It is the weekend before Christmas and I have no time to write today,  just as you have no time to read anything I have to say.

I haven’t written anything for four days because I don’t have anything uplifting to say.

And it is YOUR Christmas, too, after all.

So please be warned.

Abandon hope all ye who enter here

 

There will be no good cheer today.  There will be no angels singing on high. There will be no Story of the Magi that ends with a tearful exchange of a useless hair comb and a worthless watch bob.

For Jeff and me, I fear  that this will end up becoming the Christmas that never was.

AGAIN.

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The last REAL Christmas Jeff and I had was the year he sang this song at church on Christmas Eve. I wish I had a decent recording of my husband singing it. Instead, we’ll just have to suffer through Jackson Browne’s version.

 

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Last year, my mother was dying. Everything about Christmas this year reminds me of that. And what doesn’t remind me of that reminds me of the fact that I turn 50 in three days. And I’m just not very happy about that either.

Last year–in my desperate attempt to compensate for the dying person laying in the guest room–I over-decorated. There were reindeer to left of me, reindeer to the right, and here we were, stuck in the middle with FOUR CHRISTMAS TREES and her.

This year there isn’t one ornament on the tree. The ornament box has sat next to the tree for a week, and at this point I’m fairly well tempted to haul it back out to the garage and pronounce Christmas “DOA”.

Both Jeff and I work Christmas this year, so it doesn’t really matter anyway. There is always next year.

I just realized that I think I’ve forgotten to take my Wellbutrin for that past two days. Maybe I ought to go take one of those. I feel a crying jag coming on.

********

Okay. I’m back. I went and took my Mother’s Little Helper. Berating myself for being such a wimp.

The old Chloe wouldn’t have taken anti-depressants.

The old Chloe would have gone on a flying rage spree while secretly fantasizing about putting a gun barrel in her mouth.

I think my family would agree that the new medicated Chloe is better.

Certain factions of the internet would also agree.

********

Depression is fucking depressing.

See why I haven’t written?

I don’t want to write this shit, and sure as hell, nobody wants to read it.

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Long-time readers probably already know that my use of profanity increases proportional to my fucked-up emotional state.

There’s some sort of algebra equation in it, I’m sure. Like:

If X equals Chloe’s emotional health, and Y is the level of her total frustration with this stupid universe that may or may not be driven by an all-knowing, loving God, then Z is the sum total of how many profane words she uses on any given day.

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Speaking of God and the crazy way he runs this stupid universe, in case anyone is wondering, I am not very happy about God’s stinginess towards my daughter and his refusal so far in giving my little girl a baby. What’s up with that anyway? Do you know how many worthless pieces of shit parents there are in this world who are fertile?

Don’t even get me started.

I try not to think about how upset I am about this, and how sad my little girl is, because I’m afraid I may just chuck whatever faith I have left. I think she’s afraid that’s what is going to happen too.

********

Anyway.

Ho. Ho. Ho.

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Birthblessed December 19, 2011 at 7:06 am

Two years ago today I did CPR for 12 minutes on a stillborn baby while waiting for EMS to arrive. The midwife fumbled around panicking. The midwife got a slap on the wrist and continued practicing….that is, delivering babies at homes at their peril since she has absolutely NO skills when the labor isn’t textbook perfect.

I started feeling stressed out 2 days ago and hope I get over it before my baby girl’s 8th birthday on Wednesday. Two years ago I missed her birthday, as I sat at a funeral home with my friend. I was only supposed to be a doula.
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Tabitha December 19, 2011 at 1:55 am

Take the tablets and know that one day you won’t need them anymore.
I think we do everyone a great disservice hyping Christmas up as one big happy holiday where everything has to be perfect. It wasn’t perfect for that young unmarried girl who had to go on a long journey nine months pregnant, it wasn’t for those women whose children were slaughtered by Herod. It isn’t for me – coming up on four years since Mum died but it is better this year than last. But life is painful and crappy and wonderful and beautiful and ugly and pretty much any adjective you can think of.

Cling to the good and grit your teeth and get through the bad.

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Chloe December 19, 2011 at 5:14 am

Thank you for this timely reminder.

Life is messy. And hard. And wonderful.

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Magnolia December 18, 2011 at 7:10 am

Yes, I did forget her friends, didn’t I, Susan? And yes, Chloe, you have many people who love and support you.

