We had a difficult holiday season. It is hard to talk about it when everyone comes back with news of all the great things they did and wonderful people they saw. There is the moment of self reflection - would it be easier to just lie? Runa was anxious. Sophie was anxious, suicidal and a teenager. Joel was depressed. Extended family was weird. I was trying to soothe people and keep things going until I lost it totally on Christmas Eve.
I try to stay calm. I try to maintain small expectations and keep things going even when someone has checked out. I try to pull something good out of our experiences, but after a panic attack by Runa, Sophie talking through "Silent Night, another another panic attack and Sophie telling me that I make too big a deal out of Christmas (we had cheese and crackers, and sang silent night) I totally lost it. They broke something in me. Maybe it was something that needed to be broken, but it still hurt.
Sophie and I renegotiated her responsibilities and my expectations from her. That made things better. Runa started on some new medications and hopefully that will help her. I learned that I need to move away from some elements of my relationship with the girls. I can't depend on them to add to my happiness. That is growth, but it is growth through brokenness. It hurt.
It felt like there was no family, no times with friends, no memories from the holiday. I don't want to live like that. The elder today talked about the role of the story teller to tell the stories even when it seems like no one is listening, even if you are telling them to the ancestors and non-two legged relations. This reminded me that I need to keep telling the stories for myself. Maybe no family members will pay attention in circle time or take part in the ceremonies or celebrations, but I need to keep doing this. I am with other kinds of family.