I’ve never had a Christmas without my Dad until last year.
I coped when I split up from my husband and we planned to share the children because my Dad was there. One year, he was supposed to go to my evil step sisters but stayed at home when he knew that I would be alone.
Since moving back to/buying my childhood home, I have cooked Christmas Dinner. There would always be a combination of people and my sisters and their families would often be there too. Even one year when I told my Dad it was not my turn and that we should await and invitation from one of them, he somehow persuaded me to invite everyone.
Last year, my children were due to spend Christmas Day with my ex. Knowing that this first year without our Dad would be difficult, and wanting to fill this grieving home with people and laughter, I invited everyone here, just as Dad would have liked. This included my ex’s parents and family and my in-laws’ families. Not everyone who was invited came but my house was full: for me, my children and my sisters, it meant our childhood home was full of love and laughter as well as the grief.
This year then, it was definitely my ex’s turn to have the children. It was also the year where my sisters would go to their in-laws.
I’ve told everyone that I’m more than happy to be on my own. I’ve painted a picture of a hot bath and clean pj’s, chocolate, wine and a Christmas food. ‘I’ll relax,’ I say.
Truth is, I don’t want anyone to feel obliged to invite me. I have never wanted to be a burden to my sisters: they have their own families. I have to live my own life.
Sure they’ve commented that I ‘can’t spend Christmas alone’. But that is very different to, ‘I want you to spend Christmas with us’ or ‘we want to spend Christmas with you’. If I can’t have a Christmas with my kids, my Dad, my sisters or a man who loves me then I would rather be on my own.
Tonight, I have found out that my youngest sister in not going to her in laws. She’s actually going to our evil step sisters.
I am heart broken.
This is the step sister who refused for my mother to be mentioned at my Dad’s funeral. It’s the woman who, one week after my Dad’s death, sent me a text message saying that my Dad hated living with me and that he felt like a prisoner. None of which was true, but she is so evil and jealous that Dad lived with me she would do anything to hurt me.
My three sisters and I have barely spoken to her and my step brothers since Dad’s funeral. Last year, my youngest sister tried to build a bridge by visiting her on Christmas Eve but was met with anger and bitterness.
Clearly I’m wrong. Clearly my two sisters have been in contact with her.
All the years that I have cooked and prepared family Christmases for everyone. Just because I wanted us to all be together. My ex used to be mad with me, saying it shouldn’t all be me and that I always ended up exhausted. I don’t care because my family was together.
I feel like my sisters don’t want to spend Christmas with me. That was OK when I thought it was because it was right that they spent it with their husbands’families this year. It’s not alright now. And no, I didn’t get an invite to my other sisters who is having all of her in laws at her house for the first time. And that was OK too.
Now I’m heartbroken. I’ve never felt so alone or unwanted or taken for granted in my life.
If my dad was here, I wouldn’t feel this way.