Its not the first time I have reflected on the challenging time of Christmas when people are / have experienced loss. You might recall how my first yuletide was spent alone in a dark room curled up in ball. The years since then have been a gradual process of slowly but surely allowing the light to enter back in but in carefull steps and with nothing rushed. The simple fact is that frivolity has no place in a broken heart at least for a time. Just as we might hear people moaning about things at work or complaints about this and that, the thought of having to participate in a long family celebration when you feel like drowning or still frozen in shock, seems of no interest and as a consequence is a significant challenge.
If we are fortunate however, there are children or grown up sons and daughters who enter our world again to provide some sense of a loving home life and normality. If they are older you have passed the point when you are tempted to ask too many questions about time spent away from you. Instead you focus on the time you have with them now. Its just too exhausting to go over it all. We now have a routine where my daughter if she is not with me on Christmas Day, will suggest another alternative "special day" where we can go shopping, catch a movie, have dinner etc. We have become accustomed to the odd surprise though re our ex and their new life. Ideally we wait for these things to surface without any prompting or probing.
So this time, and not for the first time, I heard how my ex and her man have split. How my daughter's mother / the mother of my daughter has "fled" to be with her own elderly mother. I had thought that someone did this when a teenager or in their early adult life, not in their fifties! It seems once again there have been arguaments and the hurt caused continues to ripple outwards infecting us once more. "Mum seems to be ok Dad" said my girl, but she has not worked for a while although does'nt seem too worried. Her partner came from a very broken family it seems and he has lost contact with partically his whole original family. The pain he suffered makes him angry, controlling and leaves everyone "walking on egg shells". I was told how my daughter now thinks her mother tried to fix him!
A wrestless night followed for me with a mixture of again sadness and confusion. I explained to my daughter that people can end up using relationships without knowing that they are trying to fix things for themselves or simply escape from a life they don't want to be in for whatever reason. Being with the wrong person can I think be a huge eposode of self inflicted distraction therapy. Before you ask, my ex did enter my dreams during the cold winter's night but as a troubled soul and someone who was barely recognisable.