#44 The Worst Christmas Ever Continued

Dear Journal,

I really couldn’t believe it as we stood out on the curb waiting for the valet. It couldn’t be possible that everything had been so perfect just the night before could it? When the Valet opened the passenger door for me, Jack handed him a few dollars,  and I started to open the backdoor to get in, when Jack stopped me and told me to sit up front. I slid into the front seat without an argument even though Rachel and I’d ridden up in the back seat and Liz had been in the passenger seat up front.

holding hands

Jack didn’t say anything at all as we were waiting. It was hard to know that to do or say. He’d shared stories about times like these but now I’d seen it all  for myself.  I just reached over and held his hand and he let me. Even with a coat on, I shivered. And I prayed! I wasn’t sure what to expect. Finally after what seemed like over an hour, Liz and Rachel appeared. Poor Rachel looked as if she was practically carrying her mother.  Before they reached the car, Jack quickly said to me, “We will go up long enough to get our things and then leave.” Liz never said a word when she saw me in the front seat. I think she was a little relieved to not have to sit up there with Jack.

Even though the drive was only about twenty minutes, it seemed like it took hours. Finally we all piled into the elevator up to Liz’s apartment. No one said a word the whole drive home.  But as soon as the elevator doors closed Liz went crazy asking Jack who he thought he was and then she literally jumped on him and knocked his glasses off his face and scratched his nose. Jack just held his mother off. When the doors opened. Rachel got out. I thought she was going to open the apartment door but when we got to the door, Jack took his key and unlocked it. I looked around, but there was no Rachel. I was so mad!

winebottle

I took off the coat that Liz gave me and told Jack I didn’t want anything but  what he’d given me. As he was gathering everything up, I could barely believe my eyes. Liz picked up a wine bottle and held it over her head ready to send it crashing down onto Jack. Without thinking, I almost tackled her as I ran and grabbed it out of her hands She held on so tight, but something  happened to me at that moment and I caught her and myself (for that matter) by complete surprise, and found strength that I never knew I had, yanking her arms back, I told her “Oh no you don’t, you wicked old witch!”  as she hit the half empty bottle against the table shattering the glass. Just barely missing Jack as his head jerked up. He  hadn’t even seen it coming.

wine bottle broken
His eyes looked so sad  when he realized what had just transpired. He just looked sick and as if he wanted to cry. Me too. I knew that he’d envisioned a night so different.

frustrated man

Liz was in the middle of cussing us both out when we heard a thundering knock on the door and someone shouting “Police, open up!” I ran to the door but Jack got there first and opened it and there stood Robin behind two police officers. I was confused and then relieved when I saw all three of them.

police knocking

They each took turns listening to our stories and immediately realized who was drunk and belligerent and who was devastated and embarrassed. The officer that spoke to us was very kind and allowed us to get our things and escorted us to our car explaining that they get more calls like this during the holidays than they can count and to just let it blow over and that everything would be okay. I wondered if he knew for sure that everything would really ever be okay again.

I thanked him for being so nice and Jack shook his hand. When he dropped me off that night, I started to get out of the car and then  turned around to say Merry Christmas.  And thought “Seriously?” How could I let him go home alone after everything we’d been through? I told him to come in. He looked so grateful he didn’t even try to argue. I just couldn’t picture him going home to an empty house. My parents had already gone to bed. There were still gifts under the tree that I still hadn’t taken up to my room yet. As I surveyed my home and the scene before me, I felt very grateful. I started a fire and got some pillows and blankets and we fell asleep in each other’s arms. That night I thanked God for giving me the parents that I had and I think I may have even loved them just a little bit more than I had the day before.

fireplace

 

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14 thoughts on “#44 The Worst Christmas Ever Continued

  1. Theresa,
    Oh you have no idea. I’d only heard about these scenes until I actually lived one. What transpires next is really sad so grab some kleenex. Though I think I am exhausted for now. I will be glad when I have told it all. And then the weaving it all into a redeeming story with a message will be the trick.
    Thank you for reading my friend!
    xoxo

  2. Is it any wonder that, for some….myself included, when holidays roll around an unexplained “terror” grips your soul? Many years later with massive amounts of healing I tend to feel very uneasy during holidays. It is so very sad that you had a childlike vulnerability that was shattered just like the wine bottle. You expressed this so completely and it makes me sad. I can only imagine that you are exhausted after this stretch of writing. Time is a strange factor, because when fear is involved this kind of event can feel like it was yesterday. Make sure you take care of yourself Di. Blessitude

    • Oh Lorrie,
      I felt so bad for him. I mean my family wasn’t perfect but the worst that it ever got for me, was worrying about my dad who was an executive drinking too much during the holiday parties. Funny, a kid shouldn’t even know to worry about stuff like that… but funny what goes on behind closed doors. I was only seven when I realized that my dad had a problem. My mom hid it so well from everyone else but not from me. She would use me as her sounding board. Way too early for a seven year old kid to understand. She has since realized her errors but the damage was done. I think in a way, I felt an unspoken kinship to Jack and his part in having to deal with his mother’s alcoholism.

      Even though his experiences couldn’t be hidden because his mom was well, sort of crazy… and I’d hadn’t even admitted to myself (or at least out loud to someone else besides my mom) that my dad had a problem, I understood his pain about his mom and the history of ruined holidays he remembered and wanting “normal”. Which was us. Or so he thought.

      I think that is why it took so long to get away from the abuse. I loved him so much, even more than myself I think. I hid things to protect him. The sad thing is that I didn’t protect me. Learning to love me has taken decades. The first step towards that love was letting go. Though if you follow this story to the end you will not believe how I almost lost myself all over again. But I don’t want to post a spoiler yet. 😉
      I am so sorry that you relate. It is a painful memory and something that never goes away. Though I bet your kids had wonderful holidays to make up for it! THAT is usually the way, we either replay the same mistakes or give our kids what we wished for.

      • I do have a son (had 2 step sons for a time) and yes, Di, we tried to make our own personal holidays filled with fun, laughter, and lots of love. 🙂
        I understand how you felt, how you still feel. Following your story is a bit cathartic for me…I am blessed to have found you. Blessitude

    • And yes your are right about this being a very draining tale to tell. Thank you for following along! I love your comments! I am going to try to get a chunk written today!
      xoxo

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