Thanksgiving and Christmas depress me. They have for years. The holidays are chock full of negative memories for me. I’m not ready to share them publicly. But in the lowest crevice in the pit of my gut are secrets and memories. They rumble gently throughout the year. The closer to the holidays I get the louder the rumble becomes. I feel it in my back, my hips, my chest, and it taunts me. If I think about it for too long I become nauseated, my neck gets hot, I start to sweat, my mouth gets dry, my chin quivers in preparation to cry. I’ll usually find a bathroom at this time. I won’t get sick, but I will need to cry. I’ve become a pro at crying silently and mending the redness in my eyes before anyone notices.
These days, the pain of memories past dances gracefully with current events that pain my soul. The water protectors at Standing Rock, thousands of Black people slain by police or “vigilantes”, transgender women killed for breathing, countless survivors of sexual assault who are shouted down and told they’re lying, children abandoned by the system, poor Black folks who lose their homes to gentrification, this motherfucking election where America voted in a goddamn reality television personality who’s the second-coming of Adolf Hitler all take up a considerate amount of space in my head and heart. I want better for us. I want better for me.
I want to get through a holiday season without feeling like I’m a robot on autopilot. Everything is foggy from November 1st until mid-February for me. I just wait patiently for the buds on the trees to return.
I wish I felt gleeful. I wish I felt the anticipation of sitting around a table with my family. I wish I felt excited at the prospect of holidays, cheer, food, people.