I said what I said because I have often admired the loving relationship you have with your husband. The deep love you share is the stuff that life is made of. When we have a companion who has our back and is always there for us with an abiding and supporting love……I dunno…..seems to me that you’ve got it all.

I’m not a Buddhist…..but they do have one thing right……life *is* suffering far too often. Loss, hurt, disillusionment. It’s all part of the deal.

But we also have the ability to take a look around and size up the things that are good in our life. From where I sit, you have MUCH.

I would give anything to have the kind of relationship you have with just your husband.
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Chloe December 18, 2011 at 2:00 pm

I do have many blessings. More than most.

I wish you could have a husband like I do. I wish that on every woman. Having a man love this deeply, and put up with as much shit as I dish out is an astounding blessing.

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Susan in the Boonies December 18, 2011 at 5:21 am

By the way, I tried to call you yesterday afternoon, but your phone’s ring sounded like some kind of static whoosh, (might have been my phone’s issue) so I abandoned the effort.

You WILL get through this.

But that doesn’t mean it won’t hurt. Of course it hurts.

All the imperfections and familial/basic human insanities and losses and longings unfulfilled hurt in the deepest place. I know they do. I’ve lived my own share of these, and will live more.

It’s life: that’s the way it rolls.

But you will, again, see joy in the land of the living.
You will! I know this.
And Magnolia’s right.
Except she left out the mention of your friends.

Your blessings are not small, and they also are subject to potentially being lost at a moment’s notice as well, (Oh, happy thought! Ha!), so you might want to revel in them while you’ve got them. Life can turn on a dime, and your people need you.
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Chloe December 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm

The first half of life is usually acquisition. The second half is loss. At least this is how it looks like rolls to me. It’s tough. And no one escapes alive.

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Chloe December 19, 2011 at 5:17 am

The longer we live the more losses we know. This is the circle of life. I no like.

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Judy December 17, 2011 at 11:47 pm

I can relate to what you say. It just so happens that my language is directly realted to my emotional stae too. I told my kids tonight that I never cussed until I got depression for the first time. Now, going through perimenopause I could give a sailor a run for his money. Just do whatever you feel able to do and don’t worry about the rest. I hope things get better for you soon!

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Chloe December 18, 2011 at 2:03 pm

I certainly didn’t curse like this until the anxiety/depression came. I’ve read a study that says that cursing actually relieves pain. I believe it!

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Sili December 17, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Mami went in to the hospital Christmas eve last year and it was the beginning of the end. I know how you are feeling. About almost everything. I don’t know how, after the year I’ve had, my faith continues to be strong. But, I have “discussions” about things with God on a regular basis. I found a video today (posted it on Twitter) about a young lady who reminded me of a lot of things that I have been struggling with this year.

I have no words. “I’m sorry” is bullshit because what can you do with that? So I won’t say it. I am here for you and I’m sending tons of virtual hugs.

PS: I get the issue with your daughter. I’m sending her tons of prayers as well.
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Chloe December 18, 2011 at 2:05 pm

I think those discussions are important. They are frightening, but they are what makes a relationship real. At least to me.

If I went around spouting spiritual-sounding drivel and pretending that everything was great inside me then that would be a lie. And others who are suffering wouldn’t be helped at all. I used to think that my being perfect and happy all the time was an encouragement to others. Now I think being real is the better encouragement. At least then we can know that we aren’t alone.

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Magnolia December 17, 2011 at 7:24 pm

You have a husband who utterly adores you, supports you and honors you. You have two children who deeply love you as well. Your daughter is now married to man who deeply loves and adores her.

I would say you are a rich woman who is deeply blessed.
Magnolia recently posted..Perimenopause Blog Giveaway! Laselle Kegel Exerciser & Feminine Moisturizer by LELOMy Profile

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Chloe December 18, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Thank you for the reminder. I am blessed. Very.

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Jewel December 17, 2011 at 6:08 pm

I love your post. It’s real. I’m right there with you. Starting in October, my dad almost died. For a month. My mom had surgery for a herniated disc. They are both old. Neither one has been able to do much. It’s been hard. Now my dad is having an appendectomy, this week. And right after Christmas, my 9yo is having his 4th heart surgery. Thanks for being real. I’m vibrating sympathetically…

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Chloe December 18, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Coping with our aging parents and teens/young adults is so stressful. It really is the sandwich generation years, isn’t it?

I’m sorry for your parents’ illnesses. It just sucks!

