This was the second year in a row that I did not spend Christmas with my family. In fact, I spent it all by myself. And even though I did enjoy most of the time there was also a lot of shame and guilt coming up. Shame and guilt about the fact that I have not been in touch with my family for a long time. That I did not try hard enough to find a way of spending time with them for Christmas in particular; but instead, choosing to abandon them knowing they were suffering from it.
For almost my entire adult life, I would feel down after meeting with my family of origin. Every time I came back, I would feel like there was something wrong with me. I felt weak and somehow broken, like I could not function in this world the way I was supposed to. It took me years to understand what had been going on and to break that pattern.