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  • Marliana Alisemon

The Shared Experience PT 2

Updated: Dec 3, 2022

Welcome back! It's been a minute hey?

The Holiday season is in full swing and where I live there is snow on the ground and the Christmas lights are all up in my neighbourhood... Including my own home.

There's something very special about this time of year for me, and it took a long time for me to see it, and feel it. Heck, treasure it. I spend so much time enjoying this season, crying out of love for everyone of us, watching cheesy movies and baking my little heart out, praying and living in gratitude; it is really magical for me.

In saying that, I am sure, a lot of you have hard memories, pain, grief and burden around the Holidays just like I had.

This time of year can heighten already highly reactive people, can bring on stress and anxiety and can renew a sense of loss and grief that a lot of us cycle in every time this season rolls around.

So this second part to "The Shared Experience" will be experiences I have had along my journey, surrounding Christmas time, My hope is by sharing these you will feel connected, like someone hears you, feels you and understands the pain.

You're not alone my friends and full healing is a possibility if you're willing and ready. So let's get this party started and see where these memories head.

1. I can't remember if it was 2007, or 2008. It's been so long now and I've worked through all of this that it is just kind of fading... Kind of funny how that happens.

But this was my first Christmas physically alone as an adult. I moved out of my dad's home a year before. I was homeless and struggling to find my way for almost a year after.

I had moved out because when my mother died in 2004 (on DEC 23rd 2004 in a major car accident on the highway to Edmonton, AB) we went through a long probationary period and a lot of tension and hassle. In the end my sister and I ended up with a year's salary as our inheritance. And when I stopped giving him money and buying things for him he decided to get violent with me. and he slapped me in the face and told me I was selfish. Why? Maybe he ran out of drugs and Hot Wheels money... I don't know.

So I left that night. I was living at the old Stetson INN, while still going to work for his wife (my step mom) everyday. I had no one in my corner and I was terrified, embarrassed and grieving the loss of my family, regardless of the toxicity and pain they put on me. It was very hard working for my step mom, but I hadn't found any other work yet.

I found an apartment building downtown that would rent me a small one bedroom apartment, I could go get my cat from my dads place and my bed and move in. I was so grateful I had some of my inheritance left I could pay the deposit and my rent.

All I had to my name was a couple garbage bags of clothes, and my new queen size bed I bought myself. I had my stereo and my tube TV and my cat, a few kitchen items I managed to grab some of my mom's before my aunt threw it all away. That's it.

Eventually Christmas came and I was okay. I had food, I had a bed and I had my favourite cat, my best friend. I was working.. but I was alone. My sister wasn't in contact with me much, unless she wanted or needed something. I went and got my sister a small gift, for her and her new wife. I had a small tree and put it under it. And she promised I'd see her and her family on Christmas for a short visit.

Well, Christmas eve, Christmas day... I was alone. No one called me... Not my friends, not my sister not even my step mother. I put up boundaries and people weren't allowed to walk on me and hurt me anymore, so they turned away from me instead.

I made calls to them but no one answered. I cried a lot that day, but you know what? I also found true comfort in being alone, and having my cuddly cat with me warm inside on a very cold snowy Christmas weekend.

I went almost 2 weeks after Christmas before I'd heard from my sister. And there was no apology, just avoidance. I swallowed so much between us for a long time.

Have you been in a situation close to this? If so how did you handle it?

2. December 23rd 2004, I lost my mom to a major car accident on the highway up to Edmonton Alberta. I was 20, and my sister was 18. I've never had a relationship with my mother it was always stressed, negative and toxic. And she favoured my sister because my sister was the "yes" man and agreed with her, loved and followed her and was in a toxic, symbiotic manipulative relationship they both viewed as loving.

The week before her death her and I were once again fighting. There were things I needed badly, and she refused to help and made excuses but my sister was being bought new shoes and clothes and more. being young and coming from a very fucked up, up bringing I thought she owed me, I "knew" she owed me. And I'm sure she had her own thoughts on me and our relationship.

