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Hey all! I fully realize it is February 21, but I think I'm ready to talk about Christmas. I finally posted on this site the first week of December last year. It was an emotional, rambling post that pretty much said what I wanted to say. I'm sure some of the rest of you can relate to how you felt trying to articulate your feelings after realizing how many lies you had previously swallowed! I didn't mean to let two months go by, though, before I posted again. But, as we got closer and closer to Christmas, that gawd-awful American tradition of Christmasing everything to death just about did me in! Everywhere I looked people were "in the Christmas spirit" and "put the Christ in Christmas." The problem for me, to be quite honest, was the "Christ" part of Christmas! I used to LOVE Christmas! I already knew the origin of Christ Mass and all it's gory history. I know the pagan stories of the death of the God. I absolutely love Christmas trees and mistletoe and caroling and all the rest of the fun pagan traditions that you can celebrate under the guise of conventional religion! However, when my brain fully clicked that Jesus Christ was a man-made work of fiction, it was like I pulled the wrong piece in Jenga and the whole damn tower came tumbling down. See, I had allowed myself to sit in the middle ground between belief and total disbelief for way too long. I believed hell was bogus, the Bible was a disaster, and man had gone way too far mucking up Christianity for me to take most of it too seriously, but I did believe Jesus was real. I didn't even really think he was supernatural exactly, but I thought he was blessed somehow. I never expected his story to be a totally fabricated collaboration for the masses. I thought my current "beliefs" about ancient times were tempered with actual knowledge. I studied anthropology and history at a public college. But, I didn't really allow myself to fully look into the taboo topic until this last year. I kind of went along with my half beliefs and pushed my skeptics curious voice deep into the back of my psyche. Ha, maybe Trump was good for something. I think watching this country devolve into some sort of psychotic fifties flashback sent me straight down that theohistocratic rabbit hole. I no longer cared what I found out. I just wanted to look for myself. So I started digging, and I found nothing. Nothing. Nothing that you could legitimately use as a historical source. None of it holds up! For crying out loud, I could've done a historical paper on Dracula before I could have done a paper on Jesus Christ. At least Vlad, there, was based on one, real person! Sure you could possibly blend together one Christ out of all the Jesus Christs, Christ! Not really. I feel like my scenario is why a lot of Christians don't like academia. When I applied the knowledge I gathered as a History major to a topic that should have sources out the wazoo for how big of an event it supposedly was... "And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose..." (Matthew 51:52). Uh, just the temple thing is a pretty big deal - the Jewish scribes would definitely have written that down - but earthquakes and zombies?! Those zombies would've been mentioned by somebody else. We did know how to write back then. Not a lot of people did, but I think zombies would've made it onto a plaque or scroll or something. What is it with humans and zombies. We do seem to have a strange obsession with the dead. So the reason for the season so to speak became a figment of my imagination. Christmas got really hard to deal with for me all of a sudden. I had to wear earbuds in stores because I could not stand the Christmas music. I mean, yes, it's annoying every year, but I felt tortured. All those stupid sayings and religious decorations seemed to be everywhere. Of course they were everywhere. It's Christmas in the Midwest. I did put up a Christmas tree. I played Scottish music while I did. It was nice. The year before it was Manheim Steamroller, but this year I didn't want to hear any of those familiar melodies. At least I wasn't really expected to go to church! (I haven't gone in years, but I used to show up on Palm Sunday - I like the procession of all the kids - it's cute! It made my Mom happy. I won't be doing that this year.) Years back though, the minister of my parents church ruined the Christmas services for me. At the Christmas Eve service where we're mostly supposed to share the Christmas story, light candles, and sing Silent Night - he decided it would be a good idea to do the sermon "What if Mary had decided to have an abortion?" I kid you not. Seeing my family ended up feeling like an obligation to go to an event I didn't want to be a part of. It wasn't terrible, but it felt so hollow. I felt like an impostor. I felt like I was pretending to enjoy something for the sake of those around me. Because that was exactly what I was doing! I didn't want to celebrate Christmas. I could've celebrated Yuletide with my Yule Tree and been completely happy not saying Merry Christmas to anyone around me. But instead, I fakely participated. I think a lot of my emotions (or lack there of) were caused by the freshness of my recent and devastating realizations. It wasn't all bad, though! Have you guys listened to "A Skeptical Christmas" with Seth Andrews and Matt Dillahunty? Great information and highly entertaining! So, did anybody else have a weird Christmas this year? How did you guys cope with the fallout, I mean festivities? At any rate, thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Sincerely, though, I hope the rest of you had a good holiday season! I'll try not to wait two months before I post something again. Take care everybody!
It was a timing much like other realized moments of accounting in my life. I sat at the red light. Chest tight, my eyes wet and slippery, the church on the opposite corner rang its bells. Its enormous clock had struck 7p while I was waiting at the intersection. Like a reverberant pang of regret, the tolling of the bells echoed the hollow sentiments that had gripped a of hold me. The deep pangs of grief I had begun wrestling with physically pulsed in my ears as every dark note rang out from that church tower. The red light seemed to last forever. Seconds like minutes. My thoughts becoming a monsoon of physical discomfort. And that red halo cast down onto the sliver hood of my car, also colored me with a shade of self loathing I hadn't experienced in years. A cold reality I had doggedly avoided for almost two years now, crept into my future planning quite painfully just a few minutes before I had reached that light. I sat there, seething with a raging disbelief that I had once again shown my penchant for using shitty enabling patterns for coping in life. I once again ripped my own heart to shreds. I knew I had willfully ignored the flags for months. I once again ignored the lack of results when expressing my own needs. I had straight up given away three years of dedication under a personally enforced blind eye - and now was being asked for potentially fifteen years more of the same. To continue a perpetual state of unsatisfying relationship roles. I sat at that red light and blistered with incredulous laughter, tears, and white-knuckled fingers on a steering wheel. Could I really be so angry at him for what I so plainly continued to enable? A friend in public, but spoken for in private. His holding back on communicating relationship issues with me under the guise of "looking out for my feelings". His absence in my everyday life. No. I wasn't going to lay all of this at his feet. He didn't make this the norm. I allowed it. I did this. My fear of demanding for myself that which makes my life enjoyable. My fear of admitting it isn't okay and it needs to change immediately. My lack of belief that I do deserve the good things with someone I care about. With every bell that tolled, I was mentally going through the checklist of what I needed, and not one box was marked off. A voice that was not just acknowledged, but respected and adhered to. Equal control of the relationship. Self-respect to demand and enforce what I need to be happy too. A fucking picture together. A good hump at least once a week. Yeah, three years - no pictures together. What was I thinking? The light turned green, the bells were silent. My mascara shown all over the back of my hands in that emerald hued spotlight as I made my turn. No goddamn picture. Still invisible to the public. So many flags and no check marks. This is the devastation many feel in life. Especially when you have all the dreams in place at the other's behest, but not a single step has been taken to make it a reality. It's devastating because you realize that you compromised yourself for a shiny, dangling piece of fancy that you eventually knew wouldn't take off - but you chased it anyway. Now three more years of my life are gone, and it isn't even a new lesson learned.