The Tears of Christmas Present

I can’t help the tears, which, while blurring my vision, are also revealing the depth of my own wretchedness to me.

I chose to be alone today. I knew it was going to be bad, and I wanted Luna to celebrate and enjoy this day. Hopefully, I’m making the changes soon enough for her that she grows up remembering good things, in addition to the painful, difficult things.

I debated about whether to reach out to my son, but I think he’s made it clear that he is only interested in having a relationship with Luna, so, my only welcomed contact is in facilitating that. Essentially, it has become abundantly clear that my adult daughter feels the same.

There are those who would say I’m reaping what I’ve sown and am deserving of much worse from them. Most of the time, I try to be honest with myself and think of what I have intended and strived to do for them, as well as the things I know I did, as their mother and on their behalf, which they and those around them have little knowledge, awareness or understanding of. But today, it just echoes hollowly throughout my inner self.

Today, I stave off the demon dog barking in my ear that all three of my children would be better off if I were to just fade away from their lives. It snarls that the only significance and worth I have, to them or others, is as the cautionary tale of what it means to be a failure in this life.

“She had such potential…”

Looking and their pictures on the walls around me, I ache with the pain of self-inflicted loss.

Somehow, though, I have to close the valve, dry the surface, and reapply the mask.

Keith will be bringing Luna here soon. I can’t be this way when he gets here. I don’t want to have to try to tell him what’s going on inside of me because he’ll just start criticizing and blaming my kids and my family of origin and, somehow, it will turn into something that’s been done to him.

I can’t be this way when Luna gets here because she needs me to take joy in her presence. She needs me to celebrate with her and express attachment and pleasure in her presence – something I was incapable of doing and understanding when Marco and LaLa were little.

It’s so hard to be grateful and celebratory today. I know this is a man-made holiday, with original intents and spiritual significance subsumed by materialism, politics, and religiosity. However, the core of Christian tradition states that in this season of darkness, oppression, and despair, You chose to meet us here, in our muck and our mess, because You love us. You love us, and that alone determines our worth and value.

Help me to trust in Your love for me and take my value from that. Help me hope in the redemption and reconciliation You bring.

Mostly, help me to be present and loving and joyous in the presence of my child, as You take delight in Your children.




  1. It is a grief process, it is natural and normal…but more importantly…one is not a failure when they were unable to take a particular action that is only visible in hindsight because they lacked awareness. We don’t choose abuse, in most cases we are targeted…there are various levels of broken…you have demonstrated you are taking responsibility and are accountable…there is nothing more you could be expected to do…the battle is in truly forgiving oneself…I pray your serenity and his grace come soon…


    1. Betty,
      Thank you for that reminder. I’m aware that how I’m feeling and that the thoughts which trigger and accompany those feelings are not necessarily the truth of the matter. I suspect the grief from these current relational losses and breaks are triggering a lot of unresolved grief from other losses throughout my life, beginning in childhood. Which is why it feels so overwhelming.

      I appreciate your encouragement and kindness.



  2. This doesn’t exactly apply to you and your situation, but it helped me recently:

    When a person regrets wrongdoings, this is not a contradiction to the pre-existing obligation to be happy. Why? Because he should feel joy that he has merited to recognize the truth and is now repenting!

    -Rabbi Zelig Pliskin



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