When you are sad, or in pain it is so easy to crawl back into bed, to feel like throwing in the towel, and to just give up. In an effort to SHOW UP and “put on my big girl panties”, I am here. I am processing, feeling, and writing.
Let me begin by saying that I HATE THANKSGIVING. Not because I am not thankful for many things. In fact, I remind myself everyday that I have a lot to be thankful for. I hate thanksgiving because I have so many bad memories that occurred on that day. So every year I tell myself that THIS YEAR will be the one. I put so much weight on making ONE DAY perfect. Can you say setting yourself up for failure?
What I hoped would happen on Thanksgiving:
A month ago it was decided that my family would be having Thanksgiving at my parents home which is about an hour away from me. My daughters, myself, Einstein, my brother, his girlfriend, my parents etc would all be there. (12 in total). Everyone is so busy in their day to day lives that I was so excited that we would all be together and able to “catch up”. I told everyone that I would handle the planning, the menu, the times etc. Because I wanted it to be PERFECT. Everyone was on board to let me “handle it”.
As I planned, it also occurred to me that with my kids getting older and having their own homes, my oldest daughter getting married, my mother having dementia, all of us still living within an hour of each other, and just life in general, this may be the last chance I have to make the perfect day. The desire to “hold on to my kids” became as important to me as having oxygen to breathe. I couldn’t very well ask them to not spend it with their significant others, but maybe I could have some “alone time with them” in the morning if we all drove out together.
So for the last month I planned the menu, making sure each person had their “favorite, must have on Thanksgiving food”. I made a carpool plan so that smokers could ride with smokers, those that wanted to show up only for food could get out quick, and I could have that “alone time with my girls”. I even scheduled time so that everyone’s animals would be alone for the least amount of time. I DREW A FRICKING DIAGRAM!
A week before Thanksgiving I confirmed all of my OCD thoughts with everyone. I was so excited! I even made a post that I was turning off all social media and I did!
Thanksgiving morning I was higher than cloud nine. Literally so manic I don’t think my feet touched the floor once. Yah! FINALLY A PERFECT THANKSGIVING!!!!!
Ten minutes before my youngest was supposed to pick me up, Einstein said “I’m not going, I have things that need to be done here, and it’s a minimum four hours wasted”. NOW, I can tell you what it feels like to be dropped out of a plane WITHOUT a parachute.
I felt the whole plan unraveling. Now everyone was going to be upset that their plans were changed. My parents were going to give me the, “we told you Einstein is a waste of time lecture”. The dogs would be left alone…etc etc etc.. I was crushed, I couldn’t breathe, and the amount of tears I cried would have filled a river. OH shit, my daughter would be here in just a few minutes. I didn’t want her to see me like this. I didn’t have time to kill Einstein and hide his body either.
So into the bathroom I went. I tried to clean up my face as quickly as possible, but I was still in there when my daughter arrived. She gave me a hug, and helped wipe my face. She said, “Einstein isn’t going?” I mumbled something incoherent, and she took my hand, led me to the door. I think she may have even put on my coat for me. While I was in my “fog”, she took control, made phone calls, rearranged things, and made sure that we showed up at my parents in one piece.
I spent the entire day in that fog. I smiled when I was supposed to, said “Oh I’m fine, and I’m sorry at the appropriate times, but I wasn’t there. I told everyone I that I didn’t want to talk about it, let’s just have a good day. But yes I wasn’t there. I didn’t get my alone time with my daughters. It wasn’t the perfect day. In fact, I have spent the last several days just going through the motions lost in my own fog.
Now that some time has past, and the fog has cleared a little. I realize that I did it to myself. I set myself up for failure. I forgot to be thankful for all of the things I am thankful for every day and I only focused on the negative. I let one person’s decision ruin something that I had worked so hard for.
I haven’t really talked about this with anyone, other than saying I had a blah thanksgiving, but when another person asked me this morning how my Thanksgiving was, I decided it was time to Wake the hell up, get up and show up. (Thank you for that by the way and to everyone else who offered to talk when I said I had had a terrible day)
I am both Thankful and sorry today. I am thankful that I have so many great people in my life that care about me. I am thankful that although my kids are growing up, they are incredibly strong and caring individuals. ( But I am also sorry that having a bipolar mother made them that way) I’m thankful that both of my parents are still alive.
When I began writing today, I did it in word, not sure whether I was just “getting it out there” or if I would be posting. I decided to post, because I want to “keep it real”. I’m sure other people set themselves up for failure, maybe you can relate and know that you are not alone. Today is a new day and I showed up. I am thankful that while still “covered in dirt”, I am still on the right side of it. Time to shower, get dressed, and work on “owning my own shit”.
7 thoughts on “Why I had a TERRIBLE Thanksgiving day”
We can be so hard on ourselves, eh?! Christmas last year was a bit like this for me. My husband and I had a huge argument and ate our Christmas dinner in silence… ugh. Thanksgiving was lovely my end because as English folk, this is only our fourth Thanksgiving… ever! We don’t have family in the country and none of them even know it’s Thanksgiving anyway, so we just enjoy the day off, eat lots and drink good wine. No pressure because it’s just us. We didn’t even shop until the day before… just popped to the store and bought a few things to throw together. There’s always next year my dear!
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Oh Sweetie I am so sorry that your Thanksgiving was a bit of a mess. It is so easy to set ourselves up for failure but we can not help it. Families can be so complicated and frustrating but we still love them. I have set myself up for a known failure more times than I can count. My biological father has spent my entire life disappointing me but I kept trying. My final straw was him missing my wedding because he did not have anything to wear. It was a horrible and lame excuse but that is him. I also am always hoping that my mother will change her ways but still has not. I know it is hard but do not be so hard on yourself. You are a wonderful person that always wants to try. You are strong and wise with so much love you want everyone to be happy. It is a blessing and a curse. I am glad your daughter was there to help and honestly your son probably regrets not going with you. Much love my dear!!
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Thank you Alyssa!
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It is my pleasure!!! I am always here for you my dear!
I totally understand your frustration. That often happens to me when I want sth to be perfect (though it rarely is). Damn perfectionism, it’s gonna kill me one day. So, when sth doesn’t live up to my expectation, I make gray turn black. It’s like the end of the world. The truth is, it isn’t. The world will go on spinning.
What does sth? and sb mean? I try not to guess since for the longest time when people told me SMH I thought they meant SEX MIGHT HELP instead of shaking my head
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somebody/something, I often used dictionary abbrev. 🙂