So Christmas is over and we all survived. There were some hard parts; my brother was pretty emotional and that was hard. He talked to me about his regrets about what he did for the first time and that made me cry once I got home. That was really rough. But we made it through and once again the first time it is different is over. My mom was so ready for it to be over that she had everything down and put completely away by the 27th. But she did make it through and that's all you really can expect right now I think. She and I had a rough time because she got me presents but wasn't very lucky. One thing she got a variation of what I wanted and the variation didn't work well for my needs; she'd forgotten conversations we'd had before about the thing and what I wanted. She got clothes but in the wrong size. And I asked for a specific camera that Amazon said was an upgrade from the camera I had that got sand or salt water in the lens on vacation and wasn't working very well; it wasn't the upgrade for that camera and didn't work for me at all (I have to have really good image stabilization because my meds make me shaky; this left me taking blurry pictures). So a lot of my stuff wound up being exchanged. I apologized a thousand times because I knew she was upset and that made me think a lot about what Dr. Mind told me not long ago, that one of the parts of the abuse I lived with that I still carry is that I will take blame for anything and feel guilty and apologize about things that I didn't do or can't control just to avoid having things get worse. I certainly did it with this. But it all worked out; the new camera has been ordered and we returned the clothes and wound up finding a sweater that I love and when we went into another store that was having a big sale I found jeans and since I had one pair of jeans that fit and 2 pairs that were too loose and fell off my hips if I wore them jeans were great. She made me get 2 pairs so now I'm really good for clothes for a while. These are about the nicest jeans I've ever had and they were marked down to affordable so that's good too.
The time with my nieces was delightful as usual. Anne really understands the dynamics of gifts this year and was happy to give things as well as to get them. It was sheer chaos with the girls but so much fun to watch them. And they are just so sweet. The baby opened a box of books I gave her and had her daddy reading within minutes; Anne was enthralled by a gross motor toy. She was so tired; we were watching Annie while the baby napped and she almost fell asleep on my lap until she noticed her daddy carrying in an unwrapped present that she has been wanting for a very long time. That woke her right up.
But today was a kind of special moment. I don't know if this comes across on here or not, but I'm really shy. Shy to the point that sometimes I can't manage to do things that I should do because it is too hard. But this year I forced myself to hand Dr. Mind a present. Back in May when we went to the ocean I couldn't go in the water because my ankle was too unstable and I would lose my balance and risk injuring it even more. I wound up spending many hours sitting in the sand sorting out tiny shells that I never wound have bothered with otherwise. I also came home with many pieces of shells because I realized that these broken bits of shells, pretty much nothing on their own, were beautiful when put together. I had vague plans to make Christmas ornaments using some of these.
So I did that and while the ornaments are wonderful it was actually kind of hard work. But I still had all of those pieces and a vague idea from the beach that I wanted to make something for Dr. Mind. I wound up getting a small jar, not much bigger than what I would call a vial and put in it sand and then pieces of many, many broken shells. I wrote a note about how grateful I am that he helps me find beauty in what is often broken and last week on my way out I shoved it at him and kind of ran, telling him that he might have to shake it to get it to settle after it was in my coat and he'd see what I meant.. All week I have hoped he wouldn't say anything because I didn't really want to acknowledge it, whether he loved it or hated it, I just wanted to move on.
Today I went to see him and he didn't mention it. He knows me well after almost 9 years.....But I saw what he thought about it rather easily. There is a bookshelf that is more or less directly across the room from where I sit. I spend a lot of time looking at it when I don't want to look at him. In fact when he re-arranged the books on it I noticed immediately, just to show how much I stare at this thing. On top of it he keeps various things like a photo of his son, a couple of things his son gave him many years ago, something his wife gave him that I suspect is a joke and now the little vial of shells. It was something so small and simple but I think he understood what it really meant, which is something more along the lines of "thank you for being there through everything I've thrown at you for almost 9 years and for being who you are".
I'm glad. I always hope he knows that I know what he has done for me but I am never sure because I never have the words to say it.