one.
You cannot compromise your dignity, your heart and your family on the idea that people will change. You cannot live your life turning a blind eye. It doesn't work that way.
Ultimately you decide.
What and who you put up with is on you. And as we continue our paths ignoring red flags, compromising our being and believing in change, we only cheat our selves. And sooner than later the gig is up.
So we expand like rubber bands, changing and stretching our limits to accommodate others and hoping others will do likewise, until we snap.
And that hurts.
I don't speak of the word "love". It is difficult for me to pronounce. It gives me chills. It makes me nauseated. I am not the opposite of it, but I am not its counterpart. It is like, the unspeakable. Like the bald villain from Harry Potter, who I always forget his name, but know, his name cannot be said. But yet, you anticipate and wait and sometimes even yearn for it.