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So, here we are, on the cusp of a new Holiday Season.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa and New Years.  Throw in a liberal coating of Veteran’s Day and my anxiety is already moving pretty well.

Hubby and I slept through trick or treat last night.  We were that house, no lights on, no candy for you.  I can only hope that the grown ups know that we usually give out candy.  I also hope that bingeing on all that candy I bought will not make me gain weight.  And unicorns dancing on rainbows.

I have a pile of things I need to do for the holidays.  I have to get a green bulb for the outside light to show support for Veterans.  That’s something I can leave in all year, but I need to get it before Veteran’s Day.

Hubby and I are going on vacation over Thanksgiving.  My parents have decided to   throw a family thanksgiving on a cruise ship this year.  They are paying for us all to go. This is one of those situations when I start to feel very ungrateful and very petty.  Yes, we are going on a cruise.  Yes, we don’t have to pay for it.  But, I will be in the next cabin over from the woman who causes the majority of my triggers.  But, I will be two cabins over from my brother, SIL and nephews.  Brother has undiagnosed bipolar disorder (trust me) and can be very hard to spend time with.

This is one of those situations where I feel like “poor little rich girl”.  I’m getting a free cruise!  I’m going on vacation and it will cost me next to nothing.  And I’m already bitching.

I managed to get out of this trip two years ago.  Hubby had just started a new job and I told family that we just didn’t feel right asking for an immediate vacation.

She caught me by surprise this time. I couldn’t think of an excuse fast enough, and I heard myself say, that sounds do-able, before I had gotten it all processed.  So, now we’re going.

I have managed to squeeze in a day of self-care.  Hubby is going ziplining with my brother and nephews.  You couldn’t drag me onto something like that (yes, I’m sure it’s beautiful).  Mom wants to go shopping and I told her no, I want to stay on the ship by myself that day and get some alone time.    That’s actually a massive victory when you get into the relationship I have with my mother.  I’m rarely able to say no, I fear the emotional tirade that will come if I piss her off (and sometimes there’s just no telling what will do that) It could be hiding around any corner.  I actually called off my wedding three times because of disagreements with her (I didn’t want to waste money on an ice sculpture I would never see….she had friends to impress)

This is the dark, dank place that breeds my co-dependency.  I’m already making excuses for the clothing I will be wearing on vacation because I fear it’s not up to her standards. I tend to try to wear clothes she will approve of, because being uncomfortable is easier than taking the chance she’ll accept me as is.

I’m 46 and worried that my mother will not approve of my clothing.

Seriously.

I see how ridiculous it is, but it’s so ingrained in me, I  have no clue how to stop it.

Since my 2nd nervous breakdown, I have noticed that my mother seems to be at least as afraid of me as I am of her.  She doesn’t know what might break me.

I know what might break me, but in an effort to retain the relationship, I dive in head first over and over and over again.  Sometimes I crack my head open on the boulder just under the surface of the water, sometimes I miss it entirely and everything is fine. Like a compulsive gambler I chase the win.  But, when I hit that boulder, it’s always a little bigger and a little harder.  I wonder sometimes which will be the time I won’t survive the impact.

And then, Christmas.  Will I be less depressed this year then the past two?  Will I be able to decorate?  Will I be able to enjoy my favorite holiday of the year?  I love the decorations, I love the lights, the cookies, the meals.  But I have been very disconnected the last two years.

I think a lot is going to depend on how intact I am after Thanksgiving.  I appreciate the ability to go on this vacation.  But, I worry this opportunity may not end as a good thing.

I think a lot is going to depend on how well I am able to temper my expectations with regard to all of this.

I’d still like to get the green lightbulb for veteran’s day.

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