I want to send out a big hug to everyone who feels left out during the holidays.
To everyone who has been disowned by their “family” for being LGBT, or having a criminal record or a mental illness, or any “reason”.
To everyone who doesn’t have anything “extra” in their budget to spend on gifts or a tree or a big fancy dinner.
To everyone who grew up dreading December because it shone a bright light on all the ways you were different, on all the things you didn’t have, or just because it was the most dangerous month of the year.
I’d hug every one of you if I could, just so you’d know you’re not alone. Because I get it. I grew up being teased because The Salvation Army brought my presents in a truck while I was in school.
I get it. I spent most of my adult life volunteering for any and every holiday shift and saying it was to help co-workers who had plans to travel out of state or do special things with their kids, when I really needed the money to turn on my heater.
I get it. I took a lot of shit for being bisexual. My “family” kicked me out of their little club after my daughter came out as trans.
Don’t let the holidays get you down if you can help it. Do something that makes you happy and join me in resisting the urge to compare our private lives to the public lives of others…as much as possible, anyway. Down that path lies a world of hurt, and besides, most people—especially on social media—take great care to show only their best side. You probably don’t show most of your struggle and pain in public, and most people are the same way.
If the whole deal seems to be too much, reach out. Someone will be there to help you through the next minute, or the next hour, or the next day, until things feel manageable again. Because they will. I’ve been there and back enough times to say that with confidence.
Check out my Resources page for a worldwide collection of hotlines and websites just waiting for you to reach out or use your Google-fu and find a new one.
Hang in there. *hugs*
pictures 1-4 taken by Charley Descoteaux.
Merry Christmas Charley. Sure you deserve it. As for those who threw you out their little club. Their loss. xx
Happy holidays, Charley, thanks for posting this. I’m sad for the things you had to put up with. I have no extra money in my budget. I used to love the holidays, but each year, I don’t look forward to them. I have great friends and i’m lucky to have my parents, but they are now in a nursing home. Thanks again for reaching out.
First, Charley, I absolutely love your photographs. Just beautiful. 🙂
My family turned their back on me eight years ago now and it still hurts, especially around the holidays. But I’ve come to realize that it’s their loss, what they’re missing out on. And it’s also made me a fiercely independent person, a much stronger person since I have no family to rely on. At least some good came out of their rejection of me. And I’ve got my husband and my furry “children” to help make the season bright. And every other day of the year. 🙂