Well two days before she died she really hurt me with her choice of words and behaviour. So I reasonably lashed out and told her "I no longer have a mother" (talk about foreshadow) and I hung up on her. I slept on it, and the next evening I decided to call and talk to her. Her partner answered the phone, and refused to let me speak to her. So I hung up, with a heavy heart and sadness. I had some guilt over what I'd said to her and I just wanted to make it right. (I carried that guilt for so long)

The next day, I woke up at 11:14am, and I knew something was off and wrong but I couldn't put a finger on it, so I shrugged it off.

I was sitting in the dinning room at the table on the 23rd, in the late afternoon. The Beatles were playing loudly on the CD player the song was "tax man" and all of a sudden the doorbell rang, repeatedly, banging on the door. I looked out the window and saw it was my sister and my mothers sister, my cousins. a lot of people showed up.

I yelled downstairs to my step mom explaining who was here and I needed her help. I opened the front door and my sister was a mess. she was screaming through tears that mom had died this morning around 11 am, and that our Aunt had locked her out of her home and threw her stuff on the lawn in garbage bags. (my mom was renting a house from her sister at the time and my sister was living with her)

The day my mom died, was the day my moms family abandoned us. (I mean, we never really were accepted or made to feel welcome in that family. It was more like "put up with" because of my mom) they threw my sister out of her home, with only garbage bags of clothes. and for no reason. I guess for the same reasons my mother never wanted to be a mom, or be a parent, and of course shock, and grief and pain.

I guess they can be thanked for at least bringing my sister to me.

I was in disbelief for the night. I remember crying so much that night. I watched my sister drink herself to sleep on the couch, that was her new bed and I mean DRINK... And she still managed to wake up crying.

we went through a torturous few years trying to get our mothers belongings, fighting with her family for our inheritance, what was ours. They constantly phoned us looking to buy my moms belongings, had meetings with us to discuss what was ours.

When it was all finally said and done I cut ties with all of them for a long time. It took me 16 years after her death to finally start to heal from it, and grieve properly to be able to let it go.

Grief, especially around the Holidays seems to be extra hard for people. Have you had an experience like this? Loss is never easy. Loss combined with toxicity and negative energies amplifies those emotions.

3.It was December of 2011. I was a new, very new mom as I'd just had my son at the end of October. We had asked the families if we as a new family could host our first Christmas dinner in our home. Of course everyone was overjoyed and welcomed the idea!

My husband and I had been preparing for a while. We had this GIANT prime rib roast and all the trimmings and we had invited his extended family, and my sister and my dad.

Now, my dad... is completely toxic. hes a narcissist, sociopath characteristics and very, very selfish, with a love of putting down others, making fun of them, their clothes, music.. anything really. (what a look into his heart)

But since having our son, and moving into the place we were in we had decided to try having a relationship with him because of the family we were building. We asked him over for dinner every week, on Fridays. It was going okay. And in situations like this it cycles between okay and toxic... until you've learned your lesson. We've all been there, or are currently there (cycling in lessons)

We decided he would be welcome at our first Christmas dinner with our new born child and my husband's family.

The day came and I was up early prepping, and baking desserts and enjoying my new little family. I couldn't believe how blessed I was. And as the day went on I of course became frazzled as my timing on a few things weren't good, and my will to keep cooking was fading quick, but hey first time hosting an 18 person meal I think I handled it well hahaha!

The family started to arrive around five that evening. We had snacks out, drinks were going around (non alcoholic) and everyone was taking turns holding my baby and offering to help me cook. And then, my dad arrived.

He came in, snow on his shoes and jacket still on and just walked in to my home, no regard for any of the boundaries I set up for him and for us in our home. Trampled all over the new carpet and tile, he made a real mess. he sat himself down and decided to start sharing rather toxic opinions and stories to my husband's family. Swearing, laughing at his own vulgar words and making the rest of the family very uncomfortable.

Now back then I didn't have confidence in myself or my boundaries to say something so I let it happen. In turn it only hurt myself, and the ones I love because I wasn't brave enough to speak up. so it progressed throughout the night.

