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anxiety, holidays, mental health, parenting

Headaches and holidays.

I have a headache today. Which, in the spirit of honesty, isn’t really a new thing [chronic, but not enough to warrant a visit to a doctor and rarely hits the level of migraine.] If anyone read my last post, well, things and life got in the way and I wasn’t able to keep the momentum, never found my passion project, but was able to maintain the non-smoking lifestyle. So win?

I’m not giving up, though.

Fourteen years ago, I was Christmas shopping for my (then) 2-week-old and 20-month-old whilst planning a funeral for my husband (aka the asshole who shot himself right before the holidays.) I still have anger and PTSD and trouble shopping at holiday stores. I want to grieve and be over it already, but I’m STILL struggling and trying and some days barely making it through. [Yes, I am in therapy.] I just don’t ever feel like I’m making progress, and I blame that on my kids.

Wait, back up a second.

My kids, they are fantastic and I love them. BUT, as they grow and develop, they grieve the loss of their dad in new and different ways, and we (as a family) process the loss all over again through a new lens. For example, G is struggling with not having that “father-son” time now that he’s about to turn 16. Dad won’t teach him how to drive or any of the other cool adult-ish stuff that dad used to do that would be age appropriate to share with a boy on the cusp of adulthood himself. So he’s depressed about the situation. Shifty is…well…angry. Very, very angry. She feels the abandonment and the intentionality of his loss and is really, really, really, really pissed off about it. I waffle between angry and sad on their behalves.

I don’t know how to move us through this as a family. Not to say we don’t have great times and good bonding and lots of love between us [ok, not so much between Shifty and G right now] we are just struggling. And I don’t want to us to feel like we have to struggle. [Yes, the kids are in therapy, too.]

And I’m avoiding holiday shopping at the stores. Again.

I’m confident we will get through it, I just never knew grieving would be like this.

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