Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Of Christmas...and Why I Don't Like It...

I don't know if you're aware of this, but I'm not a big fan of this time of year.  It's not because I'm an Atheist and most people associate December with Christmas and therefore religion...no, it really has nothing to do with that.


Six years ago, in May, I met the sweetest guy in the world, horribly socially sheltered, emotionally fragile, intelligent...  There was just something about him, that in a very short span of time, I fell completely head over heels in love with him.  He was gentle, sweet, and off-beat romantic.  He was the first guy I'd ever said "I love you" to and genuinely meant it, instead of feeling like a wild creature getting pinned in a corner and having to utter it to feel less trapped.  His name was Daniel.


On December 5th, 2004, Daniel's Dad died suddenly from a heart attack while at the gym.  His father's side of the family was aware that for some reason, the males in their family did not live much farther past 45, and they all passed away due to a sudden heart attack.  Daniel's Dad, Kevin, did everything he could to try to prevent it.  He worked out daily, he ate right, and he rarely drank soda or alcohol.  He took great care of his body because he wanted to be around for his family.


Daniel was an emotional wreck after his Dad died, even more so than before.  I tried to give him his space, while letting him know I was there for him whenever he needed it.  I did something wrong, because I didn't know better, and Daniel broke up with me in January 2005.  It was the worst heartbreak I'd ever felt...


...In order to get over Daniel, I ended up on OkCupid for the third or fourth time...  And I stumbled across a guy from San Jose, who I dated for a year, Jeremy.  Jeremy was extremely controlling and verbally abusive, but I just so badly didn't want to be alone.  I thought of Daniel often, and I even attempted to contact him a few times in September 2005.  I didn't contact him more frequently because Jeremy was an extremely controlling douchebag, and I didn't want to create more drama...  But I missed Daniel.  He was so sweet, and I was dating the biggest jerk of them all at the time...solely as a rebound in an attempt to get over Daniel.


Jeremy and I broke up in mid-January 2006, for good (I'd broken up with him once in October 2005, but through some horrible "friendly advice" from a friend, I took him back)...  I'd tried to contact Daniel a few times, but I never got a reply.  I thought that maybe he moved on, or changed his phone number, or something. 


I didn't think much of it at all, really, until April 2006 rolled around.  I was working at Office Depot in downtown Fresno, when Daniel's Mom, Karin, came into the store.  I was surprised, because I'd assumed that maybe Daniel and his family had scooped up and moved back to Boston (because Kevin and Karin were both from Boston and all of their extended family lived there).  I asked Karin how everyone was doing, and she was being pretty vague.  I really didn't think anything was going on, maybe that Daniel moved away for college and had a girlfriend...I was thinking surely, positive things were happening.


Karin left the store after we said our goodbyes, but within five minutes she was back in the store.  Karin walked up to me, pulled me aside, and said she "didn't feel right leaving" without telling me.  I of course thought to myself "Oh, maybe Daniel is getting married or something?"


"Daniel took his own life..."


I lost it, I started bawling.  It was like my heart shattered into a million pieces and no one would ever be able to repair it...  After Karin left, I went straight to the breakroom and sat down...crying.  People kept asking me what was going on, if I were okay...I pushed the chair to the corner by the vending machines and I just kept crying.  I couldn't breathe.  I called my parents, I told my Mom...  I asked if I could go home, so I did.  I sat in the car for a good twenty minutes before even moving, crying...


I think the reason that this time of year is still so tough on me, is because I haven't had any worthwhile relationships since Daniel... I don't have any new memories to replace those extremely sad ones from Christmas 2005...  Every time I think of Christmas, I think of going down Christmas Tree Lane with his family, and him laughing and pointing out that Donner's sign was spelled "Donder."  Or how his Dad used to call me "Giggles" because I would giggle uncontrollably at his ridiculous puns...and his Dad bought a little snowman that giggled for me for Christmas (and when I opened it on Christmas night, I cried).  I also think about how Daniel got me a copy of Hour of Bewilderbeast, by Badly Drawn Boy, because I was talking about how I was looking for a copy of it forever and hadn't been able to find it...


Positive memories, but still very depressing memories...


And I think until I can start creating positive memories with someone else, Christmas will always be this grey storm cloud over my head...

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