My dad started acting out of sorts. anxious. And I've seen him this way before... He was high and by the looks of it he was coming down and wanting more. He started pacing, using my washroom repeatedly and just generally becoming more toxic.

It was closing in at 6:30 and my dinner was almost ready. I had help dressing our beautiful table from my mother in law, and her mom, and her sister in law. The women on my husband's side were so attentive and wonderful and super chatty! They really helped because man, by the end I was struggling and hungry and thirsty.... hahaha the list could go on for a bit here on my needs that day haha!

We all sat down to dinner. My dad sat down with his shoes, hat and jacket still on. All through saying Grace, and thanking the family for coming he had only rude remarks, snarks and laughter to interrupt me with. Halfway through our wonderful dinner, he gets up and says loudly "I'm going to buy some drugs, I'll be back" and he leaves the dinner table, before my first Christmas dinner has even been enjoyed.

I remember just disconnecting from my heart, my feelings. I was numb. I was embarrassed. My husbands entire family witnessed this, heard him say this. Watched him walk out. We finished dinner as best we could and tried to just... Move past it. But, surprise he came back. He just walked right in high as a kite.

My husband at this point had enough, and asked him to leave. Bob (my dad) didn't enjoy that very much and had some choice words but he left. We spent the evening expressing our regret to my husband's family for everything.

A week went by, and I didn't make contact with my dad, nor did I offer dinner that Friday coming. I chose not to answer his calls and let them go to voicemail. The voicemail box was full one day so my husband and I went through them. all normal things... Until my dad came on. He was belligerent, rude and extremely mean. Calling me a whore, telling me I was on the streets turning tricks and doing drugs. He tried to explain after "all he did for me" that I didn't have the right to cut him out. He said a few more very hard, untrue things and before the message was over my husband hung up and dialled my dad's phone number. Craig kissed my baby on the head, kissed me and went to the basement with the phone.

I haven't spoken to my dad since that day. My husband told him if he so much as breathed the same air as me, tried to come close to me, talk to me that they would have a problem. He was told he'd never see my son, or our family again.

10 years later, 2021 I was doing my shadow work, really digging deep and letting go, forgiving and finding closure for myself, and for the people who wronged me. I reached out to him and explained why I chose to not have him in my life. From start to finish he was a horrible dad. I also explained I forgive him and I love him, but I am still choosing to not have him in my life. And then I blocked him again,

It is okay to remove any one from your life that isn't serving your highest good. Regardless of who they are. We can forgive and we can let go. But those boundaries need to be solid and strong. As much as I wanted a relationship with my dad, (I wanted one all of my life) It was a toxic, very negative cycle. I came to understand this man would never be what I needed him to be. What he needed himself to be. Once I accepted him for who he is and was, It was easy for me to say you are not welcome in my life.

Have you had experiences around the Holiday's similar to this? Completely different? How did you handle it? Have you let it go?

I have had my fair share of pain and trauma around the Holidays. And I carried it with me for such a long time. I refused to open up to the warmth of the season. The meaning of it, the love. Having my son, and marrying my best friend helped that for sure. I wanted my boys to love everything about Christmas. The love and community, the warmth and joy. Celebrating Jesus. I wanted all of it for him and my husband, so he could experience it in a way I never did growing up.

What truly flipped it for me was doing the inner work and healing myself. Dropping my ego and societal learned constructs. Eventually reaching out to each individual and expressing myself clearly and truthfully. Setting boundaries and walking away from them. I'm in a place now where none of it is "my stuff" anymore. I can sit in my heart space and really open up to this time of year, and my family and friends.

Truthfully, I have to now set a reminder in my phone for the 23rd, to have a moment for my mother... Or I forget it has come and gone.

If you feel safe with me and my intentions and energy, I'd love to hear some of your experiences. Reach out and let's chat and see how we can work to let some of your grief and pain flow through you.

Best wishes for a warm, loving and spiritual Holiday Season.

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