There is an episode of Buffy, at the end of season three, in which after slaying all of her demons and saving the world, she is spent, unable to function, near catatonic. Giles makes the comment, "There is a certain dramatic irony attached to all this. A synchronicity that borders on predestination, one might say."
Buffy: "Fire bad. Tree pretty."
I so get this.
I rarely write about the rage.
As it’s now December, it’s time for the annual Christmas freak out, which I’m sitting in the middle of it at the moment. By the time I drive to Adelaide on the 23rd, all will be calm and bright. It’s best not to ignore the annual pre Christmas freak out. If I ignore this, there could be war at Myponga at Christmas with all the dramatic irony and synchronistic predestination. It won't happen though. I'm braver than that.
But for today, I will sit in a mire of green, flaming rage that has so far had me postpone an interview, indulge in junk food and stare down a guy at the traffic lights whose iPod was playing too loud. Oh yes, I’ve also shouted at an idiot from the other office – but I do quite a bit of that, so there’s nothing new there. This bloke irritates me at the best of times.
There is no make up on my face. I’m in my normal work comfortable clothes. To look at me, I appear quite normal – maybe a little quieter than usual.
It’s the storm inside which is fascinating me. I feel it in every pore of my body. The seething rage of betrayal and despair that lingers like a sooky cat which comes and goes of its own volition – I’m not used to owning it as my own. Now I have to face it. This crap is mine to deal with and I’d better get on with it.
Ah, it’s a hippy shit blog today.
Yep. Too right. This all started at dream group last night. My dream was given. Of course, the others laughed at my dream – they always do – but this is okay as well – its how dream group works. Dreams of trams and bile and babies and the best one, that of being prepared to be beheaded, shaving the back of my head in preparation, my hands tied behind my back, worried that when my head comes off that the head will be able to see and think and feel.
It was a bit of a heavy session. I came out of it feeling flayed. Not as skinned alive as I have in the past, but it felt like I’d had a decent going over with sandpaper. Matter of my absent family came up. Was I hurt? Yes. Was I being too nice about them? Probably. When will I own that this stuff continues to tear strips off me? Well, now.
And Christmas brings everything out into the open.
For the last few years I’ve avoided going home for Christmas. I hate it. For one, I’m not a Christian, and I don’t see the point in personally celebrating the supposed virgin birth of a Jewish carpenter/reprobate in a cow shed. I’m happy for other people to do it, but leave me out of it. I particularly hate that the corporates get involved and insist you turn up for a company sponsored drinking session, along with rarely seen friends who make plans to “catch up for Xmas.” I really don’t like the hypocrisy.
Then again, I do see the need to celebrate. Another year has passed. Look at your achievements, your losses and your gains, and celebrate them. I have a lot to celebrate this year.
Rather than not participate at all, I take a line of least resistance, going to some things, passing on others, turning up with a smile on my face when I have to and giving the impression that all is well.
Thing is, I think I’ve been damaged by this time of year too much to let it slide any more.
Memories of being in London, spending it alone, not talking to people over the days from Christmas Eve to New Years Day, having your grandmother challenge you as to why you “don’t have a fella?” at the lunch table, feeling like the spare wheel when spending time with my sister’s in-laws, who are perfectly nice people, but like me and my sister, have I have very little in common with and making the effort is tiring. I spend a lot of time talking to the kids and the dog at Christmas when I go home.
The last two years have been better. Xmas Day 2008 was spent riding elephants in Thailand. Last year I stayed in Melbourne and was out all day with friends, breakfast with one person, drinks with Gloria and Gaynor before heading out to Blarney and Barney’s where a lovely lunch with the whole of Barney’s family who are well cool, then went out to my bosses place for a dinner with other Christmas orphan workmates, which was also also lovely and chilled. Glen Waverley, Geerrt and I ended up playing Mario Carts until midnight.
It almost took away the sting of not having somebody special to spend the days with – something that society appears to feel is mandatory and the media throw this down your neck with the full force of a tsunami. Hey, I’m alone. I don’t have people to spoil me rotten around the place. I wish the media would stop telling me this is what’s supposed to happen and start extolling the virtues of being good to each other, patience, kindness and love – which is what I see Christmas as really being about.
As to owning the anger, well, this is all mine. At least I don’t turn it in on myself as I used to. I don’t try and dampen it with food or drink. I don’t lash out at others (stupid workmate aside), nor abuse anything, nor cry myself to sleep. I’m allowing myself to feel this in all its intensity.
It isn’t comfortable, but it’s the only way through it.
That, and I have an appointment with a kinesiologist this afternoon, who might be able to help bring things back into balance. I have the offer of the use of a bathtub the other side of the suburb, which I might take up – soak out the anger. I’ll get to the gym on the weekend to grunt some of this out, and of course, I will go and cuddle Blarney’s babies, who can dissipate rage with a gummy smile and a grab of your finger.
Fire, bad. Tree, pretty. For now.