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This Christmas...

Don't hurt me.

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December 22, 2019

Catudio

It does not matter where YOU live, what YOU do, who YOU are.
This time of the year might be a little hard on some folk.

 

I know. I’ve been there.

 

I drank my own overflowing bucket of quiet tears as my coworkers, grocery store clerks, and my darling friends wished me the best of holidays and shared their wicked holiday family plans with me. 

 

They never knew how much I envied them. I never wanted to show my genuine emotions in fear of spoiling the festive times for all those kind people who were so in tune with their traditions. Most do follow the traditions. That is not the reason for YOU to feel outcasted. 

 

I always smiled, sometimes laughed. I was grateful just for the comfort and peace of my new home that my new country provided me. I trained myself to look for the tiniest positive things to feel happy to carry on. I had a perfect reason to do so. I instinctively knew I had to claw up and not drag the rest down.

 

Read on.

 

They could not understand what it was like to be a stranger without a family, so desperately craving to be the “part,”  with a minimum, basically, nothing. 

 

But in those times of extreme hardship, I learned that the small is more prominent than huge.

I immigrated to Canada in my teenage years (Yes, I was that brave.) I got here at 28.00 dollars. I felt ever so happy to escape the life I had before.

 

Looking for love in all the wrong places, so alone, I became a single Mom. I never collected a penny of child support. Could not go through the humiliation of proving HE was the father. He was scared, yet it never occurred to him that  I was twice as scared.


My daughter turned out to be one super remarkable human being.

 

At Christmas time, my daughter and I used to walk to the store to watch the busy people excitedly doing their Christmas shopping, so that both she and I could soak in the spirit.

 

What turkey? I would buy the fattiest chicken thighs that were on sale, and my precious child, and I pretended it was the turkey. What the heck – all the same – poultry. Getting into the spirit was the most important thing I felt I had to teach my child. 

 

The magic of Christmas is learning how to grow the spirit within yourself. In the end, it is everyone individually, who makes this holiday so unique. 

 

I so desperately wanted someone to hug me, to hold me, to let me know I was loved. I did not have anyone to do that. But I always made sure my daughter got all of that, double. How did I make it?

Read on. I had enough reasons to scramble for happiness.

 

I relieved myself of the pressure of expectations. The expectations - the stupidest reason ever to feel down.
Fuck the expectations, do you hear me? 

 

On Christmas Eve, I would find the biggest cardboard box and will spend some of the last pennies on wrapping paper. I would stuff it with the flyers I had collected throughout the year. Inside that box, I would put something as tiny and cheap as a Kinder Surprise egg. I had no money. 

 

The money was so tight that I came up with a super trick. I would get up at 4 am, pretty safe time, as my precious offspring granted me the gift of patient sleep. 

 

I would fill up the glass with milk. The whole idea was to convince my daughter that Santa was so kind to kids that he would leave the liquid for them to stay healthy. Till the age of 11, my daughter believed that the breakfast glass of milk was the one issued by Santa for her to be fit the whole next year. 

 

Yes, I adjusted the tradition. But the money was so tight, and we could not waste a single drop of milk. At the same time, I wanted my daughter to learn that kindness is the greatest gift.

 

No one would ever be able to gauge the excitement, the anticipation, the love on Christmas morning. She would gulp the glass, genuinely believing that Santa gave her the gift of health. Then she would run to the big box, and the next few minutes would be the source of endless joy. It did not matter that the present was so small. What mattered was that there was a present. We then would dance, sing, and be so clumsily happy. 

 

The most significant gift given to any human being at the time of birth is the ability to make themselves happy. 


Listen to me, please. I know.

 

The first time I tried to commit suicide, I was 7. My stepbrother did something very disgusting to me, and since he was my Mom’s precious pet from her first marriage, there was no way for me to get justice. He was loved, and he was perfect. I was not. Also, being that young and given the old times, I had no tools to defend myself. 

 

I got into the old wardrobe closet with a stable and durable horizontal rack. I took one of my Dad’s ties with me. I figured it would hold me. I tried to fashion it to my best ability. 

 

I got distracted by our cat, who suddenly appeared and started meowing ever so loudly. I had to stop and pet the cat. My Mother hated the animal and could easily throw her out in the cold for just meowing. I loved that cat. She made me the die-hard cat lover for life.


I removed the tie to avoid questions.

The cat had not left my side for the next two weeks.  I lived.

 

I tried a few more times since. For some reason, I was so selfish to think that if I DID it, THEY would know how hurt I was, and I would make some difference. Every time something happened and much before the “last moment.” Looking back, I say I loved this life with all of its ups and downs, and so much that I taught myself to look for the smallest positive thing, to stay alive. 

 

Nothing is as scary as a regret. If you think you will not regret taking your own life, just because you think there will be no punishment ever after, you are wrong.

 

The last time I tried was the Christmas Eve of 2004. I felt so trapped, I felt so forgotten, I felt so neglected, and I felt so useless. 

 

BUT… once I started to arrange the rope, I realized that it was time to smarten up. I realized that my feelings, no matter how hurting they were, how destroying they were – they remained MINE. 

Everything of MINE is under MY control. 

Everything became so bright. 

 

Nothing. Absolutely nothing is out of YOUR control.


I do not give a tiny rat’s ass if my word has enough meaning for you right now. I say YOU decide.
It is under YOUR control. But I hope you are still listening, as I am still talking.

 

There is nothing, absolutely nothing in this world that can justify your decision to lEAve on your terms.

 

Foreclosure.
Repossession.
Divorce.
Break-up.
Illness.
Neglect.
Disappointment.
Loneliness.
Misunderstanding.
Rape.
Bereavement.
Abuse.
Betrayal.
Grief.

 

NONE of the above makes sense to me when I hear YOU telling me your life is over. You have no idea what tomorrow, or tomorrow after tomorrow, or one hundred tomorrows after tomorrow would bring.

Stop thinking you have to do it to make it easier for yourself. You will achieve nothing by leaving now. You will hurt someone who cares about you. 

 

Me. 

 

Please, do not hurt me.

 

I am going to make a real turkey this Christmas. Why don’t you pop over? The contact info is below on this page.

 

Please, do not hurt me.