Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Revisited

If I wrote a book about my childhood, it would be hard to believe. I try to laugh it off with my family sometimes by saying, "Yeah, we put the fun in dysfunctional." The truth is, my holidays growing up were often difficult. My step mother who raised me likely is a borderline personality. There were times when we would drive 12 butt numbing hours to her parents (my grandparents) home in Conway, Arkansas. Upon arrival, she would spew hateful words about how awful we all were and then send us packing. So, after taking my little sister out of the car there Scott, Dad, and I were. Persona non grata at Thanksgiving. Many holidays were like this and they were stressful, heartbreaking times. Thanksgiving was a day when we waited for the other shoe to drop and held our breaths hoping that this year it would not.

Today I made the mistake of calling her to wish her a Happy Thanksgiving. After 18 years of marriage and after having put a fair amount of distance between us, I thought it would be the kind thing to do. Yet again, she had nothing but ugly things to say. She took credit for saving my life (there are no words for such hubris) and actually told me how to raise my children. Other hurtful things were said and then, as always, she put in the last word and hung up on me.

After a good cry and being comforted by my husband and children, I can say I am Thankful! Those days are over and I don't have to relive them. I am so thankful that I can look forward to tomorrow and that my future is not determined by the past I survived. I'll not make that mistake again next year, but it was an excellent reminder.

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