I used to love the holidays, but I can’t say I do anymore.
Instead, I repeat, “I’m fine,” as if doing so will soften my heart and make me feel okay.
I study “positive” psychology, but it doesn’t mean I don’t fall into an empty hole—often.
Actually, most of my time is spent in this hole, especially during the holidays.
I was forced to choose between my family and someone I loved and, in the end, I lost both.
They say home is wherever I am, but some days, I disagree. Some days I think a home is a place for the lucky, and I wasn’t given this luck.
Nothing makes me happier than being “home” but, lately, there aren’t many homes I can go to.
I am quick to fake a smile, paint my eyes with eyeliner to hide their hollowness, and contort my face on Zoom to portray to the world an airbrushed image that says, “I’m happy.”
The truth is that I’m not happy today.
I want more than anything to go home, but I don’t know where home is.
So I’m going to make a carrot cake, some green beans, and twice-baked potatoes and pretend home is here.
Home isn’t where I’m from.
Home will never be this.
For those who understand what I mean, I’m sorry.
I’m truly sorry.
For those alone this week and having a hard time, I’m sorry, too.
For adult survivors of chaotic childhoods who are looking for a home, I know this isn’t easy.
All I can recommend is finding a movie, making dinner anyway, and telling yourself it won’t be like this forever.
They say it gets better for us, and I have to believe them. There’s not much else I can do.
No matter what, though, you’re always welcome in my home. It will just have to be virtual or in spirit this year.
Maybe, one day we can meet.
For now, feel free to write to me instead.
You may not know me, but if you need a home, I’m here for you today and always.