BPD Voices Project, Living With BPD, Scott's Voice
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Christmas with BPD

A Word of warning – if you’re feeling at all dapper or cheerful about 2016’s upcoming Christmas, most likely not a good idea for you to continue any further…

 

Christmas’s have always been a very bad time for me. I was never “allowed” to have them as a kid, and I have grown up not celebrating those or Birthdays (birthdays were also a forbidden thing).

With every coming Xmas, it seems my insides begin to turn even more than the previous one, with the oncoming explosion of ridiculous festivities, “family get-together” and everything else that encompasses the “stupid season”.

For someone like myself who identifies Christmas and Birthdays with trauma, bad times and loneliness, it’s upsetting and triggering to see so many people “faking” it every year just for the sake of the family or friends that they feel they need to impress in order to fit in.

Growing up, Christmas was something I dreaded every fucking year, it made me feel sick and empty inside every year – sometimes weeks prior to it even coming. As soon as I would see the decorations and stuff going up outside people’s houses, or the shops selling all the “festive” gear, my heart sank.

As I have grown older, it’s become a tremendously triggering time of year, filled with dread and a deep sickness which envelops my whole body.  Now instead of drinking myself into a lonely stupor for days on end (as I did 10-12 years ago), I am more inclined to lock myself in a room for two-three days until the ridicule dies down and fucks off permanently for yet another year.

Why does Christmas affect me in such negative ways? I have pondered on this each year at the same time, and have not really come up with a definitive answer, but perhaps the truth lies in how Christmas was presented (or in my case NOT presented) to me as a child? Sometimes I have wondered what it would have been like to have lived through Christmas’s as a “normal” child, but that idea is completely foreign to me. I cannot even imagine it (and I have a large imagination!).

I believe that those of us who suffer at Christmas and birthdays (and there are a lot of us), should be considered carefully by those who are celebrating and forming/re-forming bonds with friends and family. What about those of us who have no friends or family? That’s me, for sure, and a lot of other people are in the same (or a similar boat).

For those who “celebrate” Christmas, it may be the happiest time of the year for them, but for me it’s the worst, and it always has been. I sometimes spend the whole 11 months prior thinking about how I’m going to make it through another one.

I see Christmas not only as an over-hyped excuse to get drunk and celebrate a story (come on, let’s be honest!), but also as a time of year which holds dozens of different psychological triggers for me. This is my own personal opinion and experience with Christmas, I wish it wasn’t, but there’s nothing I can do to put back 40 years of Xmas, or to make up for them.

The idea that people somewhere are enjoying themselves with a “loving family” is somewhat foreign to me also, It’s something I have never experienced, and no longer wish for (I stopped wishing for that at around 7 years of age when I realized also that prayers did not work).

Everything that Christmas represents (right back to its roots) infuriates and enrages me to the point of almost over boiling. I find it (the older I get) increasingly hard to deal with, so that proves the old “theory” of things getting better with time – bullshit too.

I may be seen (by some) to be a Christmas Grinch, I am happy with that – I find the Grinch character to be incredibly cute, and if you look back into His/It’s history you’ll probably find reasons behind why he hated this time of year so much too.

From the age of 12-14, as I my high school was putting up their shitty Christmas decorations and trees, I was always asked to be exempt from any involvement, it was upsetting for me to see and be a part of something which I could never have and celebrate like the others, but it also excluded me and made me seem (to others) like an outcast.

If I think really hard over the past 30-so years, I can probably write a whole book detailing what Christmas means to me, and why I have avoided it like the plague for 40 years. Some might find this hard to deal with, but it’s a reality for some people (me included).

More things need to be put into helping (early on) people with BPD who do not experience Christmas for whatever reason – as a child I could have benefited with early counseling to deal with my feelings around Christmas, and the neglect of it, but I was forbidden from talking about my life with anyone – until now.

Sure, there are various “neighborhood houses” and places which offer free Xmas dinners etc. for people who don’t want to be on their own, but that makes me feel like a homeless person (no offense at all, I have been homeless before, and it’s yet another triggering thing). So, I am kind of damned if I do, or don’t really.

As a child I dreamed of going on road trips at Christmas time, with a different family than my own, I wished every year (when I believed in Santa) that he would take me away on his sleigh on Christmas Eve and give me to a family that actually wanted a child, regardless of his defects and “issues”. It never happened, so I stopped believing very early on (probably at about age 7). It broke a lot of dreams for me, and forced me to accept life for the way it was going to be, WAY before I should have had to.

Had I been given the same (or slightly similar) opportunities of other kids, I would have not probably been affected by grief and loss the way I am today, I would have had better understanding of how to deal with it.

I apologize to everyone who finds this post offensive, blasphemous, or disheartening, it is not the intention of it.

What this post should do is force you to pause whilst you’re chowing down on your Christmas dinner or opening a gift – and just think for a moment about people who have never and can never experience what you are about to.

Scott

10 Comments

  1. Trish says

    Thank you Scott for your blog. Christmas is difficult for me too. Trying to ‘not rock the boat’ and be ‘happy’ at a lunch with 18 family members who will most likely get drunk and raucous.

    Trish

    Like

    • Thanks for your comment, Trish. My “family” did the whole drunken debauchery Xmas deal too, which I never got into. Xmas is hard for many of us who struggle.

      Like

  2. Leanna knight says

    I am in the same boat. While Christmas was celebrated it left me with dread becAuse the toxicity and abuse I faced at home didn’t stop at Christmas. Now, having a teenAge son.. I’ve tried every year to go it for him while I’m slowly dying inside. I too, am on my own with him until he goes to his dads. I wanted to help others less fortunate around this time but can’t drive anywhere as don’t have a car.

    I keep thinking that I’ll hopefully feel better one day about it but it didn’t happen. Thanks so much for sharing. I resonate so much with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comment Leanna, I am sorry that your Xmas has been similar to mine, it seems too many of us have had experiences like this, and those that bathe in
      the glory and ridiculousness of all that is Christmas barely even recognize it through the haze.

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    • Rayne, not only is it overrated, it is also hypocritical and very disturbing when you think about it all. We spend all year trying to teach our children not to talk to strangers, only to allow them to sit on a strange old man’s lap at the end of each year who promises to buy them gifts if they’re “good” 😉

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  3. chainbreakercorporation says

    We are on the same boat, i am also borderline (among other things) and Christmas is the worst time due to PTSD flashbacks.
    You are not alone!
    ✺◟( • ω • )◞✺

    Liked by 1 person

    • PTSD I suffer mainly on Guyfawks night (I won’t get into why here), but Xmas just is a bad reminder of family (that I don’t have), friends (which I again do not have) and the whole ridiculousness of it all.

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