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Chloe December 19, 2011 at 5:30 am

These years sandwiched between taking care of our kids and our aging parents is so hard.

I hope your parents recover, and I wish your 9year old the very best in his upcoming surgery. Four heart surgeries? How do you handle it?

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Jewel December 19, 2011 at 4:48 pm

I have a great cardiologist that I believe the Lord led me to. It really helps a lot. I wish more doctors were like him. Also, they aren’t open heart but cardiac catheterizations. That helps a lot. Quick recovery for him. It’s just weird knowing they are in your baby’s heart fooling around! So far so good. Last piece of hardware being installed this time. In the future, it will just be tweaking what is already in there.

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Sally December 17, 2011 at 6:06 pm

So much that I might say would sound trite or condescending or like some pathetic attempt to keep you from going “there” (wherever that might be, metaphorically or mentally or metaphysically). I’d consider a post like this one you’ve written an honest lament from a hurting heart. Medicine will help you to keep on keeping on for the sake of those whom you love (and who obviously love you dearly), and I hope and pray that the ground will steady underneath your feet a little more each day.

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Chloe December 19, 2011 at 5:27 am

You did make me feel better.

Knowing that I am not alone. Many of us struggle at this time of year with loss and sadness and unreasonable expectations that can crush us if we don’t keep them under control. I do not want to miss all of Christmas crying about last Christmas. I guess we just have to learn to take it one Christmas at a time, huh?

Lamenting is a time-honored spiritual practice with a long tradition in Scripture. Thank you for the reminder.

There is a time to laugh and a time to cry. And sometimes that time falls around Christmas.

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Margaret December 19, 2011 at 5:40 am

“Lamenting is a time-honored spiritual practice with a long tradition in Scripture. ”

This is a most excellent observation.

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Kristina December 17, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Hang in there Chloe. You know I write about my depression all the time. It does suck. Big time. I’m on TWO antidepressants if that makes you feel any better. I tried for a long time to not go on meds but my children and I would agree that me medicated is much better. I’ve lost both my Mom and Dad. I used to think I didn’t want to celebrate the holidays without them. Then I realized that my girls need me to celebrate for them. I’m past the thinking of “next year” because what if there isn’t a next year and your family’s only memory of your last Christmas is that you chose not to celebrate it. Not trying to lay a guilt trip. Really. That is just how I have to think of things. I don’t want my children ending up in therapy because they didn’t get a Christmas from me.
As far as the infertility thing? Been there. For years. 3 surgeries, countless medical procedures, and all the heartache. But you know what? Your daughter will end up with a child. She will. It just may not be by birth. My oldest was adopted and my trio came courtesy of an IVF cycle. We were fortunate that my ex worked for a company that provided both an adoption benefit AND infertility treatments. So tell your daughter to hang in there. It will happen. Maybe just not in the way originally planned.
Can you tell how well my meds are working?!?
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Chloe December 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm

lol. At least we can laugh about depression. That’s got to be healthy.

I know there is a baby or babies waiting somewhere for my daughter. But watching her sadness right now breaks my mother’s heart. I want to fix it for her so badly. So very, very badly.

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Kristina December 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm

I totally understand. If she has any questions, I would be happy to help answer them if I can. Sometimes talking to someone who has BTDT helps.
Kristina recently posted..Chiari GirlsMy Profile

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Margaret December 17, 2011 at 5:18 pm

I’m sorry, Chloe. I say screw Christmas. Stick some candles on the table, cook up something Italian, and pour the wine. That’s all the Christmas any of us need.

FWIW, the chorus of Mumford and Sons Little Lion Man have been running through my head all day. Today, my brain keeps telling my heart that it’s my life verse. Quite an uplifting little ditty:

but it was not your fault but mine
and it was your heart on the line
I really fucked it up this time
didn’t I, my dear?
didn’t I, my dear?

Love it.

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Chloe December 19, 2011 at 5:19 am

This advice was good.

I scaled way back in my expectations and I felt better.

I did finally get the tree decorated, but decided I didn’t need to set up the rest of the whole shebang. The tree is pretty and I’ll have less to mess with after Christmas is over.

I do love that song.

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Margaret December 19, 2011 at 5:43 am

I thought of you while walking yesterday. Isn’t it about time to be planning another run away? Rome, Paris, London……where to next? Venice? Istanbul? Budapest? Start dreaming again.

Travel feeds the soul.

