It's Thanksgiving, a day that is traditionally set apart for being thankful for all that you have.
What is often over looked is the amount of depression that often accompanies the holidays.
I'm thinking that I know at least part of the problem is the lack of acceptance for anyone who isn't over the top bubbling with enthusiasm for their golden lives.
Yes, that is a tad sarcastic ...but that's how i'm feeling.
I'm not posting this so that I can get "I'm sorry " or encouragment ... I know that few people read this blog ...and few post. I guess I'm writing it in a semi functional/semi public forum so I will at least 'feel' like I got out what I wanted to say without actually drawing attention to myself.
This morning, on Facebook, I posted, as millions did, the things I'm grateful for.
Within minutes I got a private message from someone ...
"You know, you have so much, and there are those with so little ... you should be thanking God that you're healthy, that you've got the things you've got ...you left off so much. You should be ashamed of yourself"
Bowl me over!
EXCUSE ME? Now, if this was someone I'd met on line, I could excuse it. If this was one of my friends from the singing group I was in ... I'd excuse it. One of the 60 friends from high school that are on my page ... I'd excuse it.
But it wasn't. It was from someone currently in my life ... I attended church with them for 10 years. I sat near their family week in and week out ... and before I had time to process this ... 3 more messages with similar messages came through. All from people related to the first. One of them, I'd spent 8 of those 10 years working with him in the music ministry.
Now, granted, I don't go around wearing my health on my sleeve, but neither do I keep it a secret. If I can't do something, I excuse myself apologizing that my health won't allow me to participate.
In the 10 years that I was in the church I was in the hospital 13 times, 8 of them for surgery. Yeah, that's healthy!
I've got so much??? While I've made it a point to raise my children with the mentality of being thankful for what you have ...and living the best life possible ..and I certainly don't wear my poverty on my sleeve, it is far more hidden than my health ...but come on! I got a house through Habitat for Humanity! People who get houses from them do not have 'so much' they are not wealthy and they are usually in pretty strict financial straits ... Some almost reach, but not quite, comfortable. Most, are lacking. WE fall below the poverty level. Always have. We make ends meet because we live within our means (which means our children go without and our clothing is bought at garage sales and second hand stores!)
This year, I'm accutely aware of the fact that my family is not speaking. My parents and I are estranged as is my sister and I. The only family that is talking to me is my niece. She has chosen to spend the day with her boyfriend and the family that they live with. So I have my sons and my husband ...that's it. It is very clear that my family has been blown to shreds ... I wouldn't change a thing about why they're not talking to me .... but it doesn't hurt any less.
This year, more than any other, I seem to be aware of what isn't in my life ... maybe it's the working in therapy on really experiencing emotions. Maybe I've given myself permission to be sad ...
My son has significant issues ...and always will.
My health is fragile at best.
While I'm incredibly grateful for the fact that my husband is still alive, in the back of my mind it keeps nagging at me ...how many more holidays do we have? When will the next event like 2.5 years ago happen ...and will that one take him from me?
My family (extended) no longer exists ... no one is talking to me because I chose to protect my niece. It was the right thing to do ... but it cost me my family.
The family that she lives with has gone on and on about how hard it has been on her ...after all ... she had to cut off ties with her parents ... they go to extremes to make sure that she is not lacking for anything ... but they seem to have forgotten one thing while they remind me of everything that she gave up ... I gave up my parents as well ...and my sister and my nephews and niece ... it wasn't JUST her that gave up the family.
I'm hurting this Thanksgiving ... I'm not used to feeling hurt ... I'm used to ignoring it and moving on. I'm guessing it's a good thing that I'm acknowleging the pain ... but it's less than pleasant to do so ...and then to have people have the NERVE to tell me what to be grateful for ... who do they think they are?