(stupid brain is telling me, “travel feeds the soul, but not the pocketbook…” shut up brain).

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Robin December 17, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Medication is not a moral failure…but you already know that.

I love you, friend. I’m pretty much exactly where you are in relation to what the almighty chooses to do/not do. No answers make sense right now.
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Pamela December 17, 2011 at 4:13 pm

I’m sorry. It sucks that your mom died so close to Christmas. Actually, it sucks that she died. Period. And it sucks that you and your DH have to work. And it really, really sucks that your sweet baby can’t yet have a sweet baby of her own.

However, if I could have turned 30 with the style with which you are turning 50 I’d be a happy woman.

It doesn’t tip the balance by any means, I know.

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Missus Wookie December 17, 2011 at 2:23 pm

I am sorry it is a sucky time of year for you. We did Christmas one year without stuff except some lights and bulbs, it worked. Glad you have the drugs – keep taking ’em.
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Jill S. December 17, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Hey, Chloe…

I am with you, to an extent, on the whole Christmas-Schristmas thing. We did put up a tree – but only because Jake wanted to – and only put a few of “his” ornaments on the tree. Then it fell over…and I left it. It’s in the basement (so I don’t have to see it unless I’m doing laundry) and Jake hasn’t asked me to put it back up, so I haven’t. His couple of gifts are in a stack next to it. Jake wanted lights on the house, too, so Joe put up the saddest string you’ve ever seen! He only made it halfway across the front of our roof before having to come in that evening. Never made it back out! And no one has turned them on at night yet…

I did, however, go all out at the cemetery. I got a little tree and tied 80 or so pink and purple ribbons to the branches. Joe used tent stakes to secure it to the ground. Then I made a “spray” for the top of her stupid dirt mound. It’s got a lot of greenery along with all kinds of whimsical pink, purple, and light blue decor poking out of it – complete with a couple of pink and blue butterflies on springs. I have a smaller version of that up where Alyssa’s headstone will go (hoping to have it placed in the next month or so). I try my best to make her spot the “prettiest” one out there.

Joe is working Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Years’ Day this year. Yippee… And my parents sabotaged our desire to not “do” a family Christmas with them. I (thought I) was very clear that our desire was to keep things quiet and simple, and even turned them down in their offer of a nice family dinner with my brother and his family. So they asked if we could get together (and I thought they just meant them and us) Friday for Jake to get his present from them. I agreed, and now it’s this big to-do with my brother’s family, and their two brand-new foreign exchange students that no one has met. (I’ll take that gun when you’re done with it…)

However, I’m not turning 50 this year, so I don’t have that stress. And I don’t struggle with depression, so I can’t relate there. But, I know that your hubby loves you unfathomably and will offer you every support available to him! Let him love you, let him remind you how beautiful you are, and how much he needs you!

I’m so sorry this is a sucky time of year. It does suck. I have a very good friend, though, who told me to give myself 20 minutes of pity per day and then get on with “life.” At first I was super mad at her, and couldn’t believe she said that; then I remembered she was speaking from experience with her own loss 7 years ago, and I knew she said it out of love.

I am excited for Jake to open his gifts. I am excited to host the New Years’ Eve party I signed up for. I’m not excited that it’s going to be alcohol-free (for some friends). I don’t know how to “do Christmas” without Alyssa. Last year we had no idea it would be our last Christmas with her. I don’t know if we load up Jake’s gifts and let him open them at the cemetery. I know I just feel like flinging myself on top of her grave and falling asleep there, hoping I freeze to death overnight.

We did go to a Festival of Lessons and Carols last night. And during those three hours, I do feel I was able to worship in spirit and truth. And we’re going to a performance of Handel’s “Messiah” tomorrow night. Joe and Jake have never been, and we have a friend in the choir, so I know we’ll have an enjoyable time.

So, no “Merry Christmas” from me. How ’bout a nice round of Pass the Booze!

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Julia December 17, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Take the Wellbutrin. Religiously.

Drink a glass of white wine and think about London.

Decorate if you want, don’t decorate if you want.

Screw the “shoulds”. Stop shoulding all over yourself. (say that fast out loud…it’s one of my “therapy” tricks….lol)

What’s the deal with 50? You look hot, you are healthy, your husband loves you passionately.

((Your daughter’s blog and your comments make me so sad)). Praying for her and them and you and…

Call me sometime. Not tonight. Tomorrow is good.

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Amy December 17, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Damn, I love this woman.

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